>>7697172 that 's the nominative plural of "bonus", filthy monoglot. >>7697173 With Spanish what found most bizarre was that some authors, like Marquez, were completely coherent with even some basic Romance language knowledge; others, like Ortega y Gasset were completely incoherent. What is the biggest literary perk to you for knowing Spanish?
I learned French, German, Latin and Ancient Greek. I'm currently going through Japanese but it's harder than expected. French is probably the best choice when it comes to culture, because France has consistently been a strong, leading intellectual center through the centuries whereas the other countries had shallow ages or a tardive significance. In addition to the many titles available, it has what I consider the most vigorous and flourishing tradition regarding the classical era. I've never met as much comments, analysis and studies related to Latin and Ancient Greek authors. Next comes German, which I find to offset a couple of deficiencies France have, all aside strenthening its mutual interests and having a solid tradition. Then, finally, I would mention English but I have to admit I've never been that much interested. My passion about Japanese has almost nothing to do with culture and literature. I've read a lot of short stories and a bunch of classics, all I found quite enjoyable, but the very exciting part in Japan is Japanese itself, with all its Chinese characters, its rules, its old, archaic forms, its conjugation and the story behind them. I truly love Japanese for what it is, regardless of the literary tradition it gave birth to.
In addition, I think the Scandinavian may have a lot to get interested in. I dislike semitic languages—I tried to learn Hebrew to read the Bible but I couldn't stand it—but I've a kind crush for Farsi. Overall, I've a preference for indo-european languages, spoken in or out of Europe; Spanish, Italian, Romanian, Dutch, Portuguese. I'm not convinced they have as much to offer as the ones I know do, however.
>>7697157 I'm learning most of the languages I'm interested in, so I'll just answer the second part of the question.
>German (native) There is a lot of great literature in German. A lot of it doesn't translate well into English and some books are only enjoyable if you know the historical context of Germany. That's probably why I always think the "Best German Books"-lists made by Anglophones are a bit weird.
>Latin Pretty useful for history, philosophy and literary theory in my experience. There is also a lot of great Latin poetry.
>Swedish (/Danish/Norwegian) The best thing about learning one of these three is, that it is quite easy to read the other two then. There is a lot of neat literature, but I'm still on the search for something completely mindboggling. Greatest plus are the qts, though.
>Icelandic (/Faroese/Old Norse) Again, it doesn't take a lot of effort to be able to read the other two. The whole literature isn't really varied, as far as I can tell. But if you're into it, it's really rewarding to master it.
>>7697157 I speak English, German and Spanish with about equal fluency, and have added French in the last year (still getting there on fluent speech, but I can read unencumbered), just staring Arabic now.
All bonuses are cumulative. You won't understand Romance languages on a really deep linguistic level until you learn two of them and one from a totally different family. Which is nice because each language you add makes the next one, and all the last ones, easier. But that's all drifting towards linguistics, which is what I'm most interested in--the literature is like a field of raw material full of subtleties that help you apply what you've learned, with the added benefit of bringing you into contact with amazing fucking shit that you'd never have appreciated if you'd stayed in the hobbit-hole of your mother tongue.
>>7698362 Different for everyone, but for me the steps were: 1) Lose Job 2) Whine like a bitch for a month 3) Find motivation 4) Pirate Rosetta Stone v3.0 because fuck you I'm broke 5) Spend wasted days repeating meaningless sounds into a computer 6) Repeat through 5 levels 7) Buy parallel-text poetry and short story collections 8) Find music with French lyrics you like, and memorize it: cease listening to all other music and repeat the nonsensical sounds until you can pick out words (you have to find music you REALLY can put up with) 9) Keep up with 7 and 8, plus whatever movies suit your fancy
Again, that's just me, obviously if you're doing something alone you have to find a personalized way of doing it.
>>7698371 The rosy stoun is garb. they have the very same retarded program for each language that won't get you any further than "my name is peter", "airplane" and, ultimately, "the 3 is between the 5 and the 9".
