In a world filled with books, there will always be books that sound good to you that just aren’t translated. Sometimes you can find translations online, but sometimes we just want the original. We want to read our own copy, but even if we’re learning the language…a lack of vocab can make it hard.
So sometimes…we might try reading something through a translation app.
This isn’t something I’d advise doing too often. It’s definitely going to work better for comics and graphic novels. I’ve had no problems reading manga this way.
But I’m also trying to read a middle-grade book for review.
I’m having a lot of fun with it, and I’m finding it is possible. But the simplistic language and pages with pictures are probably helping with that.
The thing to remember when trying to do this is that translation apps aren’t great.
They won’t always get things right, so it will more likely be the feel of the text. If you can parse what’s meant even if the text is slightly wrong, then that’s great.
I wouldn’t suggest using Google Translate. I’ve been using Papago as I can read a full page with real-time translation like in Google Translate, but it translates a little better. There’s also DeepL which is decent, but when it scans an image or a page, it won’t show it on the page. Instead, it basically types it out for you. Sometimes it translates really well, and sometimes it doesn’t. So play about and see which you like.
No translation app is going to give you a perfect or natural translation. It will sometimes get words wrong or might even miss some completely. So reading will automatically take you a little longer as you work out what it means. But it can allow you to read the book before you can translate it yourself.
If you’re interested in reading stories that you’re not expecting will get official translations, this could be a fun way for you to explore more worlds and stories. As long as you keep the limitations in mind, this can allow you to have a lot of fun.
So try it out sometime. See what you find.
It might actually help you pick up some new vocab when comparing the translation to the original.