Hey guys! I am slowly getting back to blogging again and this subject has been on my mind a lot lately, since I have read a lot of translated books. My library doesn’t have a big English section unfortunately. And reading in my native language… It’s not something I like.

Why you ask? Lots of reasons, like loving the English language more than my own language. But also:

I love to read books in their original language

As someone who loves writing (I can’t call myself a writer) I know language is important. The way you write something down, the words you choose, it matters! And since I mostly read books written by English-speaking authors, I like to read the book in English. That way, I read the book the way the author meant it, if you know what I mean.

That brings me to the next point…

Translations annoy me a lot

I’m pretty fluent in English. I guess that has something to do with my exchange year to the US after high school. I sometimes think and dream in English. Sometimes I can’t remember the Dutch word for something, but I do remember the English word. And sometimes, I automatically translate stuff in my head.

Especially when I’m reading a translated book.

And especially when the sentence in Dutch is weird, or if a word is not translated well. I know it sounds petty, but I get so annoyed at wrong translations. It makes me enjoy the book less. (I have the same feeling when the subtitles are wrong, so I always watch shows and movies with English subtitles)

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Dutch books are… just not it

I wanted to say are not great, but I haven’t read all the books so I can’t judge. But the books I have read that are from Dutch authors, weren’t giving me the same feelings as English books do.

I can’t lose myself in a book that’s set in Amsterdam, because I’m there everyday (well, not anymore, since Covid-19). I can’t believe the things that happen – Like romantically meeting up somewhere, or shady business going down at work – because those things don’t happen in the Netherlands. Or at least not in my version of the Netherlands.

And from what I’ve read, Dutch authors love to use a lot of describing details and exaggerated images. It’s all a bit over the top. Which also makes it harder to believe sometimes because then I think: Who really talks like that?

Also read: My first experience with audiobooks

In conclusion

I try to read as much English books as I can, but sometimes I find it more important to just read the book already, than to wait or spend a lot of money on it to read it in English.

If English isn’t your first language, do you read books in your native language? Why, or why not?