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What’s everyone reading?

 Language Learning Forum : Books, Literature & Reading Post Reply
177 messages over 23 pages: << Previous 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 ... 8 ... 22 23 Next >>
Levi
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United States
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Speaks: English*, French, Esperanto, German, Spanish
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 Message 57 of 177
23 November 2009 at 7:15pm | IP Logged 
Juan M. wrote:
I don't understand why people read books translated from languages they know into languages they're studying. There are many great books on physics and biology originally written in French. The brief but excellent introduction to quantum mechanics by Scarani is one I wish to read as soon as linguistically possible.

I'm sure there are plenty of great science books originally written in French. But I chose this book because I was particularly interested in it, having started but not finished it. I was going to read it anyways, so I figured I might as well get some language practice out of it, and bought the French translation. Also, since I already own the English version, I can quickly consult that if there's a technical term or something else I don't understand. I think this is particularly useful at this stage of my studies, where I am just starting to read in-depth scientific texts in French but still don't feel completely comfortable.

Plus I found a really good deal for the book online. Money is always a factor for me when deciding what to read. :)

Edited by Levi on 23 November 2009 at 7:32pm

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Iversen
Super Polyglot
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Denmark
berejst.dk
Joined 5384 days ago

9078 posts - 16472 votes 
Speaks: Danish*, French, English, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, Swedish, Esperanto, Romanian, Catalan
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 Message 58 of 177
23 November 2009 at 8:46pm | IP Logged 
I have visited the library today, and I returned with this loot (plus some CDs with classical music):

Oliver W.Sacks: a book about migraine (no, I don't suffer from headaches, but Sacks is a fascinating writer)
Barbro Thiel-Cramér: a book about Flamenco (in Swedish, - I would have preferred a book in Spanish about this subject)
Jeppe Aakjær: "Po fir glowend pæl" (On four glowing poles) - a book in the Jutish dialect (Danish) .... it is difficult to find anything new and any non fiction in dialect here
Rchard Wagner: Über das Dirigieren (in German) - I'll comment on this book in my log thread in a moment

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meramarina
Diglot
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United States
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 Message 59 of 177
23 November 2009 at 9:03pm | IP Logged 
Have you read the latest book from Dr. Sacks, Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain? I saw him lecture about it at the American Museum of Natural History in New York. He was very charming and passionate about his work, very much the same persona you meet on the page, and he signed my book! His autobiography Uncle Tungsten is also very good.

He write a little bit in Musicophilia it about the relationship of music to language.
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Iversen
Super Polyglot
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Denmark
berejst.dk
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 Message 60 of 177
23 November 2009 at 9:32pm | IP Logged 
No, I haven't seen this book yet, but after listening to the Musicophilia lecture I promptly reread the book about the hat - I have even painted it, but I won't clutter this thread with pictures (see my log thread). He has also written other books, including one about his broken leg and about people who disawow one of their body parts.



Edited by Iversen on 23 November 2009 at 9:56pm

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meramarina
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United States
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 Message 61 of 177
23 November 2009 at 9:41pm | IP Logged 
I would like to see your painting! Can you post it on your language log?

The online Musicophilia lecture is more or less the same talk I saw him give, minus the questions from the audience and a few impromptu comments. He mentioned that some of the patients he has written about in case studies were in the audience that night, but of course he didn't point them out in public.

I have another book on my to-be-read pile called This Is Your Brain on Music: The Science of a Human Obsession by Daniel J. Levitin. I'm looking forward to it but my to-be-read backlog is very long!

Edited by meramarina on 23 November 2009 at 9:42pm

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pohaku
Diglot
Senior Member
United States
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192 posts - 367 votes 
Speaks: English*, Persian
Studies: Arabic (classical), French, German, Mandarin, Japanese

 
 Message 62 of 177
23 November 2009 at 9:56pm | IP Logged 
I happen to be a native plant enthusiast here in Hawaii, with a particular interest in ferns and mosses. I was fascinated to learn that Oliver Sacks is also a fern-o-phile, and was friends with a fern friend of mine. Sacks wrote a book about a fern expedition to Mexico, which I avidly read.

I'm over halfway through Vis o Ramin, an 11th c. Persian romance narrative poem, in Persian. There's a recent English translation by Davis, but it's in verse and it just doesn't work. Vis and Ramin is a wonderful book, though, that would surely gain an audience with the right treatment. It would make a fantastic opera!

I'm just getting into Hesse's Gertrude, in German.

And my friend and I are working our way through Omar Khayyam's quatrains (ruba'i), in Persian, at the rate of about six or eight a week, as a bit of dessert after the main course of Vis o Ramin. This must be one of the few literary instances where both the original and the translation, by Fitzgerald, are wonderful in their own ways. And Omar's take on the world was very different from the other classical Persian writers whom I've read.
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Walshy
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Australia
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 Message 63 of 177
30 November 2009 at 4:31am | IP Logged 
Juan M. wrote:
I don't understand why people read books translated from languages they know into languages they're studying. There are many great books on physics and biology originally written in French. The brief but excellent introduction to quantum mechanics by Scarani is one I wish to read as soon as linguistically possible.


I'm doing this with Tolkien's books right now, in Spanish and German.

My reasons for doing so are:

- I have already read the material before in the original English, so I already have a good idea of what is written down in front of me, which enhances the context and thus the learning process.

- I don't find it at all boring or repetitive to read the material over and over in other languages. Even though I know everything about what happens in the books, my eroding interest in the material is more than made up for by the speed of learning and the ease of reading the foreign language material (whereas, when I'm still fairly poor in a language, it's a hard slog to get through unfamiliar material, but I can glide through material I'm already acquainted with it).

It's similar to the method that Harold Williams, the Kiwi polyglot, used to learn his many languages.

I agree that, when you area advanced enough, you should move on to native literature. With German for example, I'm also currently reading Siddhartha.

Edited by Walshy on 30 November 2009 at 4:35am

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tommus
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CanadaRegistered users can see my Skype Name
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 Message 64 of 177
30 November 2009 at 3:58pm | IP Logged 
Juan M. wrote:
I don't understand why people read books translated from languages they know into languages they're studying.

My reason is that, being at an intermediate level in my L2, I find that translated books are much easier to read than equivalent books in native L2. Generally speaking, I think that book translation normally results in a much more fundamental level of words, sentences and expressions. The translator is a "translator", not a flowery author. Thus the translated material probably contains a much higher percentage of useful L2 language.

Now, when I get to an advanced level, I will want to switch to more native-written books to further improve my L2, and to enjoy more of the culture of L2. Those are the ultimate goals, but to get there, I am more productive in material I can more easily understand and remember. And for books, that usually means translated books.



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