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Reading Harry Potter in a foreign language

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    (Original post by Ronove)
    I can't stand reading translated lit. I would really recommend finding some French stuff to read instead or at least in addition. I didn't do French at uni so can't help much but one oft-quoted easy place to start is Le petit prince. I thought it was overrated so I'm not recommending it but you get the idea. Candide is awesome, I read it in English but you could do so in French? You're more than likely going to have to read texts in second year (surely?) so you might as well set your sights a bit higher. It doesn't have to be Harry Potter to be interesting.
    I agree with this. As my father once told me. "The best way to read an author is in his own mother language."

    I'm in your situation (well, I'll start Uni this year) so I'm looking for french books to read. Right now I'm reading "La mécanique du coeur" and is being and entertaining book

    If you still want to get the Potter books then maybe amazon is a good option
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    (Original post by r4ndom)
    I agree with this. As my father once told me. "The best way to read an author is in his own mother language."
    Some translators are pretty good. In terms of comedy, in places the translation is sometimes funnier than the original. Seems a little hasty to rule them out. Some people will prefer the original; some will prefer the translation. I don't see why either is the 'best' choice.
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    I think the original is the best version because when you translate something you are always going to loose some nuances and some expressions.

    Even if the translation is very good, sometimes phrases and expressions have to be changed to make sense in other language.

    I'm not saying reading traslated books is bad or anything like that, just that if you can read them in VO it's better for the understanding of the book and the author's style

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    (Original post by Kolya)
    In terms of comedy, in places the translation is sometimes funnier than the original.
    Then you are not reading the same book, are you? You are not really reading what the author wanted to say.
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    (Original post by Kolya)
    Some translators are pretty good. In terms of comedy, in places the translation is sometimes funnier than the original. Seems a little hasty to rule them out. Some people will prefer the original; some will prefer the translation. I don't see why either is the 'best' choice.
    If we're talking about a classic that has had multiple translators like Crime and Punishment then fair enough. If you're capable of reading the original source language though then it would be folly to choose the translated version over it. And if the whole point is to learn a language I'd choose books that were originally written in that language every single time. It's the only way to make sure you get really authentic French/German/Spanish that hasn't in any way been coloured by the translation process.

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Updated: June 24, 2012
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