Tuesday, April 19, 2022

My linguistic autobiography: Learning with Bertolt Brecht how to read German without looking up words

The German part of my linguistic autobiography began to develop further in my first semester of graduate school with a course on 20th-century German drama. Plays are good for working on reading skills in a foreign language because they're relatively short, and at first I took notes on any unfamiliar vocabulary in such plays as Frank Wedekind's "Erdgeist" and Georg Kaiser's "Von morgens bis mitternachts". Later in the term, I didn't have time for that anymore, but the first play I read without looking up vocabulary was Bertolt Brecht's "Mutter Courage", which I had read in English at university, and I discovered I could understand German without knowing all the words. (Andrew Shields, #111words, 19 April 2022)

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