First German Reader: A Beginner's Dual-Language Book [NOOK Book]

Overview


Designed expressly for the beginning German language student, here is an outstanding collection of fifty-two short stories, poems, essays, and anecdotes. Each selection has been specially chosen for its power to evoke German life and culture. This dual-language edition features precise English translations on pages that face the original German text. New students will enjoy the pleasure of reading great German literature from the very first page, as the selections have been arranged to accommodate the gradual ...
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First German Reader: A Beginner's Dual-Language Book

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Overview


Designed expressly for the beginning German language student, here is an outstanding collection of fifty-two short stories, poems, essays, and anecdotes. Each selection has been specially chosen for its power to evoke German life and culture. This dual-language edition features precise English translations on pages that face the original German text. New students will enjoy the pleasure of reading great German literature from the very first page, as the selections have been arranged to accommodate the gradual improvement of language skills. Helpful vocabulary and language exercises are also included.
First German Reader features the works of many of Germany's best writers, including Goethe, Hesse, Heine, Schiller, Hölderlin, and other literary virtuosos. The translations of Harry Steinhauer are vivid and true to the originals—and poetic in their own right. Literature lovers, German language students, and other readers will find this volume an accessible exploration of German literature . . . and an invaluable aid to mastering the German language.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780486119564
  • Publisher: Dover Publications
  • Publication date: 2/7/2012
  • Series: Dover Dual Language German
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 375,113
  • File size: 784 KB

Meet the Author

A native of Cracow, Poland, Harry Steinhauer was Professor Emeritus and Founding Chair of the Germanic, Slavic, and Semitic Studies Department at the University of Santa Barbara.

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First German Reader

A Beginner's Dual-Language Book


By Harry Steinhauer

Dover Publications, Inc.

Copyright © 1992 Harry Steinhauer
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-0-486-11956-4



CHAPTER 1

    DAS LEBEN

    Johann Gottfried Herder

    Ein Traum, ein Traum ist unser Leben
    Auf Erden hier.
    Wie Schatten auf den Wogen schweben
    Und schwinden wir.
    Und messen unsre trägen Tritte
    Nach Raum und Zeit.
    Und sind (und wissen's nicht) in Mitte
    Der Ewigkeit.


    LIFE

    Johann Gottfried Herder

    A dream, a dream is our life here on earth.
    Like shadows on the billows we float and vanish.
    And measure our slothful steps by space and time.
    And are (and know it not) in the midst of eternity.

CHAPTER 2

DER PHONIX

Gotthold Ephraim Lessing


Nach vielen Jahrhunderten gefiel es dem Phönix, sich wieder einmal sehen zu lassen. Er erschien, und alle Tiere und Vögel versammelten sich um ihn. Sie gafften, sie staunten, sie bewunderten und brachen in entzückendes Lob aus.

Bald aber wandten die besten und geselligsten mitleidsvoll ihre Blicke ab und seufzten: »Der unglückliche Phönix! Ihm wurde das harte Los, weder Geliebte noch Freund zu haben; denn er ist der einzige seiner Art!«


THE PHOENIX

Gotthold Ephraim Lessing

After many centuries it pleased the phoenix to let himself be seen once more. He appeared, and all the beasts and birds gathered about him. They gaped, they were amazed, they admired and broke out into rapturous praise.

Soon, however, the best and most sociable [among them] averted their eyes pityingly and sighed: "The unlucky phoenix! To him fell the hard lot to have neither a loved one nor a friend; for he is the only one of his kind!"

CHAPTER 3

    WANDERERS NACHTLIED

    Johann Wolfgang von Goethe


    Über allen Gipfeln
    Ist Ruh,
    In allen Wipfeln
    Spürest du
    Kaum einen Hauch;
    Die Vögelein schweigen im Walde.
    Warte nur, balde
    Ruhest du auch.


