Monday, 21 January 2008

The Awful German Language by Mark Twain

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Hallo meine lieben Deutsch lernenden Freunde! I just read Mark Twain's great essay "The Awful German Language" on If you are interested in the German language, and often frustrated about the horrible grammar: it's a very funny read and should cheer you up.

"The Awful German Language" is an essay written by the great American humorist Mark Twain and published as Appendix D in his book A Tramp Abroad. This book was written as a description of an extended visit to Europe in 1878 and 1879, partly motivated by the desire of Twain's readers (and publisher) to see another one of his travel books. He and his family made their primary home in the Schloss Hotel in Heidelberg, Germany, and through study develop a working knowledge of the language surprisingly quickly. Note the phrase "working knowledge" -- the learning was by no means easy or joyful for any of the family. More than once Mark Twain became so fed up with the "outrageous and impossible German grammar" that he simply abandoned it.