The Language Freak Summer Challenge (Second Edition)

Ekaterina at In My Book hosted a language challenge last summer that I really enjoyed, so I'm joining up again.  Here is the second edition!

There are a whole lot of rules and arrangements, so go visit Ekaterina to check it out.  I'm going to commit to the Beginner level of just one book in a foreign language, and if it goes really well I might do another one.  Right now I am not sure what to do.  I have two possible titles--a YA book called Stjernen Uden Himmel (The Star Without a Sky), about WWII that I am pretty sure was translated from German.  It's probably not a very difficult book, but I have never read it before.  My other possibility is to read the classic Niels Lyhne, which is Serious Literature and more difficult, but I have read it fairly recently in English and I still have the English copy to help me along if I get stuck.

Ekaterina has some questions:
  • What languages do you know? Note: even if you are a beginner, it totally counts! And don't forget to mention what your mother-tongue is!  I'm a native English speaker and I once spoke Danish pretty fluently, but I'm rusty now.  I've also studied German and Russian a bit.
  • What is your history with these languages?  I lived in Denmark for a year or so and studied Scandinavian Lit in college, reading the texts in the original (and English too).  I took 2 semesters of German and 4 of Russian.
  • Do you use them or are you out of practice?  The German and Russian are nearly gone.  I'm out of practice with Danish but not that bad.
  • Have you read some books in these languages? Did you like it?  I've read books in Danish.  Not the others, not properly.  Reading in Danish is much harder work than in English, but it is also pretty fun.
  • What are your plans for the challenge?  1 or 2 books that will be pretty difficult for me.

Looking forward to it!


  1. Welcome and good luck! :) Don't forget to link your sign-up to the announcement post!

    As I've said, a YA title should be easier in terms of language, although I don't know any of the two books. Also, I've noticed that translated fiction is easier to read. Translators don't use such crazy words as authors do :)

  2. Oh yeah, hey, good idea! :) Linked.

  3. Danish always sounds so cool :)

    What did you read last year?

  4. Last year I read an Agatha Christie novel. :-)

  5. You've studied three languages as the college level--I'm jealous! Maybe you could try a children's book in Russian too, like you did last year with Struwwelpeter.

  6. I think it would have to be a board book almost! But I am game.


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