    WANDERER'S NIGHT SONG

    Johann Wolfgang von Goethe


    Over all the mountain peaks
    is peace,
    in all the tree tops
    you feel
    scarcely a breath;
    the little birds are silent in the forest.
    Just wait, soon
    you too will be at peace.

CHAPTER 4

DIE WOHLTATEN

Gotthold Ephraim Lessing

»Hast du wohl einen größeren Wohltäter unter den Tieren als uns?« fragte die Biene den Menschen. »Jawohl« erwiderte dieser. »Und wen?« »Das Schaf. Denn seine Wolle ist mir notwendig, und dein Honig ist mir nur angenehm.—Und willst du noch einen Grund wissen, warum ich das Schaf für einen größeren Wohltäter halte als dich, Biene? Das Schaf schenkt mir seine Wolle ohne die geringste Schwierigkeit; aber wenn du mir deinen Honig schenkst, muß ich mich noch immer vor deinem Stachel fürchten.«


THE BENEFACTIONS

Gotthold Ephraim Lessing

"Have you a greater benefactor among the animals than us?" the bee asked man. "Oh yes," the latter replied. "And who is that?" "The sheep. For its wool is necessary to me and your honey is only agreeable. And do you want to know another reason why I regard the sheep as a greater benefactor than you, bee? The sheep gives me its wool without the slightest difficulty; but when you give me your honey, I still have to fear your sting."

CHAPTER 5

    DIE SCHRITTE

    Albrecht Goes


    Klein ist, mein Kind, dein erster Schritt,
    Klein wird dein letzter sein.
    Den ersten gehn Vater and Mutter mit,
    Den letzten gehst du allein.

    Sei's um ein Jahr, dann gehst du, Kind,
    Viel Schritte unbewacht,
    Wer weiß, was das dann für Schritte sind
    Im Licht und in der Nacht?

    Geh kühnen Schritt, tu tapfren Tritt,
    Groß ist die Welt und dein.
    Wir werden, mein Kind, nach dem letzten Schritt
    Wieder beisammen sein.


    THE STEPS

    Albrecht Goes


    Your first step, my child, is small,
    your last will be small.
    Your father and mother will accompany the first,
    the last one you will walk alone.

    When a year has passed you will walk, child,
    Many steps unguarded.
    Who knows what sort of steps they will then be
    In the light and in the night?

    Walk a bold step, take a brave step,
    The world is great and yours.
    After the last step we shall, my child,
    be together again.

CHAPTER 6

KINDESDANK UND UNDANK

Johann Peter Hebel

Man findet gar oft, wenn man ein wenig aufmerksam ist, daß Menschen im Alter von ihren Kindern wieder ebenso behandelt werden, wie sie einst ihre alten und kraftlosen Eltern behandelt haben. Es geht auch begreiflich zu. Die Kinder lernen's von den Eltern; sie sehen und hören's nicht anders und folgen dem Beispiel. So wird es auf die natürlichsten und sichersten Wege wahr, was gesagt wird und geschrieben ist, daß der Eltern* Segen und Fluch auf den Kindern ruhe* und sie nicht verfehle.

Man hat darüber unter anderen zwei Erzählungen, von denen die erste Nachahmung und die zweite große Beherzigung verdient.

