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GERMAN LANGUAGE AND LITERATURE

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  • Why we think that German has a bigger vocabulary than English (or any other Indo-European language) - November 2016

    While it is generally considered that the almost-universal language of Shakespeare and Bob Dylan has the largest number of words of any (Indo-European) language, it seems obvious to us that this distinction rather belongs to the language of Goethe and Thomas Mann, when the following considerations are taken into account:
    1. GERMAN DICTIONARIES ARE JUST AS BIG AS THEIR ENGLISH EQUIVALENTS The standard German dictionaries for everyday use, the very comprehensive Duden shown above (500,000+ (...)

  • "The Awful German Language", by Mark Twain - May 2016

    Mark Twain concluded this very entertaining overview of the German language with the statement: « . . . a gifted person ought to learn English (barring spelling and pronouncing) in thirty hours, French in thirty days, and German in thirty years. .(!!)
    His reflections on the particularities of the language of Goethe, and his suggestions for reform - a most topical subject - make very good reading indeed.
    Recommended for germanophiles and germanophobes alike!
    THE AWFUL GERMAN LANGUAGE
    A (...)

  • A German-English literary dictionary (with German-language definitions) - April 2015

    The core of this bilingual literary dictionary consists of all of the words looked up in various dictionaries while working through some 60-odd German-language novels and short-story anthologies over the past umpteen years [1].
    For each separate meaning of an entry-word [2] we have included the original German definition and the German-language usage examples from the reference dictionary [3].
    And we have taken particular care to ensure that there are separate entries in the dictionary (...)

  • German Literature - a personal survey - March 2014

    Being able to read texts in the language of Goethe and Schiller has certainly been an advantage in my long-standing quest to better appreciate the literature of that mysterious land on the other side of the Rhine, as many works that are well-known or even famous in the German-speaking world are out of print or particularly hard to find elsewhere in translation, or have never even been translated.
    Mostly this is due, I would think, to the enduring popularity of the short-story format among (...)