Tuesday, 30 June 2015

How to search for foreign books successfully on Amazon

This isn't something that everyone will need because they might already know how to do this - I feel as though I've been stuck under a rock or something where I only have limited knowledge of how to actually work Amazon. But nonetheless I felt it important to share, because if I didn't know about it, there is a good chance that others may not.

You can get pretty much anything on Amazon, and books are a main seller. But what I didn't know is that you can get any book translated into a foreign language, and there is only a certain way to go about it. 

For those just learning a language and have never owned books in a language other than your native one, this is an important internet skill to have. There might be a contemporary young adult novel that you are dying to have in two languages, but if you search Amazon for it you may not be able to find it.

Take a look at this picture. I've searched 'the fault in our stars French edition' and you will notice that Amazon has provided me with other young adult titles - none of them in French:

You will also notice that just below the search engine, there isn't a bar with the language options like in the photo below. The search engine hasn't even registered what you're searching for, even though you have done the best you can in describing the item you want:

So what you have to do is use something that I certainly don't normally use... the shop by department drop bar. Just click on the normal 'Books' button and it should take you to a much more accurate destination than your original search:

In the left column, just scroll down until you meet the language options, and choose from there:

I'm going for French in this tutorial, but you can see that through this search there are many more language options, so you can try your hand at anything:

It will then take you directly to a page of all of the best-selling French books right now, and on the left again is the genre list where you can narrow your search further. You then just have to do a bit of digging to find the book you want, or if you know the original language's title, then you can search that:

That's it! I like Amazon but this was a new discovery for me when I was starting to research French books to improve my language skills. I couldn't find what I wanted, and you can't just go onto amazon.fr or amazon.es and order your books internationally because you won't have an account on any foreign Amazon site. 

I hope that this helped those that were confused, because even as internet-savvy as I am I didn't know this before a couple of weeks ago, and so I figured that others might be having the same problem. If not, then congratulations! You've conquered the internet.

There will be more language learning posts in the near future, but this had to be done first, because what's the point in recommending foreign books if you can't find them!?

Happy shopping!

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