Ein Fürst traf auf einem Spazierritt einen fleißigen und frohen Landmann an dem Ackergeschäft an, und ließ sich mit ihm in ein Gespräch ein. Nach einigen Fragen erfuhr er, daß der Acker nicht sein Eigentum sei, sondern daß er als Taglöhner täglich um 15 Kreuzer* arbeite. Der Fürst, der für sein schweres Regierungsgeschäft freilich mehr Geld brauchte und zu verzehren hatte, konnte es in der Geschwindigkeit nicht ausrechnen, wie es möglich sei, täglich mit 15 Kreuzer auszureichen, und noch so frohen Mutes dabei zu sein, und verwunderte sich darüber. Aber der brave Mann im Zwilchrock erwiderte ihm: »Es wäre mir übel gefehlt, wenn ich soviel brauchte. Mir muß ein Drittel davon genügen; mit einem Dritteil zahle ich meine Schulden ab, und den übrigen Dritteil lege ich auf Kapitalien an.« Das war dem guten Fürsten ein neues Rätsel. Aber der fröhliche Landmann fuhr fort und sagte: »Ich teile meinen Verdienst mit meinen alten Eltern, die nicht mehr arbeiten können, und mit meinen Kindern, die es erst lernen müssen; jenen vergelte ich die Liebe, die sie mir in meiner Kindheit erwiesen haben, und von diesen hoffe ich, daß sie mich einst in meinem müden Alter auch nicht verlassen werden.« War das nicht artig gesagt, und noch edler und schöner gedacht und gehandelt? Der Fürst belohnte die Rechtschaffenheit des wackeren Mannes, sorgte für seine Söhne, und der Segen, den ihm seine sterbenden Eltern gaben, wurde ihm im Alter von seinen dankbaren Kindern durch Liebe und Unterstützung redlich entrichtet.

Aber ein anderer ging mit seinem Vater, welcher durch Alter und Kränklichkeit freilich wunderlich geworden war, so übel um, daß dieser wünschte, in ein Armenspital gebracht zu werden, das im näm-lichen Orte war. Dort hoffte er wenigstens bei dürftiger Pflege von den Vorwürfen frei zu werden, die ihm daheim die letzten Tage seines Lebens verbitterten. Das war dem undankbaren Sohn ein willkommenes Wort. Ehe die Sonne hinter den Bergen hinabging, war dem armen alten Greis sein Wunsch erfüllt. Aber er fand im Spital auch nicht alles, wie er es wünschte. Wenigstens ließ er seinen Sohn nach einiger Zeit bitten, ihm die letzte Wohltat zu erweisen und ihm ein paar Leintücher zu schicken, damit er nicht alle Nacht auf bloßem Stroh schlafen müsse. Der Sohn suchte die zwei schlechtesten, die er hatte, heraus, und befahl seinem zehnjährigen Kind, sie dem alten Murrkopf ins Spital zu bringen. Aber mit Verwunderung bemerkte er, daß der kleine Knabe vor der Tür eines dieser Tücher in einem Winkel verbarg, und folglich dem Großvater nur eines davon brachte. »Warum hast du das getan?« fragte er den Jungen bei seiner Rückkunft. »Zur Aushilfe für die Zukunft«, erwiderte dieser kalt und bösherzig, »wenn ich Euch, Vater! auch einmal in das Spital schicken werde.«

Was lernen wir daraus? Ehre Vater und Mutter, auf daß es dir wohl gehe!


GRATITUDE AND INGRATITUDE OF CHILDREN

Johann Peter Hebel

We find very often, if we are just a bit observant, that people are treated by their children in old age just as they once treated their old and helpless parents. And this procedure is understandable. The children learn it from their parents; they see and hear nothing else, and follow the example [set them]. So, what is said and written comes true in the most natural and surest way: that the blessing and curse of parents descend on their children and do not pass them by.

We have two stories, among others, on this subject; the first deserves imitation and the second special heed.

A prince, out for a ride, met a busy and happy farmer [going] about his business and entered into a conversation with him. After a few questions he learned that the farm was not the man's property but that he worked [on it] as a daily laborer for fifteen kreutzer per day. The prince, who of course needed and had more money to spend for his heavy business of government, could not figure out rapidly how it was possible to make out with fifteen kreutzer per day and to be so cheerful in spirit about it too, and expressed his astonishment. But the good man in his drill coat replied to him, "I would be in a bad way if I needed as much as that. I have to get along with a third of it; with a third I pay off my debts, and the remaining third I lay aside as capital." This was a new riddle for the good prince. But the cheerful farmer continued and said, "I share my earnings with my old parents, who can no longer work, and with my children, who must yet learn how to work; to the former I requite the love they showed me in my childhood, and from the latter I hope that they too will not abandon me some day in my weary old age." Wasn't that nicely put, and even more nobly and beautifully thought and acted? The prince rewarded the good man's integrity, cared for his sons, and the blessing which his dying parents gave him was honestly repaid to him by his grateful children in his old age through love and support.

