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I have been experimenting with the idea of reading some classics in the languages they were written in - Greek, Latin, French, etc., and I am still wondering if the experience is worth the effort (of learning a language), especially given the availability of many excellent English translations.



The difficulty is that your language ability needs to be at such a high level that you'd lose more nuance from a translation than you would from lack of vocabulary etc when reading the original. In my opinion it's worth it for poetry but prose less so.


Hard to say if it's worth the effort, but I've taught myself enough French to read classics (e.g. Hugo, D├ęscartes, Tocqueville), and it really is an immense pleasure. I imagine I'll get a kick out of it for the rest of my life.




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