In a previous post, Musings on objectives setting, I mentioned about reading:
I found that I am not that fast reader (in English and French and neither in Spanish!) nor all the books that I pick are that easy or short, so I linger every year around the 10 books.
In the second half of 2015 I was able to catch up with the objective by reading 2 books a month as intended. This demanded a rigorous approach, dedicating some time each night to reading (not that I didn’t enjoy it!).
I then reflected on the fact that of the last 8 books I read: 4 were in Spanish (plus 3 in English and 1 in French, a light novel by Saint-Exupéry). Did it help in that last reading rush that I read more books in Spanish than in 2014? In 2014 the mix of the books I read was 8 in English and 2 in Spanish. This reflection triggered the curiosity to find out the language mix of the books I read in the previous years, which I checked with the help of this blog (1). See below:
I do not speak many languages, thus I cannot read all the books I read in their original languages (e.g. “The diary of a young girl” or “Crime and Punishment” lately). However, I try to read books in their original language when the authors write in English, Spanish or French, with few exceptions (normally due to availability of a book). When I cannot read one in the original language, I assume that the different translations to the languages I understand are as good (2) and I normally chose the Spanish version to ease the reading.
Seeing the mix above, in the last 6 years I have read more than three times as many books in English than in Spanish. This was intentional, since over a decade ago, in order to keep learning, improving, and to exercise the mind (3). I considered that each book I read in English (or now in French) met two objectives in one: using a different language and reading. It is only now that I reflect that by pushing myself to this exercise I might be reading a bit less than I could if I read always in Spanish, but I am happy with the mix and I think I will keep up with that policy.
I wonder whether you have similar reading language mixes or policies, feel free to comment below if you like.
(1) Either in a specific post about each year’s personal reading list or in the personal summary of each year provided some info of the books I read. However, in 2011 and 2010 I relied on a then available feature of LinkedIn which enabled you to track and comment books read, not active anymore. I retrieved some info of what books I read in those years via the book reviews I made in the blog but I was not able to retrieve all books from 2010 (over a dozen vs 11 I am able to track now).
(2) This may be a bold assumption, but I never go that far as to knowing or researching about how good translators are (may be I should!).
(3) Similar reasons are behind the fact of writing most of the posts in the blog in English: exercising, learning and improving, plus reaching a much wider audience (including foreign in-laws and friends).
4 responses to “Reading language”
Pingback: Reading format | The Blog by Javier
Pingback: Reading language and format (2016 update) | The Blog by Javier
Pingback: Reading language and format (2017 update) | The Blog by Javier
Pingback: Reading language, format and age of books (2018 update) | The Blog by Javier