I must confess, that I do like a good ‘What’s In My Bag?’ video. It’s great for picking up tricks to make your bag lighter (or heavier if you think of something else that you didn’t already carry!). But this isn’t practical for language learners. Although language apps have taken off in a big way, the gold, old-fashioned book still has it’s place on the shelf.
So I thought, why not have bookshelf edition instead…!
So, to be absolutely honest I have several bookcases (4!)- most of them filled with regular reading books. And even then there are books piled up in different rooms! But I try to keep all my languages things in one place. In general, the books fall into three categories: dictionaries, textbooks and foreign language fiction books.
As I mentioned in my Spanish Language Learning and German Language Learning posts, I own several German and Spanish – big ones, small ones and ones as big as your head. Most of them are bilingual – some also have grammar and phrase sections. I also own one Duden German Monolingual Dictionary, given to me by a former lecturer of mine, after doing some translation work with her.
Next are textbooks – again I own a lot of these, most of which I’ve spoken about or referenced in my Language Learning posts or in my Recent Purchases… post. Alongside these I also own a few Spanish and German verb books, that I’ve bought in a charity shop in my neighbouring town. I also recently bought a Berlitz Portuguese phrase book that I’m hoping to get around too as well.
As I’ve just finished university and am about to go back, I also have different translation studies textbooks – Introducing Translation Studies is probably my most useful translation book. It gives a solid grounding on the major theories of translation and how they’ve developed. I’ve hyperlinked the older version for 1p from Amazon.co.uk, but there is a newer version.
The Translation Studies Reader by Lawrence Venuti was a compulsory textbook on my course. Although it’s not an easy reading book, it does contain a variety of condensed essays about major translation theories by the original authors. It makes a useful starting point.
Thinking German Translation was a personal purchase, and not one that I’ve used often if I’m honest. BUT it does give a good breakdown of different types of translation with examples and translation exercises. I’m hoping it will come in useful soon.
Did I mention that I like to read? I have? Good. I have lots of books, but buying ones in another language is always a thrill. In my picture you can see just some of the German/Spanish books I have. I have four Harry Potter books in German (one is currently on loan to a friend of mine) as well as the first Harry Potter book in Spanish. I’ve been debating about whether I should buy one in Dutch but it seems a little pricy at the moment.
I recently bought three Meg Cabot books in German (the translation of her Heather Wells detective series – they’re great!) for my birthday, and am reading one at the moment. It’s interesting to see German books translated from American English as opposed to the British English I’m used to.
Last year I was looking for German authors and stumbled across an author called Nele Neuhaus who writes German crime books (think Nordic Noir), some of which have been televised by ZDF and are on YouTube. I first bought Schneewittchen Muss Sterben because it had recently been translated into English. Since then three more of her books have been translated and I’ve steadily been working through the German versions as well.
I bought two German books at a charity shop – the first Flugasche by Monika Maron, and the other Das Resaurant am Ende des Universums by Douglas Adams. I’m ashamed to say that I haven’t read either of these yet, but they’re there waiting for me.
Well, I think that’s it for my bookcase(s)! For more ideas on recently released books in German visit New Books in German.
And since this is a tag here are my nominees:
Feel free to pass this on to anyone you think would like this (or whose bookcase you’d like to have a nosy at!)
Don’t forget to tweet me at @amjscorr with the hashtag #languagebookshelf