Up until this section I really thought questions like these would be written as, ''læse du en god roman?''.
That is a 99% correct translation and I would not think twice about it if you used that. 'Er du ved at' adds that it is something currently happening, as opposed to being a general thing. Much like 'are you reading/do you read. (native speaker)
would "Are you going to read a good novel?" work? it's pretty common here to use 'going to' and 'about to' interchangeably, so long as the speaker doesn't mean literally going somewhere for a purpose.
"Are you going to" would be "Skal du til at læse", "Er du ved at" is present
Novel (roman) and book (bog) are two different words. And while in English, we might use book far more than novel, the sentence here is using the word roman, not bog.
No, they're not at all equivalent. There are plenty of other kinds of books besides novels.
they're not exactly equivalent but we very often say 'book' in english when we're talking about novels, much more so than in french, german or danish. So it's reasonable to translate 'roman' as 'book' in many contexts even though the word novel exists
By that argument, you can get away with any number of translations by picking a more general word instead of the specific word available. You could insist that you could say "fruit" when it's specifically an apple. A novel is a specific kind of book, with a specific meaning.
it’s permissable to leave informaton out when it’s safe to assume that information would not have been included by the speaker if they had been speaking in english. e.g.
‘un chat’ - we would only rarely translate this as tomcat, even though gender information is included
‘eine Studentin’ - a reference to the student’s gender may or may not be appropriate depending on context
‘ein Handy’ - we increasingly tend to just call a mobile/cell phone a ‘phone’ in English. Sometimes we should drop the specific reference to ‘mobile’ when the situation is clear from context
‘vi sidder og snakker’ - the reference to sitting may or may not be relevant, the translator needs to use judgement.
‘pigeon/dove’ the distinction doesn’t exist in many languages, people translating from english may choose not to call a pigeon a ‘large gray dove’ if this is not relevant
Well then, I simply disagree that it would be safe to assume that an English speaker would say "book" when they had a novel in mind.
I am a native English speaker and we do use "book" as a general term. No one would say "I'm going to the library to rent a novel". They'd say "book".
I didn't say people would never use "book" as a general term. I said you couldn't assume they would always use book instead of novel. The point is that "book" is not an accurate translation when someone specifically said something about a novel and specifically meant a novel. "Book" is a translation of "bog". It has the same amount of information. If you translate "roman" as "book", you've made a choice to remove information that the original person provided about which kind of book it was.
If someone told you to "rent" them a novel and you came back with some other kind of book they would be most unhappy if you just shrugged your shoulders and said "same thing". It's not the same thing. And if someone asked in Danish for a "roman" and you translated it to a librarian saying "my friend wants a book", you would be failing to tell the librarian that the Danish speaker doesn't just want any kind of book. It's a piece of information you decided not to translate.
But... No one would ever "rent" a book from a library around here. They would borrow it.
Does this mean "are you reading a good novel (these days)" or "is the book you are reading (right now) good"?
It's more the latter. The sentence is talking about what is happening right now.
I would also like to know this. That's what I put and was told it was wrong.
Actually, as I have learn, "sider og læser" is more a matter of saying about you reading while sitting. It therefore implies a state of mind and so on.
Now I would do like that :
Are you reading a good novel? = Læser du en god roman ?
Er du ved at læse en god roman? = are you going to read a good novel ?
Sider du og læser en roman? = Are you reading a novel, well sitted (in an armchair, the cat on your knees with a coffee mug aside) ?