Spectacular Books Known for Featuring Foreign Languages

Are you a fan of learning new languages or sees foreign words in books? Check out these titles that highlight foreign languages in their stories!

Book Culture Diversity On This Day Recommendations
three book covers on a beige background with purple flowers

Have you ever read a book that included a foreign language word that made you stop in your tracks? Maybe you knew what the word meant already, or you had to look it up. It’s always a joy when authors write stories involving unique languages or write about their language backgrounds while implementing vocabulary to teach the reader some fun phrases. If you are a fan of languages, check out this list that will teach you new words and phrases!

Babel by R.F. Kuang

"Babel" cover with a black and white illustration of the Babel building

Babel takes place on the campus of the University of Oxford within their real Babel building, standing at the center of campus. The entire story is based on the practice of translation, where extremely talented students are accepted based on their knowledge of languages around the world. With this fact, Kuang included a multitude of foreign language words, being so kind as to leave footnotes to give the meaning of the translation, saving you the time of looking it up. Sometimes characters even explain the deep meaning of each word, giving you some fun facts.

Crying in H Mart by Michelle Zauner

"Crying in H Mart" cover with a pair of chopsticks picking up noodles creating the letter M

Crying in H Mart became extremely popular as Korean-American Michelle Zauner wrote her memoir focusing on her mother’s journey with cancer. She includes Korean vocabulary and sentences when describing conversations with her family as well as Korean traditions and food, as food also plays a major role in this memoir. If you haven’t read this book already, even if you aren’t a fan of memoirs, I still highly recommend this touching story.

The Fellowship of the Ring by J. R. R. Tolkien

"The Fellowship of the Ring" cover with a yellow ring surrounded by the Elvish language

The Lord of the Rings series is well known around the world. It is so well known, in fact, that Elvish languages were created for the book and movies! You can see what Elvish looks like by looking at the script on the cover of the book. Fans have been able to find resources online to learn more about the dialects, but you can’t get to the point where you can have full conversations. J.R.R. Tolkien was also a linguist, which made his invention of these languages possible.

The Spanish Love Deception by Elena Armas

"The Spanish Love Deception" cover with Catalina and Aaron character designs as well as a plane and suitcases

In the mood for some romance? Elena Armas’s Spanish Love Deception was a hit when it was released! Catalina uses a lot of Spanish with her hysterical family in Spain, and her fake boyfriend Aaron also speaks Spanish with them. Some translations are given, but the beauty is that you can guess the meaning of the sentences because of the emotion and context surrounding them. This book is a fun read and will help you get into vacation mode!

A Pho Love Story by Loan Le

"A Pho Love Story" cover with both characters holding ingredients while looking at each other.

Is anyone else a fan of Pho? This book follows the love story of two Vietnamese Americans. The problem is that their families have been fighting because they have neighboring restaurants! Vietnamese can be found here, and it will give you quite the appetite! Will they be able to be together despite the battle between their families?

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