>>7698276 >A lot of it doesn't translate well into English and some books are only enjoyable if you know the historical context of Germany. That's probably why I always think the "Best German Books"-lists made by Anglophones are a bit weird. Which books do you books do you prefer yourself, which do you think are liked by anglos? Here "the Germans" are Hesse, Böll, Grass, Thomas Mann, Kafka, Nietzsche & Brecht + a ton of non-fiction. Are we missing anything? & is it the middle brow authors? cowboy fiction from the GDR? that Endless Story guy? >>7698273 Dunno. Maybe it's that Muricans have taken all their colonies away? >>7698381 The language family talk belongs to stormfront, shitlords. English grammar is the same as Mandarin and for the language that I speak our neighbours for the last 2000 years are actually coherent, unlike our supposed retarded brothers from the days before the oceans drank Atlantis.
>>7699224 The authors you list are also considered to be important in Germany, but they represent only a small time in German literature. I'm surprised that Thomas Mann is on there, since his books were way more popular in Germany than in the states.
For German classicism, everyone has to read Goethe and Schiller, who are probably the most famous German writers. I would also recommend the plays of Friedrich Dürrenmatt, in particular Die Physiker and Besuch der alten Dame. More recent works would be Das Parfum by Patrick Süskind and the works of Walter Moers, whom I like very much.
In terms of poetry, Paul Zech, Gottfried Benn and Paul Celan are cool.
If you're interested in medieval literature, I'd urge you to read the Nibelungenlied, our national epic.
>>7700211 Who told you I was talking of the States? The states are just that. Paul Zech - the guy who translated the lost/non-extant of François Villon? Goethe and Schiller also goes without saying. Dürrenmatt - if your city has a theatre you will heard the name as well. Süskind - The Eco style? Yeah, he's known because of the movie. Benn did write shit and gore and he was sleeping with another more important poet. Wer war das? For Celan - what is he supposed to have plagiarized from Mandelshtam? This is a poem I would like to read although my German is mostly passive. And yet I absolutely love Old Osip. The Nibelunglied is perhaps way too long. I do have a translation in an anthology which also includes Beowulf and Old Scandi poetry about some lumberjacks going around in a boat and killing one another in different sadistic ways. From what I remember NL is not about lumberjacks but about cooks doing essentially the same. Have you read the whole thing? Did you like it? The wiki says it was slammed the very same way as old Beowulf when it was first discovered. For Goethe and Schiller I have to confess their language is too difficult. German poets from the 16th to the 18th centuries (Simon Dach, Neander, Luther, Wernicke...) go down like cream but once you get to those grand classics it feels like they are using the fancymost way to tell you the most banal of things. And it's not like they have a sense of humor like, say, Heine or Busch. So it boisl down to looking up words the whole time which aren't used elsewhere in the entire German corpus. Moers wrote a lot I see. Which is the poetry you like?
By the way, guys, since this appears to be the best of threads for ask: What "macaronic" (multilingual) poetry have you read? What can you suggest? In CB185 of the Carmina Burana, for example, the passages in Old German tell you the story of a girl frolicking in the woods. If you also know Latin you'll learn she was raped and now she bewails her virginity. There are other such German/French/Vulgar Latin songs in the CB and I know there is polyglot poetry by Raimbaut de Vaqueiras and Oswald von Wolkenstein. >>7700231 reading Samhita or the Upanishads is fine if you are also the kind of person who believes the poetry you find in the bible is sublime. You are not gonna read the Hindu epics and for the Classical or the Buddhist philosophy (which can be interesting) you do not need Vedic Sanskrit but just Sanskrit which is about as straightforward as the Latin of Descartes, of Hobbes, Spinoza and Erasmus.
>>7700265 I like the Nibelungenlied very much and there are retellings in Modern German out there. If it's too long for you I recommend skipping the second half which is called "Kriemhilds Rache" oder something. It was added later on and not that great imo.
Medieval German literature is a bit different from the Icelandic sagas, as it was mainly written for nobility and not for some farmers.
>>7700360 The shantih shantih shantih of T.S.Eliot or hieroglyphs in Pound do not really count, since none of this requires you to know the language (and it's very doubtful that the poet did) or are there any German modernists who did it right? There also was a fashion to add Greek and Latin quotations on top of the poetry amongst the Russian Akmeists but that does not count either, does it?
