Thursday, March 29, 2012

It's a luxury to be understood

Where in the world have you been?!  Don't you care about us anymore!?

Of course I do and even if I wish I spent this last (gulp) month in the room above, I was in reality just busy with work studying and daily life.  I also recieved about 400 bills in five days, so it was touch and go for a bit.  Enough about me...How are you!!?

Wouldn't you love to lock yourself in the room above for a month with a steady supply of tea and see what happens?  I'm sure you'd discover some spectacular things.

This past month I haven't read so much as I've been tryingto finish my first Italian book cover to cover.  When I finished it on the train yesterday I was ready I was ready for a marching band to go off, but alas! no such thing happened.  I also discovered Gianricco Carofiglio isn't my favorite writter (of the "gialli" or mystery varietal) and found myself learning how to say things like 'ooze' 'stab' 'gash' etc etc, but it feels like an accomplishment nonetheless.

My parents, sister, brother, aunt and uncle are all coming next week and I'm so excited I can't even breath.  We're going to Tuscany and as I haven't really explored the country I've been living in for six months now, I'm even more thrilled!

Have you ever read a book in another language?  Could you understand all of it?  Was there a technique you used whilst reading it?  I'm so curious!!


CW said...

Lovely to hear from you!

To date, I've read novels in Spanish and in French. After emjoying Carlos Ruiz Zafon's "Shadow of the Wind" in English, I read his "Angel's Game" in Spanish, thinking I'd be in for a treat. I wasn't, but it was good language practice.
In French, I read Elsa Triolet's "Le Grand Jamais," and I am currently reading Andrei Makine's "Le Testament Francais."

My method is to read with a slip of paper (often doubling as my bookmark) and pencil in hand. I just jot down words or phrases I don't know, and look them up later.
I like to keep moving through the text to get the music and rhythm of the language, and of course the gist of the story.
It's just like reading my first "grown-up" novels when I was in elementary school.
I notice also that at the start of the book, my reading is halting, and I find myself wanting to look up every single word or form I'm not familiar with, but as I continue, the pace picks up, and soon I'm reading along at a comfortable rate, and only failing to understand a little bit here and there.

My question is how to choose which book to read. One hopes for something accessible, beautiful, inspiring, or at least entertaining, but it's so hard to know where to look.

anzelina said...

If only I could read Calvino in Italian - that should be your next try. And let me know how it is!

Florence said...

That's the most beautiful library-study I have ever seen...
Lucky, lucky you to be living in Italy! One day I shall do the same, I hope! Though it will take a while before I can read a whole book in Italian - congratulations!

DM said...

Good Golly, CW, my hats off to you!! I noticed the same pattern as you, and must try the scrap paper secret. And Shadow of the Wind is such a love of mine...but did you find Angel's Game as disappointing in Spanish as I did in English? Lovely to hear from you too!

Anzie, we read Marcovaldo in class but I fear it doesn't really count because it was in a group...but he's very accessable, I want to get his collection of Fiabe...

Florence, you must, and I think in the city of your namesake even more so! :)

Ruth said...

I read Amelie Nothomb's book Cosmetique_de_l'ennemi in French because it hadn't been translated. Each of her books appears to be so different from each other.

Jenna Schold said...

For about a year I read Bengali every Tuesday over garlic cheese pizza...long story. Give my love to Donnnnna and the rest!

DM said...

ruth-I have yet to discover Amelie Nothcomb, but after research I find she's a beligian so I'm already partial!

Jenners- how romantically ironically you! I'll give DMHM your love :)