Thank you for your comments. :-D I think I need keep practising reading, speaking, listening, and writing.
Practice makes perfect. At least, practice makes beterr.
Sorry. Sometimes I get carried away. :oops: Nabokov came from the gentry, and his distaste for what are still called "middle-class values" is really, really obvious. Lolita, for all its nineteen-fifties notoriety, is very tame, compared to his earlier work such as Camera Obscura. And then there's his autobiography, Speak Memory.Quote:
Originally Posted by thedaffodils
Is it strictly correct to consider Indian and African writers foreign? Colonial, perhaps, though that's an awful word, but wouldn't much of their education have been English?Quote:
Originally Posted by Anglika
Rabindranath Tagore - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia ; but not necessarily for the West African writers.
I've read Nabokov only in Russian and enjoyed it greatly. He is fantastic. I've never read anything better in Russian. I mean his style. "How and not what". Unfortunately I don't feel like reading his books in English. I suppose that his English was so good because he had an English nanny in his childhood in St. Petersburg. But I am not sure. I think Russian is worth learning because then you'll have a chance to read Nabokov in his native language.
I apologize if this is inappropriately off-topic, but how do you guys feel about 'merely' reading translations of great works? How much is the proze butchered? I still shiver when I think about some of the Gabriel G. Marquez translations I tried in Dutch.
Polishing up my French and trying some Spanish might be a reachable goal but I draw the line at learning other alphabets. I still have nightmares from my month in the Czech Republic, I got by on sign-language more than anything else.
In a way it's an advantage to write in your non-native language, some strangely formed phrases might be considered as intentional, falling under the 'poetic license'. Just a thought.
Translations are better than nothing and there are great works in so many languages that if we only read things in the original we would be missing a lot.
Re: Post 15 & 16
I agree with the comment of Tdol's - translation is better than nothing. However, many things will lose from the original works, such as puns, cultural connotations. There're not always equivalences between two different languages.
I feel funny when I read English versions of some classic Chinese works. It is not due to the language skill of the translator's, but the differet cultural backgrounds between English and Chinese.
I think the most important factors that help one acquire a native-like proficiency in a foreign language are:
- living abroad
- frequency of language use
- talent (inherent capability of learning languages)
Basically, you have to listen, talk, read and write. If you want to talk well, you have to listen to a lot of stuff first (TV/radio, street conversations, casual chats etc.). Similarly, if you want to write well, you have to read a lot. Languages are mastered through constant practice. Living abroad helps a lot. If you're exposed ONLY to the foreign language you're willing to master, progress will be more visible. But it's also about talent - some people have been living abroad for years and they're not too good speakers. On the other hand, some people have never been to an English-speaking country and yet they speak and write perfectly.
But the basic rule is - expose yourself to the language. Read and listen as much as you can.
Though have been living in the US for decade, some Chinese still fail to communicate people in English well, because they live in the Chinatowns and don't have to speak in English every day.
Needless to talk about perfection, I assume just few non-native speakers, especially who never live in English-speaking country for a time, can reach an acceptable level.Quote:
On the other hand, some people have never been to an English-speaking country and yet they speak and write perfectly.
Some native speakers commented on my English is good. But I think they just wanted to encourage me or they compare my English to other non-native speakers'.
Mod. Anglika used to kindly correct many errors in my writing. 8-)
Lolita is a beautiful piece
I too am a non native speaker,well tiny tip;-) ---------
think in your language
rethink in English
formulate the same into an English sentence
I am sure you will be able to reach the native level of English soon.
Whenever you get a chance speak only in English,read English written books newspapers and listen to English News on TV and radio:-)
You will find the difference :up::up::up::up::up: