Foreign Language Friday: Il piccolo principe

The purpose of Foreign Language Friday is to encourage language learners to read, share, and discover books in languages other than their native language (in my case, Italian). Feel free to borrow the image above and create your own post. Please stop by and let me know if you do!

Italian Title: Il piccolo principe
Original Title: The Little Prince
Author: Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Source: my personal library

English: Amazon | Italian: Ultima Books

Synopsis (from Goodreads):

Moral allegory and spiritual autobiography, The Little Prince is the most translated book in the French language. With a timeless charm it tells the story of a little boy who leaves the safety of his own tiny planet to travel the universe, learning the vagaries of adult behaviour through a series of extraordinary encounters. His personal odyssey culminates in a voyage to Earth and further adventures.

Last week I read an Italian translation of The Little Prince. I hadn’t read it since I was in elementary school, so in a sense, I felt as if I was reading it for the first time. Reading as an adult was a completely different experience. From my childhood reading, I remember the characters and the events in the story. But as an adult, I know the story’s wisdom and truths are what will stay with me.

The Little Prince meets and interacts with a variety of characters on each world he visits: a drunkard, a businessman, a geographer, a salesman, and many more. Each visit is a little parable, giving readers much to reflect upon about the way we interact with other, make sense of the world around us, and decide what is most important in our everyday lives. This book is practically overflowing with thought-provoking phrases.

(But the eyes are blind. One must look with the heart.)

The language is geared for ages 8 and up, so it’s pretty simple and straightforward, even for non-native readers. You’ll need to be comfortable with the passato remoto verb tense. Thanks to plenty of context clues, I found myself able to learn new words without looking them up in a dictionary, which really helped my reading feel natural and fluent.

I would recommend Il piccolo principe to early intermediate Italian readers.