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Sources for parallel texts

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 Message 1 of 7
02 November 2008 at 2:39pm | IP Logged 
One of the first questions that arises among people wanting to try L-R is where to find parallel texts. I'd like to turn this into a collaborate thread, like the "free, legal audiobooks" thread.

How to use this thread: search for the language you're interested in (all language names are written in English) or "multilingual" if all else fails; sites with a lot of languages may not have all of them listed.
Russian-English: ew&id=626&Itemid=9(atamagaii)
Russian-German: ew&id=647&Itemid=8(atamagii)
Russian-Spanish: ew&id=599&Itemid=38(atamagaii)
Russian-French: ew&id=585&Itemid=12(atamagaii)
Russian-Portuguese: ew&id=279&Itemid=39(atamagii)


Japanese-English: (atamagii)(It worked in October, but now seems to be gone - temporarily?) Haiku, in Japanese (written normally), romaji, and English, roughly parallel.
doyle_-_the_sign_of_four_english-japanese.7z. You need 7-zip to extract it. Open index.html in your favorite web browser that supports Javascript, and pick the second link for each chapter you want to get the parallel text; the first link only has English text. Mousing over the text highlights a clause, and the corresponding one in the other language. Firefox and Linux work fine; Windows and Mac OS users should also have no problems.
"After 20 years", O. Henry. It's quite short.


Pride and Prejudice
China Shakes The World (History)
The Golden Age (Novel). Firefox may auto-detect the encoding wrong; if the Chinese shows up as gibberish, do View -> Character Encoding -> Chinese Simplified (GB2312) and it should be ok after.

Sanskrit-English: is a huge list of links to audio in Sanskrit. Some, like the first (Sanskrit Texts and Stotras: Audio Recordings of Sanskrit Texts) also have parallel texts. All the audio I've tried has been chanted or sung.

Seven languages/Multilingual: (atamagaii) (English, Danish, German, Spanish, French, Dutch, Italian), Danish, German, Spanish, French, Dutch, Italian)

Multilingual: has a small collection of works translated into modern English, as parallel texts. It's brilliant (and all by one translator, Tim Chilcott), but the age of the works needs to be kept in mind; some language changes have occurred in the last few centuries, so it's a great source for people interested in historical language, but should be used cautiously for those only interested in modern language standards. Source languages include Chinese (Lao Tzu), French (Maupassant, Racine, Rimbaud), German (Walther von der Vogelweide), Greek (Matthew, Mark, and Luke's gospels), Italian (Leopardi), Japanese (Bashō), Latin (Virgil's "The Eclogues"), Middle English (Sir Gawain and the Green Knight), and Spanish (Lorca). It's also fascinating reading for anyone interested in translation. (amphises). Parallel bibles in arbitrary language pairs. Aside from the usual languages (French, German, English, ...), it has lots of unusual languages to find parallel texts for, including Afrikaans, Amharic, Arabic, the Navarro-Labourdin Basque dialect, Breton, Coptic, Czech, Estonian, Georgian, Greek, Hebrew, Korean, Manx Gaelic, Tamajaq (Berber), Thai, Uma, Vietnamese, Wolof, and Xhosa. This list is not comprehensive; there are other languages too.

Pinocchio by Collodi in six languages: English-French-German-Spanish-Italian-Russian. The files are .doc. 7-zip or various other unrar programs can be used to get the .doc files once the .rar is downloaded.
Le petit prince - parallel texts, pdf:
French-Polish for Polish learners of French, word-for-word translations + grammar notes + phonetic transcription:
French-Spanish, French-English, French-Italian, French-Japanese, French-Chinese. There's also the corresponding French audio. "Le Petit Prince" is public domain in some countries (Australia, Canada, etc) but not others.

