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 Post subject: Books in other languages
PostPosted: Mon May 30, 2016 10:20 pm 
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Maybe because sometimes I feel that I am the only one reading mainly in a different language and that most of the authors recommended and read by most you of are writing in English, I opened this thread to talk about some of my preferred books which were written in other languages: German, mainly, but also French (and some altogether different languages, read in translation).

A few German fantasy classics:

Michael Ende: Momo
Michael Ende: Die unendliche Geschichte (The Nervending Story)

Cornelia Funke: Tintenherz (Inkheart - a whole series of three books)
Cornelia Funke: Reckless (title is the same in German, it's a series about the Grimm brothers)

Walter Moers: die 13 ½ Leben des Kapitän Blaubär (The 13 ½ lifes of captain bluebear)
Die Stadt der träumenden Bücher (The city of dreaming books)
Das Labyrinth der träumenden Bücher (The maze of dreaming books)
There are a few more by Moers, but those are masterpieces.

Otfried Preussler: Krabat
(I think it has been translated under the title The satanic mill - it's a book which I read as a child and never forgot)

Does any of you know those or is curious about books and especially fantasy in/from a different language?

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PostPosted: Mon May 30, 2016 10:44 pm 
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The entire Inkheart/Titntenherz series has been published in English and the first book was actually an English film a few years ago.

So what fantasy/sf books would you recommend for a German beginner?

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PostPosted: Mon May 30, 2016 11:37 pm 
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of Vinyamar
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I've read the Inkheart trilogy, the Neverending Story and The Satanic Mill. I never knew that last one wasn't originally in English. Of course, more recently I've read the Stieg Larssen Millenium trilogy. Oh, and I bought myself a German copy of LotR when I was there. Every now and then I read a passage I know well to see how well I can understand it in German.

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PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2016 12:39 am 
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I read the Inkheart books along with my son. I think I enjoyed them more than he did, because he missed some of the references.

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‘It’s a lot more complicated than that -’
‘No. It ain’t. When people say things are a lot more complicated than that, they means they’re getting worried that they won’t like the truth. People as things, that’s where it starts.’
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PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2016 1:25 am 
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I've read the Inkheart books -loved them too.

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PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2016 3:45 am 
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I, too, have read the Inkheart books, and Neverending Story.

I also really enjoyed Peter Høeg's books - Danish, not German - and haven't read them all, only Miss Smilla, Borderliners and The Elephant Keeper's Children.

Also books by Orhan Pamuk, a Syrian writer whose name evades me, some Greek writers...but I read only in English translation as I have no other language that I understand well enough to read without frustration.

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PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2016 4:20 pm 
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Fantasy is often considered as literature of "less" value in the German speaking world, although it has become widely popular in the last years.

Jude, I would say that none of the books qualifies for a real beginner in German. I read "Krabat" (The satanic mill) last year with students and they absolutely loved it although there is no translation in French. It's an excellent book. Momo it fairly easy too. It's a touching story, but a children's book in the start and that shows quite clearly. For Science Fiction, I would not know, I don't read a lot of it. The original version of the Planet of the Apes is in French... which you read too if my memory does not fail me.

Cornelia Funke - the author of Inkheart and Reckless - is very popular. The Reckless series comes out in German and English at the same moment, she either writes in both languages or has them translated and works with the translater as she is living in the USA. They are very beautiful books as she illustrates them herself. I like the story, but they are not as special as Inkheart, I think.

Another fantasy author, bot not only that, is Kerstin Gier. She wrote a trilogy about a time travelling teenage girl - Saphirblaur, Robinrot, Smaragdgrün - they are quite "girly" but easy to read and enjoyable.

In French, there is Maxime Chattam who wrote a series of six books (so far) about a dystopian future after a totale collapse of the earth which only teenagers survive. He has teen fanbase which is impressive in France. Usually, he writes thrillers. The series is called Autre-Monde in French. Last year for a school project in fan fiction, I read a novel about a tiny people (sized several centimetres only) living in trees, called Tobi Lolness. It's nice children and youth book and easy to read in French.

Alatar, I also read the Millennium trilogy (in German) and several other Swedish and Icelandic crime novels - all in German, by the way. Matthias loves crime novels, so we always have some new ones at the house for a quick read. There are some very good German and French authors in that field too.

I do read a lot in English (recently some Outlander), but I'd love to find something in Spanish and/or Russian which is not too difficult and would make me read in those languages.

