I can always read Braudel in French. His style is lucid, his prose bold and enthusiastic, and his thrust and intent always clear enough to overcome the occasional gaps in my French vocabulary. (Context is a fine teacher.)
But I have never been able to read fiction as easily in a language not my own. One cannot as easily skip a word in fiction without missing the gist, I think, and the resulting doubt ruins my enjoyment.
When I find my copy of Andrea Camilleri's novel The Snack Thief, I'll try reading it side by side with its Italian original, Il ladro di merendine. For now, the parts I can comprehend most easily as I flip through the Italian version are the language-mangling Catarella's speeches.
"I always read the text first if it’s fiction. For non-fiction it’s not so essential – you’ll get there in the end."© Peter Rozovsky 2010