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Old 24th December 2009, 12:11 AM   #41
GabrielDeManila
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Originally Posted by Londoner_at_heart View Post
Apart from a general awkward feel to the language (it just doesn't flow, feels staged), there are literal translations that are just wrong.

<snip>

Awkwardness is more pronounced in dialogues. People just speak in a different way in Spanish. No one would say 'oh, sí, todos estaban de fiesta, de acuerdo', even if it's gramatically correct.
That is a very interesting point. So, is this just a problem with books translated from English? How about books translated from Portuguese? Would the close similarity between the two languages make it more compatible? How about other romance languages like Italian, French and Catalán?


And back to the topic of books, would any of you know of any popular Sci-fi or fantasy Spanish books or Spanish authors? I mean books like Harry Potter, or authors like Stephen King, Michael Crichton and Ray Bradbury. That's more my thing.
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Old 27th December 2009, 04:20 PM   #42
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I am with you. I would like some simple childrens books that has the english translation handy, but where you can not cheat. Did you find anything like that yet
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Old 27th December 2009, 06:49 PM   #43
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I'm a bit suprised when I read your comments abour translated books. When I read books translated into swedish I very seldom see these problems. But here it is often swedish authors who also do translations. People who know our own language by heart. Are you saying it isn't like that in other countries. International bestsellers are never badly translated here.
Does anyone know if there are any good detective stories written by spanich authors, prefierably from Spain? To make it easier for me I focus on spanish from Spain. I like the idea with a joint reading of a book. But I'm so picky When I read I want to be entertained. I want a book that hook me or I will not finish it in spanish.
My favourite is Lorenzo Silva. He will not have his books translated into English for some reason, but some of them have been translated into German, Italian and French. Also Domingo Villar has got a couple of books, Ojos de agua y La playa de los ahogados
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Old 28th December 2009, 02:50 PM   #44
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That is a very interesting point. So, is this just a problem with books translated from English? How about books translated from Portuguese? Would the close similarity between the two languages make it more compatible? How about other romance languages like Italian, French and Catalán?
Good question. I think you can come across bad translations from just about any language, but it might be more frequent when the translation is from a rather different language. There might be other factors like the number of good translators available -i mean, until a few decades ago, traditionally everyone learnt French as a second language in Spain rather than English. It might also be te case that it's easier for me to identify bad translations from English because i am used to reading in English and recognise false friends, English gramatical constructions and idioms, like in the Harry Potter examples. I do remember reading J. M. Auel's books translated from French into Spanish and wishing I could read French and spare myself the painful translation. I've read books translated from many other languages, some more skillfully done than others. But i do believe you always miss something in the translation. How i wish i could read every book in it's original language... But since it's not posible, at least i make sure i do not read translations from English into Spanish nor from Spanish into English.

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Originally Posted by GabrielDeManila View Post
And back to the topic of books, would any of you know of any popular Sci-fi or fantasy Spanish books or Spanish authors? I mean books like Harry Potter, or authors like Stephen King, Michael Crichton and Ray Bradbury. That's more my thing.
And yet another good question. I can't remember any good Sci-fi or fantasy Spanish authors. When I was a kid I was into Michael Ende's books, but he's German. Let me have a think about that...

As for best sellers such a Michael Crichton, try Arturo Pérez Reverte o the mega famous novel 'La sombra del viento', although to be honest this genre is not my cup of tea so I'm sure other foreros' opinions will be much more helpful.

Last edited by Londoner_at_heart; 28th December 2009 at 02:59 PM. Reason: Typos!
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Old 28th December 2009, 03:08 PM   #45
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I am with you. I would like some simple childrens books that has the english translation handy, but where you can not cheat. Did you find anything like that yet
Spanish books for kids that I remember enjoying (no idea re availability of English translations):

'Veva y el mar' and the rest of the 'Veva' series. Again, writen from a baby's point of view, but a very small one. Kind of like the movie 'Look who's talking'.
'El polizón del Ulises' by Ana María Matute.
I've already mentioned 'Manolito Gafotas' by Elvira Lindo.

I don't remember many more Spanish ones... I'm afraid I wasn't that much into books for children or fantasy as a kid, I enjoy them more now as a grown up and after Harry Potter the stakes are quite high But happy to explore with you guys!
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Old 29th December 2009, 01:17 AM   #46
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And back to the topic of books, would any of you know of any popular Sci-fi or fantasy Spanish books or Spanish authors? I mean books like Harry Potter, or authors like Stephen King, Michael Crichton and Ray Bradbury. That's more my thing.
Well, I have not read Stephen King or Michael Crichton, so not sure what they are about. Now then, Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451. I read it many years ago and I think every book loving reader should read it. Very distressing, very distressing.

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And yet another good question. I can't remember any good Sci-fi or fantasy Spanish authors. When I was a kid I was into Michael Ende's books, but he's German. Let me have a think about that...

As for best sellers such a Michael Crichton, try Arturo Pérez Reverte o the mega famous novel 'La sombra del viento', although to be honest this genre is not my cup of tea so I'm sure other foreros' opinions will be much more helpful.
I can't think either of any Sci-fi in Spanish, not my cup of tea, either.

Arturo Pérez Reverte: La tabla de Flandes(The Flanders panel) and La piel del tambor (The Seville communion). Those are the ones I like best. The only one of his I have not read of his fiction is La reina del sur.

Another - I suppose - best seller which is not bad is La Catedral del Mar, by Ildefonso Falcones.
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Old 29th December 2009, 10:03 AM   #47
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Arturo Pérez Reverte: La tabla de Flandes(The Flanders panel) and La piel del tambor (The Seville communion). Those are the ones I like best. The only one of his I have not read of his fiction is La reina del sur.
For me, "La reina del sur" is Pérez Reverte's best book so far. About drug-running, it is very modern and realistic and set in the Costa del Sol area I know well. It is far better than the pretentious Alatriste series or his more recent novels, and his "Día de cólera" is just a boring series of lists of people involved.
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Old 29th December 2009, 05:18 PM   #48
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For me, "La reina del sur" is Pérez Reverte's best book so far. About drug-running, it is very modern and realistic and set in the Costa del Sol area I know well. It is far better than the pretentious Alatriste series or his more recent novels, and his "Día de cólera" is just a boring series of lists of people involved.
I have not read it on purpose. Have to deal with far too many drug related problems at work to want to read about that sort of thing.
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Old 31st December 2009, 03:42 PM   #49
Jane Wylen
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Default How to use literature to learn Spanish (and French)

Several years ago, I started reading French literature to learn French. Phew! It took perseverance and patience, but it worked. My technique was to underline every word I did not know, and look it up in a French-to-French dictionary.

At first I had to look up gobs of words. Now there are always words I do not know, but I can figure out their meaning from the context.

Obviously the same method can be used with Spanish. Therefore, I appreciate the suggestions posted by the creator of this thread. I have also found books by Isabel Allende easier reading than other Spanish books I have picked up.

Another tip: You can download classical French literature from Scribd. I assume you can do the same with Spanish literature.
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Old 1st January 2010, 02:30 AM   #50
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Ok, ok, you may read your books... :P

But just to give you an example of what we mean. Apart from a general awkward feel to the language (it just doesn't flow, feels staged), there are literal translations that are just wrong. See a couple in Harry Potter's first chapter:
One thing about the Harry Potter books, they have all been translated in a tearing hurry, it seems to me, which probably increases the error rate. Also it's worth noting that (at least for the later books) there is not just one authorized translation, there are in fact several--as many as three, methinks, one to Iberian spanish, one to what is probably Mexican spanish, and one to rioplatense spanish. Here in the US we get the mexican spanish version if we order it from Amazon. It may very well be, also, that the original Harry Potter book was worse translated than subsequent ones, for the simple reason that the Potter phenomenon had not built to such large proportions.

It's also true that they "translate" the original into N American english for the US market, so as not to present readers with those unfamiliar british english words--a practice I personally despise and ridicule.

