May 24, 2007

Booking Through Thursday: Parlez-Vous?

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Booking Through Thursday

Here’s an idea from Julie:

I had an idea for a BTT question when I was taking a peek at one of my bookcases yesterday and spotted my old copy of the Aeneid in Latin sitting there. Maybe this question has already been done—but if not… Do you have any foreign language books and if so can you (still) read them?

Don’t forget to leave a link to your actual response (so people don’t have to go searching for it) in the comments—or if you prefer, leave your answers in the comments themselves!

At first I was going to say no, but then I remembered a book I have called Cape Breton Book of Night. It has a couple of stories in Gaelic and one in Mi'kmaq and French. The stories are in English as well. And no I cannot read them; I might half understand the French, if I really, really tried. There is also an old French school book around here somewhere. Oh, and a cross-stitch book in Danish.


  1. So... I have a question: If you can't read the book, why keep it on your shelf? I've seen a few other BTTers with this same answer, and it's piqued my interest. Just curious... :-)

    Thanks for stopping by!

  2. I have the French text book for sentimental reasons: it's old, and someone in hubby's family used it. It was going to be tossed so I 'saved' it. I can't stand to see a book thrown away. I should really give it to my niece who is fluent.
    The Danish cross-stitch has patterns I've used. I bought it on e-bay for that reason.
    The Cape Breton book has the English translations and a bunch of stories in English. It's local folklore and I enjoy that kind of thing.

  3. I think it's cool to have books in different variety of languages :)

    Mine can be found here :)

  4. Your answer reminded me of an episode early in my library career. My director procured a stack of books in Gaelic, and I had to catalog them. Neither he nor I understood Gaelic, the language specialist at the central library did not speak Gaelic, BabelFish wasn't even a gleam in anyone's eye, and the community was mostly Italian. Somehow, I struggled through. Mostly, I was grateful that the books weren't in Chinese... at least I could transliterate the Gaelic!

  5. I'd have a hard time tossing it too. Maybe Norah can read it someday.

  6. Maybe when I'm visiting Cape Breton this summer I will stumble across this book. I like to buy a few books while vacationing in a spot. This one sounds perfect.

  7. I don't think I could easily toss it either. I'd be likely to hang on to it until I meet someone who could read it. :-)

  8. booklogged- I hope you enjoy visiting our beautiful province! And I hope the weather is good for your trip ;)

  9. I've been looking into Iona and have decided we must go there. Thanks for that tip, Chris.

  10. I'm impressed, I've always wanted to learn Latin.

    I read Gide and Camus in French--a couple others but I can't remember, French Lit was a long time ago.

    I still have them and with a good dictionary could probably still get through but it would take awhile.

  11. I have the first Harry Potter and The Phantom Tollbooth in Spanish. I could read them if I had a trusty Spanish-English dictionary with me at all times. I bought them to practice Spanish. I've been just this side of fluent forever, but, not having anyone to talk to, I get no practice and so I'm not that good.

  12. I took six years of French, and used to be able to read it fairly well; I even had a New Testament in French which was a delight to read for a new perspective. But, I doubt I could read anything now. It's been too long, and I've lost too much from no practicing.


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