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PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2016 4:57 pm 
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Wow, you speak/read Spanish and Russian, as well as English, German and French? To say that is impressive is a huge understatement!

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PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2016 5:31 pm 
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Voronwë I read Spanish, but I don't speak a lot. I have no practice. My Russian is worse. But I love both languages and would love to improve my knowledge, especially of Russian. Now, Canamarth has given me a beautiful edition of Puschkin's fairy tales for christmas that might be a start.

If anybody (Frelga??) knows of a Russian author, I'd love to try reading it.

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PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2016 5:32 pm 
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Still beyond impressive to me!

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PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2016 8:30 pm 
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Frelga knows of Russian authors, yes. :) What kind of thing are you looking for?

Pushkin can be tough for a beginner, in the way Shakespeare is not an English 101 author, but he is one of the greatest poets in the history of Western literature.

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‘There’s no greys, only white that’s got grubby. I’m surprised you don’t know that. And sin, young man, is when you treat people as things. Including yourself. That’s what sin is.’
‘It’s a lot more complicated than that -’
‘No. It ain’t. When people say things are a lot more complicated than that, they means they’re getting worried that they won’t like the truth. People as things, that’s where it starts.’
Terry Pratchett, Carpe Jugulum


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PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2016 9:02 pm 
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I would look for a book which is interesting, so that I am compelled to continue reading. I don't know anything about living Russian authors and I'd actually prefer a living/modern author and eventually not too difficult. Eventually a good children's book - they tend to be less complicated but can have interesting story lines.

I am aware that Pushkin is not easy, but the edition Canamarth gave me is illustrated by Bilbilin and I love Bilbilin (I copied a dress from one of his illustrations two years ago). One the things that would absolutely fascinate me to read one day would be Russian or soviet history manuals which are or were used in school, but I don't know how to search for them and I cannot type in cyrillic to search on amazon.ru. (My Russian is very poor really, but I am keen to improve it).

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PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2016 9:03 pm 
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Another suggestion: listen to Russian operas and read along.

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PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2016 9:14 pm 
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psst: don't tell anybody: I'm not huge fan of operas... (have never been, but have become even less fan, partly because the first Mrs. Marschall was a trained opera singer and sang quite a lot. Listening to opera music Means a lot of tension for Matthias)

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PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2016 10:07 pm 
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Nin, you can use translit.net to transform Latin text into Cyrillic.

I did a Google search for советские учебники истории and came up with a bunch of sites offering to download them for free. I haven't clicked on any of them as I'm at work, but if you copy the Cyrillic into Google, you might come up with something.

I didn't keep up with the modern authors after I left but let me see if I can come up with someone.

I am super impressed that you are doing this. It's got to be very hard to go from German to Russian. If I can be at all helpful, just say the word.

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‘There’s no greys, only white that’s got grubby. I’m surprised you don’t know that. And sin, young man, is when you treat people as things. Including yourself. That’s what sin is.’
‘It’s a lot more complicated than that -’
‘No. It ain’t. When people say things are a lot more complicated than that, they means they’re getting worried that they won’t like the truth. People as things, that’s where it starts.’
Terry Pratchett, Carpe Jugulum


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 01, 2016 12:23 am 
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Voronwë the Faithful wrote:
Still beyond impressive to me!


IAWVtF

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 01, 2016 2:51 am 
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Nin, I think you can be excused for not being particularly interested in increasing your appreciation of Opera!

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 19, 2016 7:37 pm 
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During my holidays, I have read a very compelling novel in German, but a translation exists. It is a partly science-fiction novel (with a lot of maritime science which I cannot evaluate, but which sounds true and logic) about the oceans attacking humanity... It down sound weird, but it was a great read.

Frank Schätzing: The Swarm

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 19, 2016 10:37 pm 
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Noted. If i can find it for kindle; I'll read it.

Posting on phone via Tapatalk

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2016 6:08 am 
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I'm reading "Mexican Short Stories - Cuentos Mexicanos" which is a Dual Language Book. Edited and translated by Stanley Appelbaum. The book has classic Mexican short stories with the Spanish version on the left hand page, and the English translation on the right hand page, so I can look back and forth and not have to dig up the unfamiliar words in my dictionary.

And I bought a copy of Juego de Trones (Game of Thrones), because I didn't get very far with the library copy before I had to return it. Maybe I'll finish it by next year.

I've dabbled in a number of languages, but Spanish is the only one in which I've gotten to the reading prose level. I'm seriously impressed with you Nin, that you can read in so many languages.

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