I own/have read more translations of this book than any other, including the Bible
October 16, 2013 § 2 Comments
I’ll list the languages in the captions, then briefly state whether or not I was able to understand the dialogue without the help of another edition/dictionary.
|Serbian and French editions|
I now know enough Serbian as to be able to understand the gist of the chapters. The French I understood probably 80-90% of the sentences without needing any assistance.
|Most recent English translation and Spanish edition|
Both of these I understood completely with no need of any assistance (I would hope so for my native and second languages!).
|German and Italian editions|
I’m rusty with my German, so I probably only got about 50-60% comprehension unaided. The Italian was better, at around the same rate as the French, maybe slightly higher.
|Latin and Irish Gaelic editions|
I had two years of college Latin and I understood almost all of it without assistance. The Irish, however, I could only understand a few words here and there and I depended upon other editions to read it.
|Hindi and Hungarian editions|
I only received the Hindi translation today, but considering that I don’t even know the alphabet yet, I will need a lot of study before I can compare it to other editions. I only know a few words in Hungarian, so I read this one while alternating sentences with other editions.
|Catalan and Portuguese editions|
I needed no assistance in understanding either of these translations.
I learned a few words while comparing this to another translation, but by itself, no comprehension at all.
I knew a few words in Quechua, but that was about it. Read in tandem with another translation.
Very surprisingly, I understood about 10-20% of what I was reading, but I still needed lots of assistance.
Just as surprising was my realization that I understood over a quarter of what I read before I compared it to another translation.
Unlike other Romance language editions, I needed some help in understanding it, but I did understand about 40-50% of the passages unaided.
Out of the Slavic languages I read, Polish was by far the hardest for me. Full assistance needed.
The Venetian translation is so close in places to standard Italian that I had little difficulty in understanding it unaided.
The Czech translation was surprisingly easy for me; I understood almost as much as the Serbian and I hadn’t ever really looked at that language!
|Brazilian Portuguese edition|
I found the Brazilian Portuguese edition to be easier than the Portuguese one, plus it seemed to be more faithful to the original French.
I’m still awaiting my copy, but I know I’ll need assistance, as while I know most of the Perso-Arabic alphabet, there’s a lot more to learn before I could even hope to do comparisons of words with other translations.