Coming soon: Summer in Other Languages

How can we travel the world in the time of a global pandemic? Through reading, of course!

Last summer, I focused on reading books in other languages – and it was such a great experience, I wanted to do it again.

And as with last time, I’d like to invite anyone who wants to join me to take part. NEW THIS YEAR: If you are not up to reading books in a foreign language, translated works are fine.

Here are some levels to get you started:

Level 1: Tourist
Read one book in or translated from a language other than English.

Level 2: Long-term visitor
Spend an entire month reading books in or translated from another language (total of two or more).

Level 3: Immersion
Spend the whole summer (June-August) reading books in or translated from another language. (total of three or more)

My personal goal is to read as many books in French or German during the summer as possible, and to spend July reading books in German (as last year I concentrated on French).

For sure I’d like to read Die Kleine Hexe by Otfried Preussler, and ThemisAthena of Lioness at Large has kindly agreed to join me in a readalong of one of her childhood favorites. If you’d like to join us — reading either in German or English, or another language of your choice — please do! I hope to post some updates during the month to give a chance for discussion.

Otherwise, what countries and languages would you explore if you were to join in this journey?

This challenge runs from June 1 to August 31, 2021. There will be regular posts here where you can link up your own posts in the comments, or just let us know what you are reading.

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29 thoughts on “Coming soon: Summer in Other Languages

  1. Ooh, what fun! I wonder if I have anything in translation coming up on the TBR … and no, amazingly not. But have fun with it!

  2. Ooh, you temptress! Luckily I think I may be able to combine your meme with Cathy Brown’s 10/15/20 Books of Summer and Gilion Dumas’ European Reading Challenge 2021. I’m hoping to read Andrzej Sapkowski’s Witcher novel Blood of the Elves, a Maigret mystery, one of Andrea Camillieri’s Montalbano series, and maybe make a start on Hesse or Mann, but I’ll see how I go. Hmm, no female authors…

    1. I’ve just remembered, there’s also The Ghost-Seer by Friedrich von Schiller which I could try, it’s quite a slim volume if I recall.

  3. I’ll be a tourist. I’ve decided to reread a translation of a Russian novel now that my son is in grad school in Russian literature!

  4. Tempting! I will see if there is anything on the horizon that fits. My French is only good enough for Baudelaire these days.

    1. Interested – nothing too long or difficult though, I think my brain will be taxed enough with German. What about a graphic novel or memoir? Have any of those on your TBR?

  5. I’m going to be listening to books in Spanish. Can some be rereads? Sounds like an interesting and unique challenge. I’m up for it. I first started learning Spanish age 11 and am fluent in it. When’s the challenge? Can we blog our progress or Tweet it or put it on Goodreads?

    1. Rereads are fine. Please feel free to blog your progress, tweet, put on Goodreads or whatever you like. The challenge will run from June 1 to August 31 and I’ll post regularly here so you can link up in the comments.

  6. Always happy to do this! And thank you of reminding me of the Kleine Hexe. I also loved the Robber Hotzenplotz and in fact had the pleasure of playing him in a school play.

  7. A great idea! I am definitely participating and I can’t wait to start, including reading other people’s linked posts. I hope to read books in Russian & Spanish, and translated works from French, German & Japanese.

  8. What a great idea for a challenge. As I already mentioned on the Classics Club post, I already joined quite a few challenges this year but could probably fill this in without having to add more books to read since I read a lot of non-English-original books.

    However, I am looking forward to seeing what others are reading. Especially, how you like Otfried Preussler, a very famous author from my childhood.

    I see from your profile that you live in Switzerland. So, Gr├╝ezi from Germany!

    1. Combining with other challenges is great! And it’s always nice to meet another European neighbor. I find there are quite a lot blogging in English, which makes things easier for me.

      1. Most of the Europeans I met while blogging have lived in another country before (like me), so English comes naturally. But I’m always very happy to meet another European, even if they are “immigrants”.
        One of my bonus nieces lives in Z├╝rich, so I get Swiss news regularly.

        Happy Reading!

  9. I can definitely be a tourist though it will have to be translated into English since my level of any other languages won’t get me very far….. I can combine this with 20booksofsummer I think where I have two Catalan authors and a Chinese author on my list.

    1. Translations are very welcome. For most of us, learning languages as distinct as Catalan and Chinese is not an option, so translation expands our world immeasurably.

      1. Even if you speak many languages, you can never speak all of them, last year I read translations from 9 different languages, and even though I read in a few different ones, I don’t speak all of them. Don’t want to choose a book by the language I can manage.

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