Many students here at PSU have taken foreign language classes. One of the ways to study a foreign language is by reading a book written both in your original language and the language you are studying. Personally, I constantly check out both Japanese and English versions of books by Japanese authors in order to test my understanding of English.
I also enjoy seeing how professionals translate from Japanese to English. Sometimes very simple words are interpreted into something very complicated, as well as the other way around.
I also just love to read. One of my favourite authors is Haruki Murakami, whose books (both fiction and non-fiction) are well-known around the world and have earned him many prizes, including the Franz Kafka and theJerusalem. Murakami’s fiction is surreal, focusing on themes of alienation and loneliness. He is popular not only in Japan, but also in the U.S. I am able to find many of his books in the PSU library system, even the original Japanese versions. For example, both versions of his first well-known book, Norwegian Wood, are available at the PSU library. I really enjoyed reading the English edition. The translation was sometimes surprisingly different than I thought, and at other times totally made sense. Also, it is just a really great read! If you haven’t read any of his books, and are interested in modern Japanese culture, I highly recommend that you check out his work from the PSU library.