Since subjects are very often ommited, I find it hard to identify whether I'm reading a segment in the first person or the third person. What are the patterns to look for to identify one or the other? Is it common to jump between the two or are they generally the same throughout one book?
The question may seem broad, but this is a genuine question that learners will ask themselves when tackling their first books. With speech or manga, it's easy to know because people speak for themselves and use names or pronouns when speaking in the third person. For other books such as novels, how do you know if the text is the character speaking in first person or if it's the narrator speaking in the third person.
I'm basically in the middle of a book and I still have no clue if I should read "He attacked the merchant" or "I attacked the merchant".
I was asked to provide examples, here's the introduction of the novel:
My two translations:
There's something vivid in his memory, a red color also resembling crimson flames. With the horizontal sweeping of the smallish curved blade, there's a sound similar to a damp cloth tearing coupled with fresh blood splattered.
There's something vivid in my memory, a red color also resembling crimson flames. When I swept my smallish curved blade, there was a sound similar to a damp cloth tearing coupled with fresh blood splattered.
Up to that point, I still have no idea if it's someone talking about his memories or a narrator.
A bit later in the novel:
Here there is no doubt it's the third person but I don't know if it changed, maybe because they're fighting and there's dialogue. I think it's one of the only parts where he used his name. This is why part of my question was "is it common to jump between the two?".
Let me rephrase the question to give another perspective: Should you consider the text just like speech, meaning it's always first person unless there is clear pronouns (this would mean it can change whenever), or do you assume a point of view during the novel like in French or English? How do you approach the point of view as a novel reader?