Anonymous asked in Arts & HumanitiesBooks & Authors · 2 months ago

Is there a non-religious book you've read from beginning to end in 2 or more languages, if so which one(s)?

6 Answers

  • 1 week ago

    Leading experts in literature

  • 1 month ago

    Yes, I've read three or four of Rosamund Pilcher's novels in both English and German.

    And I've read War and Peace in Russian, but only half of it in English.

  • 2 months ago

    Yes, An Italian in America by Beppe Severgnini and Ciao! America by the same author. They interested me because he lived in the US near where I grew up and I lived in Italy at the time I read them. It was interesting to compare/contrast experiences.

  • Zac Z
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    I'm German so I've encountered several books in my native language that I have since bought again in English.

    I still have to read some of them (again) but I've read the Chronicles of Narnia in English which I'd first read in German as a young teenager.

    I've also read "Ronia, the Robber's Daughter" in English (it was one of the first novels I've read in English) which I'd read in German before.

    I've read "The Little Prince" in French; I think I'd read it in German as a boy but my memory might trick me. It clearly is a book but a really short one so don't know if you'd want to count it anyway.

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  • Anonymous
    2 months ago

    Yes, a few.  The one that really got under my skin to do this was Peter Hoeg's "Smilla's Sense of Snow."  I was given it in English and read it as enjoyable enough pastime and didn't think much about it again until I saw it in a Swedish bookshop and thought to myself, "Oh, I've read that in English" and picked it up to look at.  Odd as it sounds, because I had read it as something to do on lunch breaks I hadn't really thought about it being a translation.  A few weeks later I picked it out in Swedish at the library to see what it was like "closer" to the original.  Unexpectedly it wasn't anywhere near as good as I'd recalled it to the point where I wouldn't have finished it if I'd picked it up in Swedish first.  I even went back to an English copy to check my memory and it WAS better in English.  A thing began to nag away at the back of my mind.  That "sense" for snow in Danish is "fornemmelse" which has a close cognate in Swedish "förnimmelse," and although they don't exactly map onto each other, as is so often the case between Scandinavian languages, here it fit the sense of the author exactly rather than the noun chosen by the Swedish translator, "känsla."  This REALLY began to bother me because it wasn't just that one word.  It was like the translator had gone out of their way to strip out any atmosphere whatsoever when atmosphere was the whole point of the novel.

    The only sensible thing to do was to read it in Danish and to my by then not great surprise and also great relief the original was closer to the English translation.  I should say that I read the Tiina Nunnaly translation.  I rate her highly as a translator for being able to carry across nuances of meaning.  There's also another English translation out there titled "Miss Smilla's Feeling for Snow."  I also read it in French during a period working in France when I wanted something to read during breaks that wouldn't break my concentration in French and I figured it wouldn't be too taxing because I already knew the plot.  Again, it's a different tale as the translator has to chose which sense of words to carry across when the multiple layers of meaning do not fit in the same thought constellations.  To refer to a translation problem from elsewhere you can see, for example, how the elaboration of images could carry off in different directions for "blindspot" vs "dead angle" even though if we were strictly speaking about driving they mean the same thing.  I can't read read Spanish bit I'm told by friends who do that this is a particular issue with translations South American dialects into English because the passive voice is used in a very specific way that translators seem to miss thus accidentally changing how characters are perceived.

  • 2 months ago

    Der Untergang, english and german

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