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Topic: Finding Books in Another Language

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Subject: Finding Books in Another Language
Date Posted: 12/26/2007 2:48 AM ET
Member Since: 12/6/2007
Posts: 31
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I am currently a college student (one more semester!) who is minoring in French, as well as independently studying ASL. I am interested in books that are either books designed to facilitate the learning of one of these languages, or books that are in French. However, there appears to be limited options to finding these books, particularly the ones that are IN French.

For the "tutorial" type books, I can usually type in "French" or "Francais" and find them that way. However, for books that are written entirely in French, they generally will not have either translation of that word in their title, and thus can not be found by this method. Can someone recommend a way to more easily find books written in french? I really wish that there were a language search option, but even trying to search the tags for "francais" has been difficult, and less than useful as there are many books that are not tagged.

I can only imagine there are many people with the same problem, especially when it comes to lesser known books. As Spanish is so widely used in our country, there must be Spanish readers on our site, not to mention anyone that knows a less common (in America) language that would love to be able to easily find what few books may be availible in their language, whether it be Norweigian, Dinka, Bislama or Mandarin Chinese.

Suggestions on how to better use the system? Any word on improvement in this area in the future?

Date Posted: 12/26/2007 4:28 AM ET
Member Since: 8/26/2006
Posts: 9,374
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Things I've found helpful:

Recently we've started adding "(French)" in the title line of French language books, and the equivalent for other languages, when we (we = members here who edit book date) notice one, so searching for those words should gradually become more productive. 

In searching for French books, do a search for "les" or "des" or "la,"  "le," "une," "sur" (one at a time) or other little words that are not spelled the same as english words and you'll find a lot of the books that are out there.

When I find a French book I want to order, I then take a look at the member's shelf.  If it looks like he or she has other French books, I add him/her  to my buddy list, then go to my buddy list and tag the person with a "French" buddy tag.

If you have a French book on your shelf, tag it "French" and "francais,"  Then click on each of the tags and see what they bring up.  (Again, book tags are new here, so this should become more & more helpful as the months roll by.)

Hope this helps, and Bonne annee!


patticom - ,
Date Posted: 12/26/2007 7:11 AM ET
Member Since: 11/3/2007
Posts: 416
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There is a foreign language forum in the list of "subjects" below.  I don't know if everyone knows about it, but it makes a convenient one-stop for listing foreign books of any language--wanted or posted!  :)  If you do find foreign language books, I'd encourage you to PM the poster and mention it to them; I know I will. 

There is also a way to search specifically for spanish books, but only that specific language... I can't remember now exactly how to do it, but someone posted here about it a few weeks ago.

What I'd like to see is a "genre" of book type for "foreign language books" of ANY type.  That would make them extremely easy to find by just browsing, and it would make it much easier to post them as well as I often will post books in languages I do not speak at all just because I can sometimes find them living in Europe.  :)  My german books haven't moved at all, but the french books I list disappear very quickly and I haven't a clue what they are about or what to call them by subject listing LOL... a FL category would solve that problem.  :)  Think I'll go and suggest it now.  ;)

Date Posted: 12/26/2007 3:10 PM ET
Member Since: 6/15/2006
Posts: 1,691
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I tired using "french" in an advanced search as a keyword.  Well, that brought up 10,000 hits.  You need a title or author to be effective there.

Then I tried "francais" in an advanced search as a keyword (no other search fields filled in).  That brought up just 179 hits.  Much more manageable.  

You could also get an ISBN for a book via your school's bookstore, a library or Amazon and search that way. 


Date Posted: 12/26/2007 5:06 PM ET
Member Since: 9/2/2005
Posts: 446
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I've been tagging books as en francais, have been trying to do it as I come across them so people can tell.

Date Posted: 12/26/2007 8:06 PM ET
Member Since: 12/6/2007
Posts: 31
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Merci Beaucoup pour votre aide! Your tips are fantastic, and I appreciate hearing some of the improvements that are being made. Patty, I especially appreciate your tip of searching for those little words... you are right, that would be a very efficient way of searching for such books. Can't believe I've never thought of that before!

If there are any more tips, I'd love to hear them, but otherwise, merci beaucoup, et bonne annee!