Novels with language learning as a theme

I’m always on the lookout for novels with a theme of foreign language acquisition or multilingualism.

Came across this one the other day, which sounded intriguing.

Maybe it will interest any Finnish speakers or learners out there… though strictly speaking the character is re-learning his native tongue.

Be interested to know of any other novels out there, where foreign language acquisition or translation is a theme (especially the German language).

Kind of funny that the only nordic language they havn´t translated it into, is Finnish. Maybe it just won’t work? But if they do, I would love to read it. Seems interesting!

What a wonderful find. Thank you!

Years and years ago I picked up a copy of “The Polyglots” by Gerhardie, such a delightful book, in the hope of finding lots about language learning in it :)))

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Thanks SanneT for the suggestion - I will definitely look it up! Hard to resist the title alone :slight_smile: Another novel, which I just got for Christmas, is ‘The Translator’ by Nina Schulyer. The main character also suddenly loses her native language (though in this case, retains fluent Japanese)… maybe there’s a whole bookcase of novels with a similar theme out there :))

Interesting thought… I suspect you may be right because from what I’ve glimpsed so far, there are a quite a few quotes in Finnish and I’m guessing part of the book’s strength hinges on the ‘exoticism’ of the intertexuality, as well as the apparent complexity of Finnish grammar. Native/fluent Finnish readers may just wonder what is the point??

I don’t know how the language learning aspect shown in the film “The 13th Warrior” is dealt with in the novel it is based on (The Eaters of the Dead by Michael Crichton), but in the film Antonio Banderas’s character seems to be a gifted learner and teacher :)))

The 13th Warrior: "Learning the Language" - YouTube He was learning the language by listening!