Booking Through Thursday – Language

I saw a Latin edition of “The Hobbit” last time I was at the bookstore… Do you read any foreign languages? Do you ENJOY reading in other languages?BTT

Yes, I do read in French, and I aim to read one French book a year. My French is not fluent, and it is actually my third language. I can only read in two of three languages that I speak (also with varying influence). I do enjoy reading in other languages and languages in general, but when I read in French, it is often slow because I often have to stop, reread, or look a word up in the dictionary. I talked to another Anglophone who reads in French and we both commiserated that reading in French sometimes feels like watching the events of the book through a screen. I do think I did a little better this past holiday with Bel-Ami, but that’s probably because I often read some of the English chapters afterwards.

I definitely think reading in another language not only keeps up your skills in it, but also challenges your brain. Reading is a good mental exercise after all.

How about you?


  • Wendy Lohr

    That’s a very good observation. I hadn’t really thought about how reading in another language does challenge your brain and gives it a good mental exercise. I may have to consider doing what you’re doing and reading one book in another language (probably Spanish) once a year.

    Here’s my BTT Post!

    Wendy @ Wendy’s Musings

    • athena

      Hi Wendy! I’m not sure what the benefits of it, but I do feel my brain working harder in another language. I have been bad some years, but making an effort is still. Thanks for the comment!

  • Geoff W

    I can read in Spanish and French, but only at a much younger level. I’ve never tried to read a Classic or adult geared novel, but have read a couple of young adult novels and those always stretch my knowledge. I want to start trying to read again in both languages, but it turns it from leisure into work.

    • athena

      Hi Geoff! I know what you mean about it being almost like work. It takes me about 5x to read a French novel than it does an English novel. I have to reread it often to get the full meaning and look things up in the dictionary. A mulilingual friend of mine who knows four languages is reading foreign language books that have been translated from their original language because usually translations are easier to understand allegedly. Bonne Chance!

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