Talk about reading outside your comfort zone. Some people are Young Adult readers and rarely wander outside their favorite genre. Same for fantasy devotees who stick to their favorite stories, rather than read something “outside the comfort zone.” And we know some contemporary lit folks who squirm at genre fiction.
We can understand finding that niche and sticking with it. Nothing wrong with that.
We’re talking about really reading outside your comfort zone- reading a language not your first.
Now maybe you are fluent in one or two languages, reading a book in a foreign language is no sweat. Yet we can recall struggling through some Italian and Spanish language books back in the day with the barest of language training. One of the team picked up some pigeon Arabic in college, tried to read some works in that tongue, with little success.
Since the rise of Scandinavian crime fiction, we’re seeing more once foreign and inaccessible books ending up in translation, so our options have widened. But, is there an author that you’ve heard great things about and wanted to read but could not because you didn’t have the linguistic training?
One example of a book we wish we could take a stab at is the original Planet of the Apes, or as it’s known in its parent tongue La Planète des Singes by Piere Boulle. If we had an itch or two more French we’d grab the source.
So, what is your favorite foreign language book? Or, have you ever undertaken a read in a language not your own. And did you fail or succeed?