Deb at Booking Through Thursday asks:
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?
If I did not read any foreign languages – or did not enjoy it – I would not be reading this question…!
I know it’s hard for many who have English as their first language to quite grasp – but there are actually quite a few of us using English daily on the internet, to whom English is in fact “foreign language” even if we use it fluently… :)
My first language is Swedish and I’ve lived all my life (57 years) in Sweden. I started learning English in school at age 10. I’ve been reading books in English since my early teens. I studied it at University. For a period of my life I also taught it to others.
But there’s also the fact that ever since the early days of television back in the 1960s, in this country we are used to hearing English daily, even though it is not our first language. We get all foreign films and TV series in the original language(s) with subtexts rather than dubbed (except some children’s programmes and films). And most of the foreign films and series that we get are English and American.
Besides Swedish and English I also know German well enough to be able to read books in it (I studied German at University too). Have to confess it does not happen very frequently though. We aren’t surrounded by the German language in the same way as with English. I’m not sure when I last read a whole book in German. Must be years ago. While I got really hooked on English classics during my University studies, I can’t say the same of German literature. I don’t own many German books. But I have one favourite, and that’s Michael Ende’s Die unendliche Geschichte (The Never-Ending Story) which I have read in the original a few times. Not just recently, though.
PS. I also know a little bit of French – studied it for five years at school – but don’t think I ever read a whole book in it. (Not in the last forty years anyway!) I also took Latin for two years in senior high school - but I try to avoid even mentioning that!! (as I remember so embarrassingly little…)