Are children stories grammatically advanced ?

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Re: Are children stories grammatically advanced ?

Postby Decidida » Tue Jun 30, 2020 3:59 am

devilyoudont wrote: Folktales or works considered a classic in your target language also provide some valuable cultural education ("Everyone" knows this story, and now you do too!)

It is essential to know Haitian parables to speak Haitian. Without knowing the parables, what people say sometimes makes NO sense when translated literally. LOL.
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Re: Are children stories grammatically advanced ?

Postby ryanheise » Tue Jun 30, 2020 3:35 pm

slowmoon wrote:One of the books I gave up on was a German translation of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. In some ways, it was harder than modern German non-fiction. Especially non-fiction about a familiar subject. Also, it seems that pre-twentieth century authors didn't adjust their writing to make it 100% comprehensible to children or teenagers.

One thing not many people realise about Alice's Adventures in Wonderland is that this book was written by a mathematician, and it is absolutely filled with logical and mathematical riddles. It was a critique on mathematics and on the inadequacies of the English language itself. I remember back to my university days having a meeting with my PhD supervisor (himself a mathematician) in which he described this book as perhaps the most brilliant book ever written, with almost every sentence being a "gem".

Whenever I think about how it has been translated into many different languages, I can only think how so much of that clever meaning would have been lost by translators who probably didn't get the meaning.

When I was learning Korean, I decided to buy a Korean translation of this book because I was curious to see how well the mathematical and linguistic jokes had been translated. As you might imagine, the translation read almost like a typical movie adaptation for children, focusing more on the whimsy and adventure. As such, I think the Korean version was actually much more comprehensible to me as a Korean learner than the English version would have been to an English learner.

But yes, I agree with you, the grammar in this book is not easy.
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Re: Are children stories grammatically advanced ?

Postby victorhart » Tue Jun 30, 2020 9:14 pm

It depends. If the children's books are carefully chosen by a native-speaking educator, they can be perfect for any level.

I am currently developing a English-language Basic 2 (second semester) series of homework assignments based on classic children's literature. It starts with very easy books and gets progressively harder toward the end of the semester.

I've posted the first one of the series here that you can check out: ... my-mother/
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Re: Are children stories grammatically advanced ?

Postby PeterMollenburg » Wed Jul 01, 2020 12:07 am

In response to the question in the title of this thread, as others have already indicated, it depends on the story. Who wrote it? For what age level? When was it written? And so on.

I've been reading children's books with my kids since my first was born around 6 years ago. At first I started with simple books for babies. Later, I tried harder and lengthier content as per my childrens' interests and level and I found myself struggling at first somewhat with a lengthy Disney book for example. Nowadays children's books are completely manageable, it's just a matter of adapting as we the language learners who persevere do. Like any learning activity it's a matter of sufficient consistent time on task and effort. But if you're not interested in children's books and have no kids with whom you can read aloud to, why torture yourself? Read what you're interested in instead.

On the other hand if you have kids you can share stories with them in a language you're wishing to maintain such as a heritage language or perhaps you're learning and can speak well enough to read children's books aloud, take advantage of the opportunity! My children have gained immensely from my reading time with them and it's meant so much more time for me on language learning - picking up new vocabulary, solidifying pronunciation and the language in general and exploring imaginary worlds with my kids.

If you are reluctant to use a weak language with your kids, but you have enough skill to read correctly (pronunciation), do it! You don't have to speak the language necessarily with your kids. Reading regularly with them will at least provide your kids with a passive comprehension of the language and that's better than zero comprehension, and you will gradually improve too. You could get the kids watching a little TV in the language and increase where comfortable your spoken language with them little by little.
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