But another man treated his father, who, to be sure, had become cranky through age and debility, so badly that the latter wished to be taken to a home for the poor that was located in the same place. Though the care might be scanty, there he at least hoped to be free from the reproaches which were embittering the last days of his life at home. This was a welcome word to his ungrateful son. Before the sun set behind the mountains the wish of the poor old man was fulfilled. But in the home for the poor he did not find everything as he wished it. At least, after some time he sent a request to his son to do him a last favor and send him a few sheets, so that he would not have to sleep on the bare straw every night. The son selected the two worst sheets he had and ordered his ten-year-old child to take them to the old grumbler at the home. But to his astonishment he noticed that the little boy hid one of these sheets in a corner outside the door and therefore brought his grandfather only one of them. "Why did you do that?" the father asked the boy when he returned. "As an emergency for the future," the latter replied coldly and cruelly, "when I'll send you to the home for the poor some day, father."

What do we learn from this? Honor your father and your mother so that things may go well for you.

CHAPTER 7

DAS BÄUERLEIN IM HIMMEL

Brüder Grimm

Es ist einmal ein armes, frommes Bäuerlein gestorben; nun kam es vor die Himmelspforte. Zur gleichen Zeit ist auch ein reicher, reicher Herr da gewesen und hat auch in den Himmel gewollt. Da kommt der heilige Petrus mit dem Schlüssel und macht die Pforte auf und läßt den reichen Herrn herein. Das Bäuerlein hat er aber, wie es scheint, nicht gesehen und macht also die Pforte wieder zu. Nun hat das Bäuerlein von draußen gehört, wie der reiche Herr im Himmel mit aller Freude empfangen worden ist, wie sie musiziert und gesungen haben.

Nach einer Weile ist drinnen alles wieder still geworden; der heilige Petrus kommt wieder, macht die Himmelspforte auf und läßt das Bäuerlein herein. Jetzt hat das Bäuerlein gemeint, wenn er käme, werde auch musiziert und gesungen; aber da ist alles still gewesen. Man hat es zwar mit aller Liebe aufgenommen und die Engelein sind ihm entgegengegangen; aber gesungen hat niemand. Da fragt das Bäuerlein den heiligen Petrus, warum man bei ihm nicht singe wie bei dem reichen Herrn, es ginge da, scheint's, im Himmel auch parteiisch zu wie auf der Erde.

Da sagt der heilige Petrus: »Aber gewiß nicht, du bist uns grad so lieb wie alle andern und darfst alle himmlische Freude genießen wie der reiche Herr. Aber schau, solch arme Bäuerlein, wie du eines bist, die kommen alle Tag' in den Himmel; so ein reicher Herr aber, je,* da kommt nur etwa alle hundert Jahre einer. Und du mußt verstehen, daß das besonders gefeiert werden muß.«

Des gab sich das Bäuerlein zufrieden.


THE LITTLE PEASANT IN HEAVEN

The Brothers Grimm

Once a poor, good peasant died; then he came before the gate of Heaven. At the same time there was a rich, rich gentleman there too, and he also wanted to get into Heaven. Then Saint Peter comes with his key and opens the gate and lets the rich gentleman in. But it seems he hasn't seen the peasant, and so he locks the gate again. Now the peasant heard from outside how the rich gentleman was received in Heaven full of joy, how they made music and sang.

After a while everything inside became quiet again; Saint Peter comes once more, opens the gate of Heaven and lets the peasant in. Now the peasant thought that, when he came, they would make music and sing too; but now everything was quiet. True, he was received with love, and the dear angels came to meet him; but no one sang. So the peasant asks Saint Peter, why don't they sing for him as for the rich man; it looks as if things are done with bias in Heaven too, as on earth.

