Customer Reviews

23
3.5 out of 5 stars
German Short Stories: Deutsche Kurzgeshichten (New Penguin Parallel Texts Series)
Format: PaperbackChange
Price:£7.19+Free shipping with Amazon Prime
Your rating(Clear)Rate this item


There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
on 28 February 2011
Note that this review is for the Kindle version ONLY, and relates only to the format. I've no opinion as to the merits of the translation, or the level of language required, because I'm about to commit the unforgivable sin of posting a review before reading the book.
The point of having a parallel text is surely so that you can cover up one page, and try as hard or as little as you feel like to understand the original before taking a look at the translation.
That's not possible with a Kindle edition - the English version follows at the end of the entire German text in each case, so you'll have to bookmark it in several places as you go along and skip backwards and forwards.
Maybe it's my fault - after all, how did I expect they were going to render parallel columns? - but feeling stupid doesn't make feeling disappointed any better.
11 commentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
77 of 79 people found the following review helpful
This is a good set of german short stories. However, the back cover blurb is a little misleading. It says that it is accessible for all levels which is not true. Any book which has the sentence "They served from an African lake there, which instead of having been caught in nets, had been anaesthetized chemically" can not be classed as being aimed at "all levels". However the stories are challenging for students at A-level and I can recommend them for keeping your German ticking over in the summer holiday between the AS and A2 years. The layout is excellent as well, and makes difficult sentences easily crackable without having to refer to the dictionary a lot.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on 26 February 2009
I am inclined to agree with "wattsawatts2000" in that this is an excellent book, though indeed it has quite complex grammar in places and would suit A-Level students or those with a good working knowledge of written German. The notes added by the editor are very useful, and the English translations are very true to the German but without comprimising the English sense. I've found it a very useful and interesting way to build upon my existing German, and the stories are also very readable in English anyway. I would definitely recommend it to anyone of AS/A-Level standard (or equivalent) who would like a challenge!
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 18 December 2011
It is a long, long time ago since I studied German, nor have I had the opportunity of speaking the language...but I found the book not downright easy, but not difficult either. The parallel definition is good.

I am refreshing German mainly as a challenge - using it just like a crossword to stimulate my brain. I am treating the text as I was taught - studying the German concentrating on it , memorizing it as best I can then turning to the English and translating that. It does the trick. If I have a word I just can`t make head nor tail of, I look it up in a dictionary rather than look at the text. That way the word is explained in full.

I don`t think it is too difficult for students - I did Buddenbrooks (Thomas Mann) this way - I first read the book in German when I was a student - years later I did it by parallel.. - I couldn`t put it down. Maybe it is better to read something like it, something you like -

If this book is too challenging, don`t give up
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 2 November 2010
This book is a collection of short stories in German with the fairly literal English translation on the other page. The main points of this are that you can get a 'dictionary definition' (it is not a complete description, it is often best in the long run to look up words that may not be exactly the same as the English) that does not require putting down the book and much more importantly you can analyze and compare the differences in the way the two languages prefer to communicate the information from the level of the particle (if you are good at grammar) to the sentence, the paragraph and the story as a whole. I feel this is the main strength of a parallel text which the 'quick look-up' only serves to augment.

Normally Penguin Parallel texts feature quite dull texts (I should know, I have all of the new series in each available language and the 1st of the old Penguin Parallel series which believe it or not even had a now unavailable 'Soviet Stories') that are as a rule boring. However I found some of the stories in this text genuinely interesting; Lascia for instance features a humorous car journey with a rather crazy Romanian taxi driver around Sicily and the collection is capped off with two simple but involving stories about Communist East Germany. Not much occurs, but the description I found interesting. Personally I found the 48 page long story, which is only second after a truly bizarre first story "The Listener, or a Description of a Route with a Hidden Motive," 'Waiting for Guests' unbearably boring about an anxious woman interminably ruminating over her feelings about her divorce.

Still, short of being immersed in oral conversation with Germans, reading is the next best thing and with a parallel translation to look over I find I absorb much more of the important structure of thinking (& grammar). This volume, as with written German in general, is difficult to run through having long sentences only being completed at the end, but it is worth it; especially after time spent investigating the roots of the German language, which then enables one to 'build' the German language yourself.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 26 December 2012
I struggled with the way this was translated so I loaned it to a native Berliner who works as a translator for the government, she was less than impressed and suggested the translation was poor and that some compound German words were either not used or do not exist.
I buy parallel text books from German bookshops now.
22 commentsWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
This is supposed to be a parallel text, but on the Kindle version, it isn't. Having to scroll through to the end of the German text to find the English translation is unacceptable. What is the point of a book that states a parallel , bi-lingual, book, when it just isn't there? I should have bought the hard copy, and made life a lot easier.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on 2 March 2010
This book is advertised as being for any level of german. This is not the case. The grammer and vocabulary are very advanced. I have been studying by myself for a few years and was constantly refering to the english translation.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 15 June 2011
Although it is a good book, the content is a very high standard of German. For example 'Kritikers', Erbitterung' and 'Urteils. Maybe it is more suitable for the 'A-level' standard. But it is good for learning new vocabulary. The translations are also very good. I found the packaging good quality- no damage to the edge of the book. So over all it is a good book for advanced German learners.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 15 February 2014
it is too obviously translated by a german speaker not wholly at ease with english style. e.g. very long german type sentences
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
     
 
Customers who viewed this item also viewed


 
     

Send us feedback

How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you?
Let us know here.