A couple of forum threads with useful links. ID=6366&PN=1&TPN=50(atamagaii) (English-Russian, English-French, English-Spanish, French-Spanish). ID=6366&PN=1&TPN=51(atamagaii)(German-Polish, French-Polish, English-Spanish)

Texts which aren't parallel, but which have the same information in two or more languages, so should be easy to make parallel: has news articles in a handful of languages. Old stories of Japan (in Japanese and English). has interleaved (almost-parallel) Sanskrit/English text, and corresponding mp3s in (chanted) Sanskrit.

If you want more, ask atamagaii/siomotteikiru.

Edited by Volte on 05 November 2008 at 6:57am

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 Message 2 of 7
02 November 2008 at 10:29pm | IP Logged 
You can generate parallel texts of the Bible in a variety of languages here
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 Message 3 of 7
03 November 2008 at 4:08pm | IP Logged 
I have Around the World in 80 Days (English-French). Pm me if you want it. Its French audiobook is free on the web.
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 Message 4 of 7
04 June 2010 at 5:13pm | IP Logged 
Lots of good stuff on

Thanks to whoever put up those files!
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 Message 5 of 7
27 May 2011 at 4:42am | IP Logged 
Apologies for resurrecting an old thread, but is currently down, and
I'm having difficulty finding parallel texts for French-English.

Are these texts being hosted elsewhere, or does anybody have a copy of French-English
parallel texts?

I have a few on my computer at home, which I downloaded from a year
or two ago, which I'd be happy to share if Marco has no problem with it.

I'm specifically looking for a parallel version of Les Miserables.
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 Message 6 of 7
14 November 2014 at 4:29am | IP Logged 
I discovered via Languagehat a website that has many parallel texts of a literary nature,
even for small languages like Czech. Here's how to use it: follow the link below and then
click on the button "languages" on the right. A bunch of languages will pop up in orange
for you to choose from. After you choose a language, you will get a list of texts. If it
is a parallel text, you will see "bilingual text" written in orange and you're good to
go. Enjoy.

Words Without Borders
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 Message 7 of 7
14 November 2014 at 10:03pm | IP Logged 
I have the original zip file of French parallel texts on my Google Drive. These are all in the public domain:

Frend Lit Parallel Text

In addition, I've uploaded a parallel text of Marguerite Yourcenar's Mémoires d'Hadrien, an amazing historical novel about the Roman emperor Hadrian.

If the zip file doesn't work for you I can upload some of them individually, let me know which ones you are interested in.

My experience with parallel texts was that they were fine for shorter works, but tedious for long works. In the end I found it a lot more pleasant to have a regular book or ebook, and to consult the English version or parallel text when I struggled with a passage.

On to the books. I'm copying a lot of this from a previous post from 2013, and the synopses are all from Goodreads.

Books and short stories I can highly recommend:
Madame Bovary. Gustave Flaubert. 566 pages
When Emma Rouault marries Charles Bovary she imagines she will pass into the life of luxury and passion that she reads about in sentimental novels and women's magazines. But Charles is a dull country doctor, and provincial life is very different from the romantic excitement for which she yearns. In her quest to realize her dreams she takes a lover, and begins a devastating spiral into deceit and despair.

Le Grand Meaulnes. Alain-Fournier. 247 pages
When Meaulnes first arrives in Sologne, everyone is captivated by his good looks, daring, and charisma. But when he attends a strange party at a mysterious house with a beautiful girl hidden inside, he is changed forever. Poised between youthful admiration and adult resignation, Alain- Fournier's narrator compellingly carries the reader through this indelible portrait of desperate friendship and vanished adolescence.

L'immoraliste. André Gide. 182 pages
André Gide presents the confessional account of a man seeking the truth of his own nature. The story's protagonist, Michel, knows nothing about love when he marries the gentle Marceline out of duty to his father. On the couple's honeymoon to Tunisia, Michel becomes very ill, and during his recovery he meets a young Arab boy whose radiant health and beauty captivate him. An awakening for him both sexually and morally, Michel discovers a new freedom in seeking to live according to his own desires. But, as he also discovers, freedom can be a burden.

