Reading Books in their Original French Version?
4 min read

Reading Books in their Original French Version?

Reading Books in their Original French Version?

One day in September 2012, I bought a novel called Murder on the Eiffel Tower by Claude Izner. I can remember I bought the book at the museum shop of the Amsterdam Hermitage Museum. I had just visited their Impressionism: Sensation & Inspiration exhibition and this book appealed, because the cover, the title, and the blurb intrigued me. Over a cup of coffee on a terrace somewhere in Amsterdam, I started reading and I never looked back. The Victor Legris series has simply captivated me: the murders are gruesome, the detecting is done with a hint of humor and frustration, and the descriptions of Paris are addictive[1. When can I go back to Paris?]. [embed]https://www.instagram.com/p/PEfG0YHbtd/[/embed]

Of course when I discovered that I had picked the first book in a series from the same author, I was thrilled. As soon as I could, I purchased the other titles for my Kindle. Slowly but surely I read the books, deliberately pacing myself[2. After all, there are more books I want to read and more book series to follow!]. During my trip to Paris in 2014, I read The Montmartre Investigation: I enjoyed walking the streets that just minutes earlier I had read about.

As of January, I am keeping track of the books I own and the books I am reading through Goodreads and I was curious to discover – as I had just finished book 6 of the Victor Legris book series – when the next translated title would be available. I could not find any publication schedule, so I asked the publisher if they could tell me:

Not such good news, is it.

Do I dare buy the remaining titles in their original French versions, knowing I will understand only about half of what is written? Way back when, I did have six years of French in high school, but that was over 20[3. The shock!] years ago! Chances are I will not enjoy the stories as much when I have to battle through them in the original language.

Am I brave enough to set myself this challenge? It would, of course, build character!

The first six in English:

Followed by these six in French?

Tags: Claude Izner, english, french, translations, victor legris