I have read most of the Potter books in spanish translation, and I am sorry to confess that I did not notice the awkwardnesses. A genuine spanish-speaker sensibility takes a long time to develop...
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Old 1st January 2010, 02:43 AM   #51
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I have not read it on purpose. Have to deal with far too many drug related problems at work to want to read about that sort of thing.
For those of you who do not have to deal with drug addiction at work, I can second the recommendation for La Reina del sur, for me the most compulsively readable of Pérez-Reverte´s non-Alatriste novels.

Regarding the Alatriste novels, I have actually read all but one of them, the last, where I bogged down, perhaps too much of a good thing...generally I found them good yarns, although the archaic or pseudo-archaic spanish does take a little getting used to (they are siglo-de-oro sword-and-battle stories, think "three musketeers").

Last edited by xan; 1st January 2010 at 03:18 AM.
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Old 2nd January 2010, 12:32 PM   #52
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Hey guys, recently i have started reading from spanish books for at least an hour a day, at first i just read the books quietly to my self, they got more easy to read after a while but then i thought it would be better to read the books out loud.. haha.. it was twice as hard to do..!! reading and pronouncing at the same was so so hard for me to do.. but after 3 to 4 days reading out loud it started to get more easy and my pronounciation started getting better and better, i still make loads of mistakes with the words but i just go over them again and again.! I dont really understand what i am reading at the moment but every now and again i think yeah i understood that verse or section. I dont use a dicionary i just read and read but little by little the words [ in context ] are becoming more understandable. So i have a question for you guys: Does reading in spanish help you construct the sentences better when your talking in spanish in a conversation..? do the construction of the phrases/sentences in the book eventually transfer in to the mind for talking good spanish later..? What do you guys think..? any advice would be great..!!!

muchas gracias..
I agree with everything you said. It is alot harder to read outloud. When i read out loud i am not concrentrating on what the words or frases mean just trying to say it right.

As for sentencing im not really sure. It could help you to order the sentancing properly, but for me i usually tend to say the things translated perfectly from english which doesn't really make sense.

So wether or not you can get better it certainly won't hurt.
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Old 2nd January 2010, 01:01 PM   #53
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Originally Posted by Londoner_at_heart View Post
As for best sellers such a Michael Crichton, try Arturo Pérez Reverte o the mega famous novel 'La sombra del viento', although to be honest this genre is not my cup of tea so I'm sure other foreros' opinions will be much more helpful.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pippa View Post
Arturo Pérez Reverte: La tabla de Flandes(The Flanders panel) and La piel del tambor (The Seville communion). Those are the ones I like best. The only one of his I have not read of his fiction is La reina del sur.

Another - I suppose - best seller which is not bad is La Catedral del Mar, by Ildefonso Falcones.
Thanks for the suggestions, guys. I've started looking into Arturo Pérez Reverte's books. It does seem like my kind of author. I'll have a look at Ildefonso Falcones's book later.
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Old 4th January 2010, 12:10 PM   #54
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One thing about the Harry Potter books, they have all been translated in a tearing hurry, it seems to me, which probably increases the error rate. [...] It may very well be, also, that the original Harry Potter book was worse translated than subsequent ones, for the simple reason that the Potter phenomenon had not built to such large proportions.
True. I've only read the first one in Spanish. The one I have is published by Salamandra, 30th edition, hardcover, translated by Alicia Dellepiane.

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Originally Posted by xan View Post
Also it's worth noting that (at least for the later books) there is not just one authorized translation, there are in fact several--as many as three, methinks, one to Iberian spanish, one to what is probably Mexican spanish, and one to rioplatense spanish. Here in the US we get the mexican spanish version if we order it from Amazon. [...]

It's also true that they "translate" the original into N American english for the US market, so as not to present readers with those unfamiliar british english words--a practice I personally despise and ridicule.
I didn't know any of this! Interesting that about the different Spanish versions.

Regarding different English versions of English-language books... shocking. At least when it comes to books here in Spain we haven't gone down the "dubbing" route. Imagine reading Gabriel García Márquez "translated" into Spain's Castillian! ¡Sacrilegio!

