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Because I want to

February 15, 2012

Currently reading Gustave Flaubert‘s Dictionnaire des Idées Reçues, via Project Gutenberg. I came across it from a reference in a piece I was translating for someone else, was intrigued, and am really enjoying it. I amn’t going to do a review of it here, because that would be better suited to my other (neglected) blog. The point is, I’m reading it because I want to, and because it’s originally in French, that’s the language I’m reading it in.

Cover of I, Robot in Hebrew, from Wikipedia

Cover of I, Robot in Hebrew, from Wikipedia

That’s my aim and ideal for reading and speaking in all of my languages, but to get there in the others, I have to push myself.  I’m supposedly reading the Hebrew version of I, Robot by Isaac Asimov (I have previously read and enjoyed the original English) but it’s not calling me, probably because I’ve never really been all that keen on reading translations. People keep telling me how helpful it is to know the story and character names and thus be able to focus on reading in the given language, and I definitely appreciated that for two or three pages, but for me, a large part of the incentive to learn any language is to read its literature in the original. Reading a translation from English feels like an exercise, and I’m just not in the mood. Don’t get me wrong – I do think it’s a great technique; I just don’t think it’s for me, at least right now.

Image representing Google News as depicted in ...

Image via CrunchBase

Oh well, it really shouldn’t be hard to find some original material in modern Hebrew, and in the meantime I can stick to shorter non-fiction pieces. Yesterday I was directed to Google News, and its facility for gathering articles from all over the world in many different languages, and just a few days ago I was reading food processor reviews on Zap, the local price comparison site, since we are, in fact, looking to buy a food processor locally. I’ve been reading news articles in French and German too, looking on the relevant (sub-)sites for the given language, but choosing the articles I’m interested in. I’m not in school any more, and will read what I want to, when I want to.

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