13 September 2013

Foreign language books

I have a growing collection of foreign-language books... and they're all either Asterix or Tintin.

It started in July 2005, when I was in Tromsø, Norway, with the purchase of "Asterix og Vikingene" (Asterix and the Normans) in a local bookshop. I thought the choice appropriate. It's also the most readable of my foreign-language books. With grammar not as far off English as you'd think, combined with context (I've read the English version countless times), I understand most of what I'm reading.

Asterix og Vikingene

Mum and Dad just got back from a holiday in Europe, travelling through Switzerland, Austria and Italy. I'd asked if they could look out for some specific Asterix titles in specific languages while they were there, and they delivered!

First up was "Asterix in Switzerland", which was high on my list, as it was currently unavailable on either amazon.co.uk or bookdepository.co.uk, my first ports of call for book purchasing.

Asterix bei den Schweizern

Actually purchased in Austria, I now have a copy in German!

I'd asked them to keep an eye out for either "Asterix the Gladiator" or "Asterix the Legionary" in Latin, but during their time in Italy they were unable to find either in Latin. (I'd already checked online, and online stores had Latin titles in stock, so this wasn't a worry.)

Instead, they surprised me with "The Mansions of the Gods", or "Asterix e il Regno degli Dei", in Italian!

Asterix e il Regno degli Dei
Not only is it an edition I wasn't expecting, but it's a fully restored and recoloured version. It's just amazing. The Asterix in Switzerland reprint isn't the greatest on a few pages, with coloured sections appearing to blur over outlines. Not so in the Mansions of the Gods! The outlines are crisp and black, and the colours are bright and solid. I think I spent most of my first attempted read-through marvelling more at the clear print restoration than the actual storyline, one which I haven't read for some time.

Still on my wishlist:
"Asterix the Gaul" in French
"Asterix in Spain" in Spanish
"Asterix the Gladiator" in Latin
"Asterix in Britain" in Welsh (think about it...)
"Asterix and the Picts" (coming Oct 2013) in Scottish Gaelic

The only foreign-language editions of Tintin adventures that I own are "Tintin in Tibet" and "The Red Sea Sharks", both in Japanese. I picked these up while I worked in Okinawa. I would love to get some in French.

Tantan Chibetto wo Yuku

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