Let’s talk: Reading books written in your first language

In case you don’t know yet, my first language is Chinese (cantonese). To be honest I wasn’t a big fan of Chinese books when I was small, especially those translated ones. I find it really difficult to read and remember translated names. Plus, a lot of the Chinese books are sort of lyrical and descriptive – I’m just not good enough to understand the writer’s emotion haha.

However, I did read some that I truly enjoyed – the Wuxia (martial arts and chivalry) genre. The most renowned Wuxia writer has got to be Jin Yong. He wrote The Legend of the Condor Heroes (which I love dearly), The Return of the Condor Heroes and many many more. These books are thick (4 volumes per story) and yet I was able to fly through them. I guess the main thing about going into reading is to find a genre that interests you. Otherwise, you’d be living under an illusion of ‘eww I don’t like books’, which was me two years ago.

Now that I’m done talking about modern Chinese literature, let’s talk about ancient ones. They were written in classical Chinese, a language that I struggle with. It’s Chinese, yes, but the use of words and meaning etc are different. They are condensed and much shorter. For all the Chinese tests I had, there were at least one passage written in classical Chinese, and you’d find me staring at it, re-reading it over and over again, attempting to solve the puzzle and understand what’s going on. Once it’s solved, the gateway to ancient wisdom will be opened *shimmery light everywhere*

Chinese literature is beautiful and full of wisdom, but sometimes it’s difficult to ‘grasp its essense’, especially for a literature idiot like me. Nevertheless, I do hope that they’d be treasured – how disheartening it is to ban books and cut both the culture and the history from its descendants.

So what is your favourite book written in your mother tongue? What do you like about it?

[Disclaimer: This is just me babbling about Chinese books. I’m by no means a Chinese literature expert, and it’ll be a pleasure if anyone can enlightened me on this issue.]


∞ ϟ 9¾ ♔ ⚯͛ △⃒⃘ ➵ ♆



7 thoughts on “Let’s talk: Reading books written in your first language

  1. The question of what is my favourite book in any language is a tough one… But I’ve learned to enjoy books in their original language (Serbian, English, German) or, if I don’t speak the language of the original (e.g. Russian, French, Chinese, you name it) then I try to find a translation into the ‘closest’ language that I do speak. So for example, I read Russian books in Serbian (because they’re both Slavic languages, so the ‘essence’, the ‘soul’ of the language translates better), but French one’s in English (because there so many similarities exist)… But you’re right, it’s about finding what genre, what topic, *what* interests you. Although, with time and a bit of effort, I believe one’s interests widen so it’s possible to ‘fly through’ more diverse kinds of books…

    Don’t know if this was any help, or any fun to read, but there you go 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. 😀 I don’t think you are a literature idiot 😀 😀 😀
    My favorite book by Finnish author is Sinuhe, egyptiläinen (eng.The Egyptian) by Mika Waltari. I love it because the language is so deep, thoughts are so beautiful and it’s set in Egypt and it’s just great!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: February Wrap Up | Book Olympus

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