Has anyone learned another language for the purpose of reading literature in its original language? Did you get any worthwhile insights over the translations? I want to learn German so that I can read all of the great philosophers in their native tongue.
I've been learning German for eight years and spent a couple months in Brandenburg. Still can't touch the philosophers. Can read Hesse without a dictionary and Kafka and Goethe pretty well though.
English translations clear a lot of stuff up for German, since Germans can make infinite sentences packed with relative clauses that make sense but are awful to read. The original is nice because it keeps article gender and of course some words are hard to translate. It's a really directional language so it's fun to start thinking in German terms about movement and space and stuff.
This was useful thanks. Yeah, there are obviously going to be some words which don't translate perfectly and I'd really like to connect with the full meaning, to better understand how they intended to relate ideas together. I've got some very basic German down, hoping it won't take me 8 years!
I’m German and I always read the English translation of a German book because I’m now used to read books in English.
Sometimes I read the same book in German simultaneously and it always feels weird to me.
I just typed out why I feel this way, but I deleted it because I sounded like a mad man.
This doesn't make any sense really. I mean lets say you are in your mid-twenties; learning a language is not going to be easy, especiajlly if you are a monoglot. It will take years to become proficient at a language. Do you really think when you read a complex work of literature you will be able to render a better interpretation than any of the well-versed academics who translated the book in question?