Quick Tip: Where to Look at Your Local Used Bookstore 

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – foreign language kids sections are a goldmine.

For years I always checked the language learning sections only to realize I had all the dictionaries and grammar guides I needed. Then I would try the adjoining French language adult fiction section only to realize I could barely understand a paragraph let alone a page.

For beginners or intermediates, I highly suggest you look in the foreign language section of the children’s area! Spanish kids and young adult novels are usually present in new bookstores across the United States, but at used bookstores and local libraries it’s not uncommon to also find French, German, and other languages.

My most recent find? This vintage Donald Duck comic collection from the lovely and cleverly named The Last Bookstore in downtown LA.


High brow? Maybe not. Busy accessible, comprehensible and only $2.00? I’m stoked and you will be too.

What are your best foreign language book finds?

À plus tard,
Zena

Translation of the Day: Charlotte’s Web

Salut mes amis!

I am now on Week 2, Day 2 of my 12 Week Language Learning Challenge and that means one hour of reading! I would highly recommend “Le Petit Monde de Charlotte” for any early beg-intermediate readers of French out there. As I mentioned previously, there is a lot of farm vocabulary to get used to, but the new vocabulary is repeated often enough that it makes it easy enough to pick up on. (After this book I will never forget that le fumier means “manure” and yet I hope I will never have an occasion that requires me to use it in France…)

The best part about reading children’s literature in French is that it makes stories written for children sound very serious and somber indeed! It’s been a busy day for me but I wanted to share a quick translation from my reading today to show you what I mean..

La Citation:

“C’était vraiment le plus mauvais jour de sa vie. Il ne voyait pas comment il pourrait supporter cette affreuse solitude une minute de plus. L’obscurité noyait tout.” 

My translation:

It was truly the worst day of his life. He couldn’t see how he could bear this terrible solitude for one more minute. Darkness drowned everything.”

Pauvre Wilbur! I mean, I know that it’s a sad passage in English, but in French? That little pig is downright existential.

May your day be better than his, and stay tuned for happier updates from the farm!

À bientôt,

Zena