blogging, books, discussion

Why I Struggle Writing Reviews To Books I’ve Read In Finnish

struggle finnish reviews.png

This was inspirited by a post Kristina @ Books and Dachshunds did last year about how to choose in which language to read in. Instead of talking about that I’m going to discuss why I sometimes find it hard to write English reviews to books I read in Finnish.

I do prefer reading books in English but there are some I still read in Finnish, like the ones I already own or suddenly decide to loan from the library. There’s no point in writing them in Finnish since so far I’ve only come across like one Finnish blogger aka Tecsie @ Tecsielity.


Translation

I want to consider myself as someone who is good at English language but there are so many synonyms in both English and Finnish language. I like to use ‘correct’ words in my reviews but it’s difficult to know which one was used in the original language.

Then There’s character names. This doesn’t happen often but sometimes translators decide to even translate names like Adam and Eve to Aatami and Eeva, or gods, like Hades to Haades. These are still minor differences but then there are some that I need to google to find out like Dementors to Ankeuttajat.

Information

How do I choose which book cover to use? The Finnish one? But that can confuse some people who need to see the cover to recognize the book. Do I use the prettiest one? Because it’s you know… pretty. Or the English version of the Finnish copy? Can I use Finnish cover but English summary and Goodreads link in case someone who doesn’t understand Finnish wants to check it out?

Do I add information like publication date and publisher based on the copy I read or the copy I chose to show in the review?

It’s so hard to choose these things so my biggest struggle has to be with which information I’ll put in my reviews.


Do you read books in any other language than in English? Do you have hard time writing reviews for them?

 

17 thoughts on “Why I Struggle Writing Reviews To Books I’ve Read In Finnish”

  1. A fellow Finn here 🤓🤓 but i’m also part estonian and live here currently and have the same issue. While i have only been blogging for 5-6months and have read 45ish books this year, i only review books that i have read in English. I made an exception to one poetry books but that’s because it had no indepth reviews before and i love the author.

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    1. Hello fellow Finn! (:
      I still write reviews about books I’ve read in Finnish but I’m always second guessing myself with them but I do let people who visit my blog know that I’ve read them in another language. It is so much easier to write reviews about English books.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Ouuuhh happy that I could give you an idea from that old post ❤️

    Ouf- yeah I get you. As I usually take my own picture of the book that’s the cover I include (so, french), i’d however link both goodreads and well, I skip the synopsis all together xD used to rewrite my own but errrh, too much effort and can be tedious. Copy? Mrhh some prefer not having it, and more effort 😂 ALSO! I’d title my review as the english title rather than the french one, as people would’ve most likely know it from that name rather than the one in french.

    If you also noticed of my own reviews, I used to do some in both languages- but translating really is hard! In my case, i’d wanna use the « basic french » as that’s what everyone around the world *should* understand.. but problem- it’s NOT how I speak at all 😂🙈 But I cannot use my familiar way of speaking as even other canadians from further provinces might not understand me. So welp.. I decided to pass on that for a while.

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    1. I never take my own pics. I just prefer using the one from Goodreads and that way there’s no copyright problems. I also like taking synopsis from there. I mean a book might look interesting to people who haven’t read it and they might be interested in what it’s about.

      I can’t speak any French. I tried learning it in high school and I took few curses but honestly I don’t remember anything anymore. I only speak English and Finnish and while Finnish is the language I use everyday… I sometimes forget words. Like I know what they mean and their English word but for the life of me I don’t always remember what they’re in my mother language 😂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Wait- taking pictures of your book can have a copyright problem ?! 😨 or do you mean like, generally speaking taking it from somewhere else that goodreads (like google image per exemple)

        Happens to me all the time, in BOTH of them 😂😂 Alex being pure english, I tried to describe a groundhog to him as a small beaver 😎 as I had forgotten the word ahahah

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      2. That’s why I’m too scared to post pics about books in Instagram. I’m not really sure about those copyright issues, so just to be safe I use Goodreads pictures. At least I know those are allowed in reviews without asking anyone any permissions.

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      3. Right… though I wouldn’t see why they would so that- still count as a fair-use. and besides, that be a hell lot of people to sue over something that isn’t even making us money ..

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      4. Yeah, that’s great!
        For some reason that’s the one thing im not paranoid about xD but I frankly never had thought of that ..

        Then i’d probably place the english name in the title and review, but use the goodread cover of the one I read 🤔

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  3. My native language is English, but years ago I used to read them in Dutch. For me I will always choose English, but I can completely understand it’s hard to review a book in a different language than it’s written.

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  4. In my case, usually when I’m talking about a book I read in a language other than English, I tend to use the English title and cover as they are the most easily recognizable. I agree that dealing with the translation can be tricky, especially for fantasy books with creatures whose names might be changed in ways that don’t offer a clear translation unless you read or know the book in both languages. The one thing I feel I can’t judge at all when reading a translated book is the writing style, since it would be unfair to criticise any elements of the writing itself based on a translation.

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  5. This is such an interesting post, Jamsu! I don’t read much in translation so this isn’t really a topic that I can contribute to, but it was cool to read about the things you need to think about. I wouldn’t have thought about the different covers, etc when reviewing.

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  6. Interesting topic! I only speak English, but I can see how reviewing a book you read in a different language would be tough to review. Maybe include the information for the Finnish version, but add the English cover at the end or something so people know exactly what book you mean/they can find it in the language they need.

    -Lauren
    http://www.shootingstarsmag.net

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    1. Thank you! I have been wanting to write discussion post forever but I had no ideas. Then I re-read Sookie Stackhouse series and remembered that old post of blogger friend of mine.

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