Monday, March 3, 2008

How Dare You?

I got a strange book recommendation from today:

"As someone who has purchased or rated books by John Sandford, you might like to know that Como Tranformar El Hombre Interior will be released on March 4, 2008."

Strange title for a book from one of my favourite thriller writers. A little digging suggests the book is actually by John L. Sandford, editor of the gripping mysteries "Statistical Methods for Physical Science, Vol. 28" and "Biology of the Mycobacteria, Vol. 1". (Once you put it down, you'll never pick it up. No. Wait...)

Simple database mistake on Amazon's part, I'm sure. Funny thing is, it's long been an ambition of mine to be proficient enough in another language to read a book in it. When I was in Bahrain I worked with a guy from Pakistan who lent me his English language copy of 'One Hundred Years of Solitude'. He'd written definitions of words he didn't understand all over the margins. I asked him about it and he told me it was the first English language book he'd ever read and had improved his understanding of the language no end. Amazing.

Since, over the course of life I've attempted and failed to learn Gaelic, French and Spanish, it's probably not going to happen for me, but I like to think that one day I'll find the time to get back to it. Amazon sending me this link made me think, 'Sandford would be an easier place to start than Gabriel Garcia Marquez'. Hilariously, these customers are massively insulted. I mean, how dare Amazon even think they'd consider reading a book in a language other than English? 'Just what are Amazon trying to imply? That we studied languages in School?'


shanksi said...

I remember a German bloke at Uni who read a lot of Asterix books in English - said it helped his understanding of the languauge no end. I was going to use the same method to brush up on my French but still haven't got round to it.

I love those comments.

Ian said...

Did you do the French track at uni?

Vikki said...

I've read Asterix books in French and found it good for learning puns and sayings. Of course I can't remember any off the top of my head- I've just had a baby so my brain is mush. I did read Ovid's Metamorphoses in Latin and the story of Macbeth in Latin by some historian (Buchanan?) written before Shakespeare's play. It makes it easier to understand when you already know the story.
Have you read any Gabriel Garcia Marquez? One Hundred Years of Solitude is good but I preferred Love in the Time of Cholera. I should be cooking tea now instead of being on the computer but Magnus is asleep on my lap and I know he'll wake up when I put him down on his chair... Maybe Iain will cook when he gets in from work?

Ian said...

I have read both One Hundred Years of Solitude and Love in the Time of Cholera and preferred the first one. Neither book can hold a candle to Asterix in Britain though.

Did Iain take the hint?

Vikki said...

Yes he did cook half of the tea cos Magnus needed to be fed. Luckily Calum's swimming lesson was cancelled or we would've been screwed.
I don't prefer Asterix to GGM; Maybe Asterix is more of a boys thing? I don't think it's that funny. Sorry!

Jen said...

Wow. People are protective of their language - well, the only language they speak.


Just hit "delete" and get over it. OR go to Barnes & Noble, I'm sure they'll be cool with it.

Anyway, I have always wanted to learn another language. I so sucked at Espanol in High School, I'm not sure if I could give it an honest go of now?

I've got anatomy and phisiology now (started today) and I sorta feel like I'm learning Latin? Thomas laughs at me as I butcher the words. Laughs. At. Me. :) to be fair, I am awful.

Ian said...

Ah, what a hero.

Ian said...

Thomas laughs at you? I find that hard to believe.

Jen said...

Apparently, I can't even spell Physiology correctly.

Nikki said...

this discussion inspired me to go and buy some German books, just to see how rusty my German is. I cheated a bit though and bought dual-language books - one side is German the other side is an english translation. Starting small!!!

Ian said...

Hmm, maybe I'll give up on all my other languages and have you teach me German.