>>7699230 I also like Chinese. Why do you assume it's not the case? Why being a “broader” or a “more global” is relevant from a literary point of view? Do you think it's depending on the number of speakers?
>Which language would you learn if you just wanted the culture & books? German, French, Russian, Italian, Ancient Greek, Latin, Spanish.
>Which ones do you already speak? Icelandic, English, German, Spanish, Dutch Danish/Swedish/Norwegian (little bit).
>What boni do you get from it? With German, I can read german literature, hang out with german bros and pass as a German in Germany. With Spanish I can hang out with spanish/mexican bros and throw some jokes which make me instantly likeable for the spanish speaking people. The other languages are just for travel purposes or good to haves. Very easy to me since they belong to the same language group and are basically a mix of the ones I already know.
>>7698276 >>7700358 Vel gert ad laera íslensku, ekki margir sem nenna thví. How good is your Icelandic and how long have you been learning? If you are reading the sagas and understanding the majority, I would guess you are already advanced, but talking it would be much more difficult. Actually the sagas weren't written for some farmers, they were mostly sagas written from some farmers since they were collected by wealthy chuchmen and bishops who wrote down the oral stories from farmers. These stories were kept in the oral tradition well into the 14th century or later for farmers to entertain and meditate on during long winters. I know some old people today who can still recite poetry and stories that are in dozens of verses and can whip out some witty poems without sweating.
Anyways, I'm living and stuyding in Germany now and want to better my german. Are there any more important medieval writings as the Nibelungenlied which are must reads? Also, is the Brüder Grimm worth a read? I'm already at a comfortable level of reading difficult texts although I still struggle a little bit but I'm mostly looking for some text which are considered the most beautiful German. So entry level stuff like das Parfum, die Verwandlung, Zweig, Hesse, I am done with (will have to re-read though probably).
>>7700392 I don't know that much about modernism, but there is a Swedish modernist poet who also used Italian and French in his poems. Sadly, I don't remember his name and my books aren't at hand.
>>7700718 Takk, það er rosalega gaman að læra íslensku. Viltu vera í bandi?
I started learning Icelandic (Old and New at the same time) in 2014 and have lived in Iceland since summer. I can read and understand very well, but I stutter a lot when I have to speak.
I know I wasn't doing justice to the sagas. The main difference between Sagas and Medieval German literature is, that the latter is always about noblemen and heroes, seldomly about the simple people. While the sagas obviously focus on the inhabitants of an area.
I have read Eyrbyggja and Laxdæla and translated a lot of Egils Saga for Old Norse class. Right now I'm reading Grettis Saga and it is the first one I actually enjoy.
When it comes to German Medieval writings, I can only recommend Minnelieder (love songs). The longer texts like Antikenromane are awfully boring and long and you need to know a lot about the culture to really understand them. Maybe reading some summaries on Wikipedia will help with that. There are some fun things from the later medieval period like the Narrenschiff, but I'm not that knowledgeable with them.
Brüder Grimm are definitely worth a read!!!
Most beautiful German... I have heard people say Thomas Mann. My favourites language-wise are (from the top of my head):
Bertold Brecht: Baal Gottfried Benn: Gehirne Goethe: Die Leiden des jungen Werther Herrmann Hesse: Siddharta
>>7700881 >Takk, það er rosalega gaman að læra íslensku. Viltu vera í bandi? Endilega, ég tharf thá bara ad búa til throwaway netfang thví ég veit ekki hvada klikkhausar eru hérna. [email protected]
I guess you are studying icelandic or old-norse in HÍ if you are translating sagas. I actually haven't read either Eyrbyggja or Laxdaela but Egils is damn good. Grettis, Gísla saga Súrssonar and Njáls are also pretty legendary. In my opinion one of the best I have read and have some really fucking good sayings, is the Vaeringjasaga and the hilarious Bósa saga Herrauds. If you want to experience the best the icelandic ever got to (in my experience, I haven't read nearly as much as I could have) then read Ódysseifskvidu (Odyssey) translated by Sveinbjörn Egilsson. He had mastered ancient greek and icelandic to such a degree that when you read it, it is like drinking aesthetics. But that's my opinion, most icelanders haven't read it and will probably point you to some meme author like Halldór Laxness or Steinn Steinarr for good icelandic.
