The German Language (Märchen und Erzählungen für Anfänger

Point: The Awful German Language by Mark Twain

Counterpoint: Why we should learn German by John le Carré

Synthesis: Märchen und Erzählungen für Anfänger. Erster Teil by H. A. Guerber / Zweiter Teil

UPDATE: “Jakobs Haus”


Those last links go to one of those interesting finds I’ve been meaning to talk about for forever and a day. The title is German and means “Fairy Tales and Stories for Beginners”;”First Part”/”Second Part”. The introduction is in English though, and there’s a German/English vocabulary!

Since I don’t know when I’ll find the time to write a longer article about it, I’m just giving you little more than the links now. Besides, since German is my native language it’s really up to somebody else to see how useful it is. Seems very promising to me, though.

The other possible issue is that, well, I haven’t read all of it and so I’m kind of worried there might be passages that are horribly anti-Semitic or otherwise offensive. Doesn’t seem like it, but you never know. It’s a late 19th C. text. If so, you have now been warned.

I do have read the first seven chapters of part one though, and I think they are great, even just taken as stories. The repitition and limited vocabulary suits the fairy-tale style and creates a slightly odd, but charming rhythm. It starts with a (German, natch) prose version of The House That Jack Built, and later on there’s a rather unexpected appearance by Loki, God of Evil Mischief, aka Loge… good stuff.


Feel free to reblog/repress this post without asking for permission or whatever, by the way. Or write your own article on it, even. (Not that my permission is needed for that anyhow.) This is one of those cool discoveries I really, really would like to spread the word about. Also, it could use some attention from somebody who’s  learning and/or teaching German, I think, and I’d be very curious about their impression.

3 thoughts on “The German Language (Märchen und Erzählungen für Anfänger

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