*** Mémoires d'Hadrien. Marguerite Yourcenar. 364 pages
Both an exploration of character and a reflection on the meaning of history, Memoirs of Hadrian has received international acclaim since its first publication in France in 1951. In it, Marguerite Yourcenar reimagines the Emperor Hadrian's arduous boyhood, his triumphs and reversals, and finally, as emperor, his gradual reordering of a war-torn world, writing with the imaginative insight of a great writer of the twentieth century while crafting a prose style as elegant and precise as those of the Latin stylists of Hadrian's own era.

*** Germinal. Émile Zola. 538 pages
The thirteenth novel in Émile Zola’s great Rougon-Macquart sequence, Germinal expresses outrage at the exploitation of the many by the few, but also shows humanity’s capacity for compassion and hope. Etienne Lantier, an unemployed railway worker, is a clever but uneducated young man with a dangerous temper. Forced to take a back-breaking job at Le Voreux mine when he cannot get other work, he discovers that his fellow miners are ill, hungry, and in debt, unable to feed and clothe their families. When conditions in the mining community deteriorate even further, Lantier finds himself leading a strike that could mean starvation or salvation for all.

Le petit prince, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. 123 pages
Imaginez-vous perdu dans le désert, loin de tout lieu habité, et face à un petit garçon tout blond, surgi de nulle part. Si de surcroît ce petit garçon vous demande avec insistance de dessiner un mouton, vous voilà plus qu'étonné ! À partir de là, vous n'aurez plus qu'une seule interrogation : savoir d'où vient cet étrange petit bonhomme et connaître son histoire. S'ouvre alors un monde étrange et poétique, peuplé de métaphores, décrit à travers les paroles d'un "petit prince" qui porte aussi sur notre monde à nous un regard tout neuf, empli de naïveté, de fraîcheur et de gravité. Très vite, vous découvrez d'étranges planètes, peuplées d'hommes d'affaires, de buveurs, de vaniteux, d'allumeurs de réverbères.

Vol de nuit, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. 71 pages
In this gripping novel, Saint-Exupéry tells about the brave men who piloted night mail planes from Patagonia, Chile, and Paraguay to Argentina in the early days of commercial aviation.

Pierre et Jean. Guy de Maupassant. 134 pages.
The fraternal love that Pierre Roland feels for his younger brother Jean has always been tinged with jealousy. But when a lawyer arrives at the house, to declare that an old family friend has bequeathed his entire fortune to Jean, this envy rapidly becomes an all-consuming force... This is a personal story of suspicion, jealousy and family love.

L’étranger. Albert Camus. 123 pages
Through the story of an ordinary man unwittingly drawn into a senseless murder on an Algerian beach, Camus explored what he termed "the nakedness of man faced with the absurd.".

Note: This is the book that everyone reads, but I think *** La peste (The Plague) is Camus’ real masterpiece.

I had mixed feelings about these:

Voyage au bout de la nuit. Louis-Ferdinand Céline. 505 pages
The story of the improbable yet convincingly described travels of the petit-bourgeois (and largely autobiographical) antihero, Bardamu, from the trenches of World War I, to the African jungle, to New York and Detroit, and finally to life as a failed doctor in Paris, takes the readers by the scruff and hurtles them toward the novel's inevitable, sad conclusion.

Note: Céline is a powerful writer, but he’s also a brutal misanthrope. This is the darkest, angriest, and just plain meanest book I’ve ever read.

La chartreuse de Parme. Stendhal. 506 pages
Stendhal narrates a young aristocrat's adventures in Napoleon's army and in the court of Parma, illuminating in the process the whole cloth of European history. As Balzac wrote, "Never before have the hearts of princes, ministers, courtiers, and women been depicted like sees perfection in every detail."

Note: I wanted to like Stendhal. I really did. But this novel jumps all over the place, and I lost interest half way through.