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I have read most of the Potter books in spanish translation, and I am sorry to confess that I did not notice the awkwardnesses. A genuine spanish-speaker sensibility takes a long time to develop...
It sure does. When I first arrived in London I couldn't for the life of me tell the difference between accents. Not American, British, Scottish... I still struggle with South African / Australian / Kiwi. And I've come to accept I'll never manage American vs. Canadian, ever.

Last edited by Londoner_at_heart; 4th January 2010 at 12:12 PM.
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Old 4th January 2010, 06:38 PM   #55
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Originally Posted by JohnlearningSpanish View Post
I agree with everything you said. It is alot harder to read outloud. When i read out loud i am not concrentrating on what the words or frases mean just trying to say it right.

As for sentencing im not really sure. It could help you to order the sentancing properly, but for me i usually tend to say the things translated perfectly from english which doesn't really make sense.

So wether or not you can get better it certainly won't hurt.
JohnlearningSpanish, your right in what you say, its hard to try an understand the spanish story while your reading it out loud. What i have started doing is picking like 12 pages of a story and reading it to my self then reading the same 12 pages out loud for the pronounciation, i am getting the best from both ways then. I try to read and pronounce every single word when i read spanish, i have read somewhere on the net that when people read anything from there native language they dont actually read the in between words because the brain fills those gaps in and they automatically understand what's written in the story..! so when learning another language they say to read every single word.

cheers..
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Old 4th January 2010, 09:28 PM   #56
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Maybe not right place, but I will say, I use the same book on both Spanis and English/Croatian and read it at the same time.
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Old 5th January 2010, 08:44 PM   #57
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One thing about the Harry Potter books, they have all been translated in a tearing hurry, it seems to me, which probably increases the error rate. Also it's worth noting that (at least for the later books) there is not just one authorized translation, there are in fact several--as many as three, methinks, one to Iberian spanish, one to what is probably Mexican spanish, and one to rioplatense spanish. Here in the US we get the mexican spanish version if we order it from Amazon. It may very well be, also, that the original Harry Potter book was worse translated than subsequent ones, for the simple reason that the Potter phenomenon had not built to such large proportions.
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Originally Posted by Londoner_at_heart View Post
True. I've only read the first one in Spanish. The one I have is published by Salamandra, 30th edition, hardcover, translated by Alicia Dellepiane.
Esto es lo que dice esta página del sitio www.HarryLatino.com:

Las primeras ediciones en español se encontraban plagadas de errores, nombres sin traducir y vocabulario que variaba según el tomo. Esto se resolvió cuando la traductora María José Murgiondo unificó los criterios de vocaubulario de los cuatro primeros libros y los adaptó al castellano rioplatense.

Y también:

Fue el único ejemplar traducido por Alicia Dellepiane quien realizó una traducción poco precisa. Más tarde, la traductora se reivindicó ante los fans ante la excelente traducción de Quidditch A Través de los Tiempos y de Animales Fantásticos y Dónde Encontrarlos.
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Old 17th January 2010, 04:51 PM   #58
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Well, I've finished Cometas en el cielo (excellent) and my copy of El Principe Destronado has arrived. Are we still planning on reading that or something together, or shall I start on the Harry Potter??!!!!
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Old 12th March 2010, 09:16 AM   #59
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Default Sad day... Miguel Delibes has passed away

Dear all,

apologies for having disappeared on you, it's been a busy couple of months...

Today the great Miguel Delibes has passed away. I suggest that we read El Príncipe Destronado (if you haven't read it yet... Jubilee?) as a tribute.

Anyone up for it?
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Old 12th March 2010, 11:19 AM   #60
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Default Beginners books

Hola,

As a beginner I really like to read Spanish but understand little of the newspapers and many books.
Do you know of any kids books, like learn to read ones that maybe Spanish speaking kids use in school. Find the ones with pictures pretty good and simple sentences help alot.
Just good for a starting point for us new speakers
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