To this Saint Peter says: "But of course not, you're just as dear to us as all the others, and you may enjoy all the joy of Heaven like the rich gentleman. But look, poor peasants like yourself come to Heaven every day; but such a rich gentleman, gee, there's only about one every hundred years who comes. And you must understand that this must be celebrated in a special way."

With this [explanation] the peasant was satisfied.


(Continues...)

Excerpted from First German Reader by Harry Steinhauer. Copyright © 1992 Harry Steinhauer. Excerpted by permission of Dover Publications, Inc..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents


Preface
1. Johann Gottfried Herder, Life
2. Gotthold Ephraim Lessing, The Phoenix
3. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Wanderer's Night Song
4. Gotthold Ephraim Lessing, The Benefactions
5. Albrecht Goes, The Steps
6. Johann Peter Hebel, Gratitude and Ingratitude of Children
7. Brüder Grimm, The Little Peasant in Heaven
8. Hermann Hesse, In the Mist
9. Hermann Hesse, Trees
10. Walter Bauer, Yearning for What
11. Brüder Grimm, The Life Span
12. On Germany: 1. Country and People
13. Wilhelm Schmidtbonn, The Ferryman and the Monk
14. Thoughts I
15. Heinrich Heine, There Was an Old King
16. On Germany: 2. Economics
17. Otto Ludwig, Fortune and Misfortune
18. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Lynkeus' Song
19. Walter Bauer, Bach
20. On Germany: 3. The Social Structure; 4. Culture
21. Thoughts II
22. Wilhelm Müller, The Linden Tree
23. The Dangers of Translating
24. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, May Song
25. Fritz Mauthner, The School of Giving and the School of Taking
26. Eduard Mörike, September Morning
27. About the German Language
28. Walter Bauer, Kant
29. Wilhelm Busch, The Indispensable One
30. On Germany: 5. Art; 6. Balance Sheet
31. Eduard Mörike, Seclusion
32. Thoughts III
33. Goethe
34. Peter Rosegger, When Winter Comes
35. Walter Bauer, Martin Luther
36. Theodor Storm, Close Both My Eyes
37. Kurt Tucholsky, What We Are Proud of in Europe
38. Heinrich Heine, The Silesian Weavers
39. Johann Peter Hebel, Kannitverstan
40. German Philosophy
41. Friedrich von Schiller, The Glove
42. Peter Bamm, In Memoriam Rockefeller
43. Matthias Claudius, Of Friendship
44. Paul Ernst, The Bed
45. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Autumnal Feeling
46. Waldemar Bonsels, The Grasshopper
47. William Shakespeare, Hamlet's Monologue
48. Thoughts IV
49. Herbert Eulenberg, Walt Whitman
50. August Graf von Platen, Tristan
51. Ludwig Börne, On Social Intercourse
52. Friedrich Hölderlin, The Half of Life
Notes
Questions
Vocabulary
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Customer Reviews

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 21, 2012

    Great book for beginning German students

    Have only read a few of the first stories and poems, but already find that this is a good book for someone like me who has taken only 1 or 2 semesters of German. Good selecton of literature by well known authors.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 4, 2015

    The text in this book is full of errors!`

    Dear Barnes and Nobel,

    You made many errors in converting this book to Nook. From about page 17 on, the English and German texts are messed up. Look at the Herman Hesse selection called "Trees" or "Baeume."

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 29, 2013

    Not for beginners

    I just tried to read bit of this book and found it to be much to difficult. Perhaps there are those who can read at this level within a few weeks of beginning to study German but I found it difficult after seversl years. I felt the promotion was misleading and am deleting the book from my Nook.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 27, 2012

    Pretty good.

    Requires some vocabulary knowledge or checking the English translation. More in depth than basic.

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