20.000 lieues sous les mers. Jules Verne. 394 pages
French naturalist Dr. Aronnax embarks on an expedition to hunt down a sea monster, only to discover instead the Nautilus, a remarkable submarine built by the enigmatic Captain Nemo. Together Nemo and Aronnax explore the underwater marvels, undergo a transcendent experience amongst the ruins of Atlantis, and plant a black flag at the South Pole. But Nemo's mission is one of revenge-and his methods coldly efficient

Note: Verne is fun enough to read, but he was paid by the word, and it shows. There are pages and pages where all he does is describe the colors of the fish he sees out the sub’s window. Also, the mystery of Nemo is not solved in this book. There’s a sequel for that.

More Verne: Michael Strogoff, Les forceurs de blocus, Le tour du monde en quatre-vingt jours .

Others on the zip drive; I haven’t read any of these yet:

La Dame aux Camelias. Alexandre Dumas (fils). 370 pages
One of the greatest love stories of all time, this novel has fascinated generations of readers. Dumas's subtle and moving portrait of a woman in love is based on his own love affair with one of the most desirable courtesans in Paris.

Le rouge et le noir. Stendhal. 448 pages
Handsome and ambitious, Julien Sorel is determined to rise above his humble peasant origins and make something of his life-by adopting the code of hypocrisy by which his society operates. Julien ultimately commits a crime-out of passion, principle, or insanity-that will bring about his downfall. The Red and the Black is a lively, satirical picture of French Restoration society after Waterloo, riddled with corruption, greed, and ennui.

Les liasons dangereuses. Choderlos de Laclos. 448 pages.
The complex moral ambiguities of seduction and revenge make Les Liaisons dangereuses (1782) one of the most scandalous and controversial novels in European literature. The subject of major film and stage adaptations, the novel's prime movers, the Vicomte de Valmont and the Marquise de Merteuil, form an unholy alliance and turn seduction into a game - a game which they must win.

The Count of Monte Christo. Alexandre Dumas (père). 1276 pages (!)
Thrown in prison for a crime he has not committed, Edmond Dantès is confined to the grim fortress of If. There he learns of a great hoard of treasure hidden on the Isle of Monte Cristo and he becomes determined not only to escape, but also to unearth the treasure and use it to plot the destruction of the three men responsible for his incarceration.

Notre-Dame de Paris (The Hunchback of Notre Dame).. Victor Hugo. 614 pages
In the vaulted Gothic towers of Notre-Dame lives Quasimodo, the hunchbacked bellringer. Mocked and shunned for his appearance, he is pitied only by Esmerelda, a beautiful gypsy dancer to whom he becomes completely devoted. Esmerelda, however, has also attracted the attention of the sinister archdeacon Claude Frollo, and when she rejects his lecherous approaches, Frollo hatches a plot to destroy her that only Quasimodo can prevent.

Note: Here’s your Hugo! My sister-in-law says this is one of her favorite books ever. I’ll need to get to it this year. Les Mis is great, and I hope you find a text, but consider this one too.

Suite française. Irène Némirovsky. 448 pages.
Beginning in Paris on the eve of the Nazi occupation in 1940. Suite Française tells the remarkable story of men and women thrown together in circumstances beyond their control. As Parisians flee the city, human folly surfaces in every imaginable way: a wealthy mother searches for sweets in a town without food; a couple is terrified at the thought of losing their jobs, even as their world begins to fall apart. Moving on to a provincial village now occupied by German soldiers, the locals must learn to coexist with the enemy—in their town, their homes, even in their hearts.

Note: Némirovsky wrote this while the events were occurring. She was killed in Auschwitz before the novel was finished. I read this in English, and it was riveting.

Others English > French texts:

Dracula, Dorian Gray, Murder on the Orient Express, Alice in Wonderland, 1984, Hound of the Baskervilees,

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Bonne lecteur!

Now if only someone had a similar collection for Italian … sarei molto felice.

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