Although I am German I enjoy reading in English a lot more. I don’t even know why. The only books I read in German now are those I actually have to read for university or if I decide to reread something of which I only own the German edition (aka books a read when I was about 14 years old).
Because of that I decided to list some pros and cons about reading in a foreign language.
Reasons Why I Like Reading in English
- Your language skills get a lot better. When I first started reading in English I really wasn’t that good when it came to the language. I had to look up some words and had problems understanding some of the main points. Now reading in English has become so natural to me I wouldn’t want to have it any other way.
- The wait for a new book isn’t as long. In Germany it sometimes takes so long for a book to be translated into German. It can get pretty annoying. For example, I love the Lux series by Jennifer L. Armentrout and when the fifth and last book in the series finally came out I think only the first three books were out in German. Since I only read in English nowadays I don’t have that problem anymore. I can just pre-order the book on Amazon and am able to read it right when it comes out.
- The words you read were actually written by the author. Of course this only includes books that were originally published in English. As I read probably only books by English speaking authors I know exactly what the author wanted to say. When something gets translated some things could get another meaning. As I had some courses in university on translating I know how hard it get be to do it the right way. I also know that those who do translate books know what they are doing but even they cannot know what every word in that particular book means. Also, funny lines can get bad when it doesn’t work in the German language.
- English books are way cheaper. Like seriously, when I look on Amazon the German copy is always more expensive. Especially when it come to eBooks, the English ones are so much cheaper. For a German edition you sometimes have to pay around 10 Euro while the English copy is only about 4 Euro. Since I am a student I don’t have that much money for all the books I want to get and that makes English books even more appealing to me.
Annoying Things About Reading in English or Any Other Foreign Language
- You mostly have to order books online. I personally love to go to the bookstore and just stay there for hours browsing through all the shelves. But here in Germany the usual bookshops only have a very small selection when it comes to foreign languages. In my city for example there are about 4 shelves for English books and then one shelf for other ones such as french, turkish or russian. I get that there aren’t that many people who read in a foreign language but it can still get really annoying.
In Munich for example, there is a english second-hand bookshop. Saldy, I don’t live there but only go there about twice a year to visit family. But everytime I’m there I at least go to that bookshop once. But again, shops like that aren’t really common here. At least I don’t know fo any in my area.
- I kind of neglect my mother tongue aka German. I already mentioned that I only read in English above. I’m not really interested in reading something in German anymore since I kind of like the English language at often times more. That makes me kind of sad and I actually get annoyed with myself since there are so many German authors I probably would like but I wouldn’t like how it is written. My problem with the German language when it comes to stories is that for me (and I really don’t know why) everything because automatically even more cheesy. I seriously don’t know why but I cannot get it out of my head. Obviously this is rather personal and I don’t think I know anybody else who thinks that way.
- I cannot talk with anybody about what book I’m reading. At least when it comes to my German friends. Besides my friends don’t really liking reading (yeah, don’t ask me why) when they actually do they aren’t as far as I am since they only read in German. I already mentioned that most books take some time to be translated, which makes perfectly sense, but still, it can get annoying. But fortunately there is the internet where I am able to talk about books with people all around the world.
So those were some aspects that came to my mind when it comes to reading in a foreign language. Are there any other people out there reading in another language than there mother tounge? And if so, what are some things that you like about it and what annoys you about it? Let me know.