Book Events

BESUMMER19: Reading in your Native language VS Reading in English

It is the last day of Bookending Summer 19 book event and the last day of July!

This year is really going full steam ahead, I honestly feel like I started this bookish blog yesterday!

It was a pleasure participating and hosting during this event. I hope you all had fun and met some new friends along the way. Not to mention, hopefully you’re enticed to participate or host on BEFALL19.

Todays prompt was supplied by the great Laurie @ Laurie’s Bookshelf.


Discuss the reasons why you are reading in either your native language or in both your native language and/or English. What are the pros and cons of reading in multiple languages? If English is your native language, what are, according to you, the pros and cons of reading in one language (English)?

For those of you who don’t know, my native language is Spanish. It’s my first language; I learned English in Kindergarten within that first year and over the years have learned two more languages (Portuguese and French).

I can count in one hand how many books I’ve read in my native language, which honestly is a shame. The Spanish language is deeply embedded into Hispanic culture. Growing up, I didn’t really notice that I was neglecting my cultural roots and it wasn’t really brought up at home. It took me until I was in High school to realize that I should be reading in my own language.

I did for a while. I read a handful of Spanish classics and poems; loving every line I read from Federico Garcia Lorca. Yet once I made it to college and beyond, I stopped picking up books in my language.

This year, I made a promise to myself to read my favorite books in Spanish but there is one small problem….For some odd reason, it is almost impossible to find translated books in book stores! They hold such a small selection and most of the works are cult favorites (Harry Potter, Fifty Shades and Religious works). And online….the shipping is crazy expensive and the book is already a good 7 -10 dollars more.

It’s deterred me to keep reading in English as it’s readily available. It sucks.

Reading in multiple languages can be helpful. You brush up on grammar, pronunciation, and you have the opportunity to learn the language in a more efficient way. When reading in a language that is not your predominantly spoken one (I say this because while Spanish is my first language…over the years of speaking and reading English, I am no longer as versed in it), your brain is more focused on the words that fill the page. It tries to decipher what the sentences are about and you are forced to re-read the lines to retain it.

Of course, the con of it all is that sometimes your brain refuses to capture the data. You read and re-read and RE-READ but your brain refuses to understand the jumbled foreign letter placements. Or if you are someone like me, who spent 18+ years learning English Language Arts and neglecting Spanish Language Arts; you can’t understand the dialect. at all.

Reading in multiple languages can be a wonderful experience. Words change meaning and when translated into another language can be more impactful. Hopefully, before the year ends, I can add a couple of Spanish Literature to my collection.

What’s your native language? Do you read in any other language besides English and your native?

Let me know in the comments below or drop the link to your own post!

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  1. Laurie says:

    I totally agree with you, I love your take on the prompt! I did it in a different way though but that totally doesn’t matter. I never expected translated books hardly being available in Spanish, because I see them a lot on Goodreads. Maybe it’s different in bookstores in the bigger city?


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