Monday, December 6

Dual language reading

I'm usually not the type to read novels. Most of the material I do read is academic in nature — non-fiction rather than fiction. I do make exceptions, however, though in order for me to take interest in any sort of fiction writing, it has to be in a foreign language. Killing two birds with one stone, if you will — the first objective is to get some practice in the target language; enjoying the story is a secondary effect, but a good plot is always welcomed.

My latest venture in the world of fantasy reading involves a well-known story: Harry Potter.

Why Harry Potter of all things, you may ask? The answer is simple. One, I have never watched any of the Harry Potter movies nor read any of the books. Number two, most importantly, it is one of the few books readily available in a number of languages. You see, the dual language reading I've been doing does not involve English at all — I am reading Harry Potter in Romanian and in Latin.


I began with the Latin translation, then, after the third chapter, I obtained the Romanian version. What I'm doing is that if I don't understand a given word or expression in one of these languages, instead of grabbing the dictionary, I'll simply read the same passage in the other book; this way, I am improving both my Latin and my Romanian, expanding my vocabulary on both.

In actuality, I'll read one or two chapters in Latin, for instance, then, I'll read the same chapters in Romanian. It is truly an interesting experience, and I look forward to continuing this practice with other books I can find in two languages like this one. Perhaps, the second Harry Potter book whose translations are also easily obtainable, including the Latin one. In essence, I would've never had anything to do with the famous Mr. Potter, had he not become such an international sensation that some of the books were even translated into Latin, because the English version would've never touched my hands.

Call it sadistic, if you may, but when you're a genuine Romance language lover, these kinds of things make you climax are more interesting than reading the newspaper in the morning or watching American Idol every Tuesday night.

Excerpt from chapter 1, Latin

Excerpt from chapter 1, Romanian


Cong said...

sadistic, indeed :P but very interesting!!

miscellaneous11 said...

Hmmm ... well, that's quite interesting. This is the first time i encounter myself with an experience like this, and by this i mean: an across-Atlantic-stranger willing to learn Romanian ! And not only willing, but actually writing it flawlessly, i may say. I discovered your blog a few minutes ago and i must admit i am truly impressed. :) Well done and "succes în continuare” !
Anyway, sticking to the subject, have you also read Harry Potter in English ? The reason why I am asking you is because i'm interested if you could make a comparison between them, if Romanian creates a more magical or funnier atmosphere than in the original book.
Also, did you read or are you reading for the moment only the first volume ? Because, in order to answer to my little request listed above, you need to have already read all the books. So ... nice "meeting" you, Filius Lunae, nice hobby you have there, i'll definitely stop by from time to time.

P.S. I don't think you need this anymore, but just in case you need some support in Romanian or help with anything, i am more than available for questions. :) Have a nice daaaay !

Filius Lunae said...

Așa. Mersi.

Nu, n-am citit niciodată cartea în engleză, numai în latină și română, după cum ai citit pe aici.

Și eu o să citesc blogul tău ca să văd cum e. :)

Mai vorbim.

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