(EN) Bookending Summer: Reading in your native language versus reading in English

Posted July 30, 2019 by Laurie in BESummer2019, Bookend Events / 1 Comment

Welcome back, today is day 2 of me being your Bookending Summer host. Today we are going to have a discussion post. Here in the Netherlands, the following question rises often: “Do you read in Dutch or English and why? What is better to do?” These discussions start every so often, so it’s time to write your own opinion about reading in your native language versus reading in English once and for all.

Discuss the reasons why you are reading in either your native language or in both your native language and/or English. What are the pros and cons of reading in multiple languages? If English is your native language, what are, according to you, the pros and cons of reading in one language (English)?

I read in both Dutch and English, but I tend to read more in English these days. This has several reasons. First, Dutch publishers stop translating a series or don’t pick out a brilliant gem to translate. I have had a few recent examples of series which won’t be translated anymore for the final book. Second, English books are SO MUCH cheaper. In the Netherlands, we have set prices for books and paperbacks are like €21,99 and ebooks €9,99 or even €12,99. English books are like half the price (although ebooks are not that much cheaper these days), so many people, especially adolescents, tend to read in English. Furthermore, we learn English in school starting at a young age, so many people overhere have a great fluency in the language. However, that is a con for reading in English, because the more people read in English, the less Dutch books get sold, the lower the chances of getting books translated.

Nevertheless, there are readers whose English is not that fluent to read books in English and they will miss out on books. When publishers stop translating, these readers cannot finish a series or might have very very limited access to books in the (near?) future. So, this is a pro for reading in my native language, to support publishers. Another pro is that some books are quite complicated in English. I will set Strange The Dreamer by Laini Taylor as an example. I read this book in English and Taylor’s writing is absolutely magical, but therefore a bit complicated and tricky. I didn’t understand like half of the book. When I heard this book was being translated, I couldn’t wait to read it in Dutch, my native language. A three-star rating went up to a five-star rating, so you see what reading in your native language could do to the undertanding and rating of a book. However, Taylor’s other series, Daughter of Smoke and bone, never got its final book translated. There comes the pro for reading in English again. It’s a vicious circle which is very hard to break. Well, Muse of Nightmares will be translated in October this year and I’m absolutely going to buy it in Dutch, although I couldn’t resist the English kindle deal for €0,99 earlier this month. I will read this one in both Dutch and English because gah it’s so beautiful!

As I did my studies in English, I find it important to keep up with my reading. Therefore, I also read English books. However, keeping up with your native language is also necessary, so I try to balance it out a bit. Most of my collection is still Dutch, but English is slowly but surely taking over. The most important is that you enjoy reading and do so in whatever language you want, whether it’s your native language, English or both.

What do you think about reading in your own language vs. reading in English? Tomorrow I wil be back for the final prompt of this awesome event and let’s all start crying over our TBR. Tomorrow I will list my most anticipated books of the upcoming months! Trust me, you want to add some of these and maybe even pre-order them.

Have you participated in Bookending Summer, as host, as blogger or just for the #Tidyathon? Please fill out this feedback form!


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