The Awful German Language

Posted on October 9, 2011 by Jack Kelly
Tags: librivox

I finished another audiobook this morning: Mark Twain’s The Awful German Language. I’m not sure what to think about this reading. I enjoyed the material, but the reader sounds like a German Pravin Lal. It’s good that the reading was done by a native German speaker, especially when Twain makes fun of German compound words.

I imagine it would be a more entertaining piece if I actually knew German. Even so, Twain comes up with great lines like “I heard a Californian student in Heidelberg say, in one of his calmest moods, that he would rather decline two drinks than one German adjective.”

To my untrained ear, the deadpan reading of the giant compound works makes them sound especially amusing, but the same effect occurs when I instead read the apparent jumble of letters in written form.

Overall, I think it’s worth enjoying, but read the text instead of worrying about the audiobook. Either way, it’s fairly short.

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