Thursday Talks: Original vs. Translated Books

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Hey guys! I’m planning to continue my Thursday Talks after hiding inside my shell for months! Actually, I just got busier now because I joined the student council at my new university and I also joined AIESEC-FEU, and I’m under their Business Development and Strategic Initiatives Department (if some of you know this organization or a member too, then great to know that!).

Now, I have these flowing ideas in my head right now, and I decided to pick and discuss here on my blog if I prefer original over the translated books. And why?

First of all, it is our CHOICE if we will read the book in its original language (if you know how to read it, of course) or you will read it in another language which you can also read.

As for me, Filipino is my first language while English is the second one, but I’ve been reading books in English more than my first language. Maybe the reason for it is that most of the Filipino authors that I know don’t even write the kind of novels that I want to read unlike in English wherein everything that I’m looking for is almost available. Another thing that I noticed is that there are very few Filipino authors who write in my preferred genre. So, it is already noticeable that I prefer reading books written in English than Filipino.

Now, a few years back, Precious Pages Corporation (PPC), the company which published thousands of successful Tagalog romance pocketbooks (Precious Hearts Romances) here in the Philippines decided to make a translation of some popular English books. Their reason is that they just wanted the readers to have a choice on how they want to read those bestselling books that currently make some noise in the book market. As of now, they already translated a lot of bestselling books like John Green novels, Nicholas Sparks novels, Fifty Shades Trilogy, Da Vinci Code, The Hunger Games Trilogy, Vampire Diaries series, and much more to mention.

The first book they decided to translate was Twilight by Stephenie Meyer and during that time, this book, or rather the series, was trending and even if I am not a fan of it, I know that there’s a massive fan of it here in my country – including my mom and my MASTERS trainer. Yeah, my mom was the reason why I decided to read the book because I always see her that time reading it before going to sleep. Right now, I am still deciding if I should buy a copy of it just know which is better – the translated or the English book which I already read before.

As you all can notice, I haven’t tried reading a book in both original and translated version yet, so I am not sure if which one I would prefer more. But, as of now, I will be staying with the original which is in English than in Filipino because of… well, I can’t choose the Filipino translated novels if I haven’t tried any of it yet. Make sense, right?

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Let’s Talk!

Have you already read a translated book? How about the original one? Which do you prefer more? If you haven’t read a translated novel yet, do you plan on reading some in the future? If yes, what books do you have in mind?

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8 thoughts on “Thursday Talks: Original vs. Translated Books

  1. I also learned Filpino first, but as of now, I’m most fluent in English. I can’t even speak the predominant language in my province, which is Kapampangan. So yeah. Filipino books and Filipino-translated books don’t really work for me because it sometimes takes twice as much effort just for me to fully understand and to appreciate the text.
    However, if you’re looking for Filipino authors who write books in English, then I’d definitely suggest that you look into the #romanceclass community. Most of these authors’ works are contemporary romances, but there are a few titles that belong to other genres as well. For romances, I highly recommend any book written by Mina V. Esguerra, Keep the Faith by Ana Tejano, and Ghost of a Feeling by Celestine Trinidad.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve been living in Makati all my life so I know the Filipino language very well (in terms of using in everyday conversation) but I hate reading some Filipino books because most of it has deep words that I don’t even know. That’s why I only read English books unless the book I’m going to read uses both Filipino and English languages.
      I just learned about the #romanceclass community this year after attending a book event and there, I met Ana Tejano and Mina V. Esguerra. I know Mina since I was in high school because I had read her first book back then and until now, I still have her first book with me, My Imaginary Ex. I will try to read Keep the Faith by Ana Tejano as soon as time will let me.

      Thanks for the recommendation!


  2. I’ve read a lot of books that have been translated to English, but I don’t know the languages well enough to try reading the originals. The closest I’ve gotten to doing that is reading Grimms’ Fairy Tales in English and German. I’m not sure what the major differences are, but I feel accomplished at understanding what is happening in the story. I would like to try reading Harry Potter in German some day, but I don’t know enough German at this point to attempt it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Good for you to try reading the Grimms’ Fairy Tales in English and German. I’m not just sure if there’s a Filipino-translated of that book here in my country but I am hoping. Good luck in reading Harry Potter in German soon and also on learning that language.


    • Yes, I am thinking of trying some of the translated books in Filipino to see how they did the translation. If they just translated it as it is or they changed how it was narrated but the plot is still the same.

      Liked by 1 person

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