Tuesday, November 22, 2022

let's polish up this list, me old dutch

Obviously I can't leave that link at the bottom of the last book post hanging, so here's an updated version of the list in that 2015 post about novels originally written in other languages, and read, by me, just to be absolutely clear, in English translations. I think the only novel I've read any substantial amount of in another language was Le Grand Meaulnes which I was required to have a crack at in about 1986 as part of the AO Level French syllabus (and as you can see below I cheated a bit by having an English copy to hand as well). As an aside, even if your spoken/written French is reasonably good, as mine was, the bar to reading novels in French is fairly high owing to the sudden lobbing-in of a whole new tense (almost never used in colloquial French) and associated verb forms that you have to get to grips with. 

Anyway, the main thing to note here is that the two most prominent European languages that were missing (and which I specifically mentioned in the previous post) are now ticked off: Polish by Solaris and Dutch by The Dinner. There are still a few more obscure European languages omitted, most notably Finnish, Romanian and Bulgarian, but there is a lower probability of coming across one of those on a random browse through a second-hand bookshop. I'm taking the view here that my reading of some of the Moomin books with Alys doesn't count, especially since the bare minimum of research after writing the first half of this sentence reveals that while Tove Jansson was Finnish the Moomin books were actually written in Swedish.

No comments: