View Full Version : "Matter"

12-02-2008, 20:35:06

Might take a look at this.

13-02-2008, 08:49:50
Oooh, yeah, I forgot that was coming out. :beer:

13-02-2008, 09:16:39
I was a bit dispointed by the last one, hopefully this one will mark a return to form

will wait the french translation though

13-02-2008, 09:33:05
Really? Why?

(serious question, if I was as fluent as you are in another language I'd certainly want to read the original language version and it disappoints me that I can't)

13-02-2008, 09:33:49
Er.. I mean, I can read the English one, just about.

13-02-2008, 09:34:56

13-02-2008, 10:49:01
Originally posted by Funko
Really? Why?

(serious question, if I was as fluent as you are in another language I'd certainly want to read the original language version and it disappoints me that I can't)

Imo, it depends on the book.

Last book I read in english was Harry Potter 7 (in fact I read all but the first 2 in english), but simply because I couldn't wait for the translated version. I don't think it's a more enjoyable experience reading a book in the original language unless 'style' is important.

Of course reading the Divine Comedy in english is bad.. as is reading Shakespeare in italian :p

13-02-2008, 11:09:05
yes, it is a bit strange.

I read very quickly in French, and like this quick tempo (for immersion reasons, mainly). I can't do that in English on normal novels. As soon as English becomes litterary, descriptive, there are always words or images I struggle to absorb quickly enough.

So I very rarely read novels in English (and normally don't like it when I do). I do enjoy reading newspapers/weekly magazines in English, even (especially) when their style is very rich (like the Economist). But I digest the "matter-of-factly" style of a political analysis a lot quicker.

13-02-2008, 11:41:21
Very interesting.

13-02-2008, 12:03:16

I can't read that quickly anyway (I'm not a "visual" reader alas, I need to actually "think" in my mind the words I'm reading, to understand, I never learned to just "absorb" graphical signs directly into meanings)

So, the above is not an issue to me.

If I have the chance, I prefer to read novels in the original language.
True, there is usually a 1-2% of terms (5-10% in German) which I need to lookup or have to just guess hoping that further reading clarifies them.
But that's not a problem, sometimes it makes instead the reading "richer".

otoh, the boon of a translated book are all the translator's notes about cultural references and quirks that I'd easily miss if not pointed out.

The funny thing with me, is that if you ask me one or two years later in which language I had read a book, I often can't recall, it's just the same to me
and you know I'm one of the less fluent in english here

another episode:
kowing that I like Paul Auster, few yrs ago a friend gifted me The Book of Illusions translated in italian.
But when I was halfway it, I found it in english in a small bookshop, bought that and started again in original, dropping the translated one.
It wasn't badly translated, but that something in Auster's prose which fascinates me, had got lost.

Also, I had read in my youth some H.Hesse :o both in italian and in german (Siddharta, Der Steppenwolf), and it felt like they were different novels.

13-02-2008, 12:15:38
I really like Iain Banks' use of language, especially in the Sci-Fi books. They've got a very interesting flow to them.

On the other hand I'd be really interested to see how someone would translate something like Feersum Endjin, which is written in it's disjointed jumbled dislexic/phonetic language, and keep the feel you get when reading it in English. I reckon it'd be a great challenge for a translator.

'Woak up. Got dresd. Had brekfast. Spoke wif Ergates thi ant who sed itz juss been wurk wurk wurk 4 u lately master Bascule, Y dont u a holiday? & I agreed & that woz how we decided we otter go 2 c Mr Zoliparia in thi I-ball ov thi gargoyle Rosbrith.'

Note for Reading residents, that isn't a Binz PITRAWRKEO e-mail quote.

13-02-2008, 12:19:04

Scabrous Birdseed
13-02-2008, 12:22:29
I started reading books in English at about age 12 and have read both ever since, so it's no problem for me. I am struggling with books in Hungarian, since I have to look up some of the more difficult words and I've always hated language that beaks my immersion. I will have to get through some at some point though, I really wish to improve my Hungarian reading skills.

Mostly I avoid translations because they can be painfully badly done. My girlfriend has been assigned The God Delusion for class and the language is stilted and pompous in a way Dawkins's never was... The opposite is possible too actually - the "classic" Swedish translation of Lord of the Rings is vastly superior to Tolkien's original and the new, "Tolkien-style" translation.

15-02-2008, 10:40:05
Matter arrived today. Woo. :beer:

03-03-2008, 13:14:54
Originally posted by Funko
Matter arrived today. Woo. :beer: Well?

03-03-2008, 13:33:38
Finished it. I enjoyed it a lot.

That said, it's not the best Culture novel. It didn't really tread that much new ground, and it was a fairly straightforward style.

Every so often in his non-genre stuff he tends to just write a very good story, and this feels like a science fiction one of those.

03-03-2008, 14:29:13
that's good enough for me, I'll buy it

04-03-2008, 01:30:27
Good, but not the best culture novel I have read. I picked it up almost a week ago, read it that evening.


05-03-2008, 14:57:55
Thanks Mike and JM^3. I am looking forward to reading it.