>Minnelieder >Antikenromane >Narrenschiff I will check these out if I find them in eletronic format. I am reading die Leiden des jungen Werthers and it is pretty good so far regarding prose. I have tried to read der Tod in Venedig but it's a monster, not trying that until I have been here for one more year I think. Brecht, Benn I don't recognize and Siddharta I have not read in german.
What about some crucial poets? I'm mostly reading Rilke and Heine now and they are comfortable. Any recommendations for beginner poets?
Both German and French are pretty much useless on account of their extinction, namely those languages are now getting replaced by Arabic very rapidly which means that I'd much better go for Spanish due to its vast quantity of Spanish spoken people in Latin America as well as good literature written in 20 century.
>>7700927 Old lit in most of these countries was written in Classical Chinese, but that’s different from modern-day. My guess is Korean might be the easiest, but none of them will be a walk in the park.
>>7700944 It's funny that you choose the Odyssey. I had a German professor tell me that the translation by Johann Heinrich Voß is the best German poetry.
I'll check out your recommendations. I have not enjoyed Laxness that much, but I've not read the other things you mentioned. Until now, I liked Svartar Fjaðrir by Davíð Stefánsson frá Fagraskógi and Völuspá best.
>Minnelieder This is a nice one by Walter von der Vogelweide, the most famous Minnesänger https://de.wikisource.org/wiki/Under_der_linden_(Codex_Manesse) I'd also recommend checking out his Palästinalied, even though it's not a Minnelied https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palästinalied
>German poets There are so many... A good idea might be checking out this book (Preview-PDF https://www.reclam.de/data/blickinsbuch/978-3-15-010650-1.pdf). It is quite cheap and has the most important poems from medieval times up until now.
Ernst Jandl Is quite witty and often read in school, he plays a lot with the language http://www.lyrikline.org/de/gedichte/ottos-mops-1232#.VsJR4ZtnIXw (example)
Theodor Storm His novella Der Schimmelreiter is really nice and he wrote some easily understandable poetry. For example Noch Einmal! which I like very much http://www.staff.uni-mainz.de/pommeren/Gedichte/Storm/noch.htm (you can also read lots of his other poems here: http://www.staff.uni-mainz.de/pommeren/Gedichte/Storm/)
Erich Kästner Best known for children's book, also wrote some good poems. They are really interesting if you're into German history and get some of the references: http://www.deutschelyrik.de/index.php/kennst-du-das-land-wo-die-kanonen-bluehn.html
>>7700718 >Are there any more important medieval writings as the Nibelungenlied which are must reads? This is the "first (High) German poem": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i-Aj_OfluNg Der Arme Heinrich is a short novel or a longish poem using simple language and with a cliff-hanger plot reminiscent of a Comic Book (a Hiob story, but the pious Hiob knight is told he can get back all he had lost by cutting the heart out of a blameless virgin). Waltharius Manu Fortis is a Germanic 10th century saga written entirely in Latin by a monk. So: it's good for the lulz.
>>7700944 >>7701042 >German poets >rather comfortable the most "comfortable" poets are Heinz Erhardt and Eugen Roth (it's humor), Schwitters (dadaism) and Hermann Hesse (pot philosophy). It's what you can quote without sounding even slightly creepy. If you want uncomfortable poetry, take this: http://gutenberg.spiegel.de/buch/erotische-sonette-2479/1
Are most of you guys European? American here, and our language courses are nearly nonexistent. Most likely language to be taught here would be Spanish, but die hard patriots would throw a shit fit if that were compulsory.
What I want to learn for culture/books: >persian >german >russian But I'm a very undisciplined person and so far I've never gotten anywhere. Regardless I am still greatly triggered when I read a translation and there is a section in the beginning about what compromises had to be made.
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