Did you read Anna Karenina And War&Peace? At what level on the CEFR language framework?

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german2k01
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Did you read Anna Karenina And War&Peace? At what level on the CEFR language framework?

Postby german2k01 » Sun Sep 12, 2021 7:47 pm

Hello Guys,

I would like to read the translation works of these two giant Russian novels by Tolstoi in German. I am wondering at what level should I approach reading them? Did anyone of you ever try reading them in the target languages you were trying to learn?
How was your overall experience dealing with them? Was it laborious? Did you feel comfortable? At what language level did you try reading them in your TL?

Thanks.
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Re: Did you read Anna Karenina And War&Peace? At what level on the CEFR language framework?

Postby Doitsujin » Sun Sep 12, 2021 8:40 pm

german2k01 wrote:I would like to read the translation works of these two giant Russian novels by Tolstoi in German. I am wondering at what level should I approach reading them?

I haven't read either book, but you can find both at Projekt Gutenberg-DE.

Here are random paragraphs from each book:

Krieg und Frieden wrote:»Ach, sprechen Sie mir nicht von diesem Österreich! Es ist möglich, daß ich nicht alles richtig verstehe, aber nach meiner Ansicht will es nicht den Krieg und hat ihn nie gewollt. Es verrät uns. Rußland allein muß Europa befreien. Unser Herr und Wohltäter ist durchdrungen von seiner hohen Mission und wird sich ihr gewachsen zeigen. Gott wird ihn nicht verlassen, er wird seine Aufgabe erfüllen und die Hydra der Revolution zerschmettern. Aber wem können wir vertrauen, frage ich Sie! England hat zu viel Krämergeist, um den hohen Flug der Seele des Kaisers Alexander zu begreifen, es weigert sich, Malta zu räumen, es wartet und argwöhnt Hintergedanken bei uns. Was haben die Engländer zu Nowosilzow gesagt? Nichts, denn sie begreifen nicht die Selbstverleugnung unseres Kaisers, welcher nichts für sich selbst, sondern nur das allgemeine Wohl will.

Source: Krieg und Frieden (L. A. Hauff translation, 1893.)

Anna Karenina wrote:Am unerquicklichsten war ihm jene erste Minute gewesen, da er, heiter und zufrieden aus dem Theater heimkehrend, eine ungeheure Birne für seine Frau in der Hand, diese weder im Salon noch im Kabinett fand, und sie endlich im Schlafzimmer antraf, jenen unglückseligen Brief, der alles entdeckte, in den Händen. Sie, die er für die ewig sorgende, ewig sich mühende, allgegenwärtige Dolly gehalten, sie saß jetzt regungslos, den Brief in der Hand, mit dem Ausdruck des Entsetzens, der Verzweiflung und der Wut ihm entgegenblickend.

Source: Anna Karenina (Hans Moser translation, 1920 )

IMHO, you'll probably need at least C1 skills to read these books.
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Re: Did you read Anna Karenina And War&Peace? At what level on the CEFR language framework?

Postby german2k01 » Mon Sep 13, 2021 11:32 am

Doitsujin wrote:
german2k01 wrote:I would like to read the translation works of these two giant Russian novels by Tolstoi in German. I am wondering at what level should I approach reading them?

I haven't read either book, but you can find both at Projekt Gutenberg-DE.

Here are random paragraphs from each book:

Krieg und Frieden wrote:»Ach, sprechen Sie mir nicht von diesem Österreich! Es ist möglich, daß ich nicht alles richtig verstehe, aber nach meiner Ansicht will es nicht den Krieg und hat ihn nie gewollt. Es verrät uns. Rußland allein muß Europa befreien. Unser Herr und Wohltäter ist durchdrungen von seiner hohen Mission und wird sich ihr gewachsen zeigen. Gott wird ihn nicht verlassen, er wird seine Aufgabe erfüllen und die Hydra der Revolution zerschmettern. Aber wem können wir vertrauen, frage ich Sie! England hat zu viel Krämergeist, um den hohen Flug der Seele des Kaisers Alexander zu begreifen, es weigert sich, Malta zu räumen, es wartet und argwöhnt Hintergedanken bei uns. Was haben die Engländer zu Nowosilzow gesagt? Nichts, denn sie begreifen nicht die Selbstverleugnung unseres Kaisers, welcher nichts für sich selbst, sondern nur das allgemeine Wohl will.

Source: Krieg und Frieden (L. A. Hauff translation, 1893.)

Anna Karenina wrote:Am unerquicklichsten war ihm jene erste Minute gewesen, da er, heiter und zufrieden aus dem Theater heimkehrend, eine ungeheure Birne für seine Frau in der Hand, diese weder im Salon noch im Kabinett fand, und sie endlich im Schlafzimmer antraf, jenen unglückseligen Brief, der alles entdeckte, in den Händen. Sie, die er für die ewig sorgende, ewig sich mühende, allgegenwärtige Dolly gehalten, sie saß jetzt regungslos, den Brief in der Hand, mit dem Ausdruck des Entsetzens, der Verzweiflung und der Wut ihm entgegenblickend.

Source: Anna Karenina (Hans Moser translation, 1920 )

IMHO, you'll probably need at least C1 skills to read these books.


I think if I do L-R to these novels, I may get more value out of these books and may understand them better, and can start my journey even before C1. But for it to happen, I will need to find corresponding audiobooks in German and translations in English.
Then do extensive reading to check how far I can move along without using any external help.
Let's see if I can find audiobooks for free otherwise, I will have to purchase them or look out for them on Audible.

Update: I got all the resources in one place for free. I am going to do L-R these books and see if I can understand them better this way.
I will be doing an extensive reading as well after doing L-R to see if my comprehension of the novels improves.
Special Thanks goes to Doitsujin for writing the names of the translator. Made it easier for me to find a copy in German in pdf.
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Re: Did you read Anna Karenina And War&Peace? At what level on the CEFR language framework?

Postby Doitsujin » Mon Sep 13, 2021 12:58 pm

german2k01 wrote:I think if I do L-R to these novels, I may get more value out of these books and may understand them better, and can start my journey even before C1. But for it to happen, I will need to find corresponding audiobooks in German and translations in English.
Then do extensive reading to check how far I can move along without using any external help.
Let's see if I can find audiobooks for free otherwise, I will have to purchase them or look out for them on Audible.
The 1920 Hermann Röhl translation of Anna Karenina is available for free at zeno.org and Librivox offers a German audiobook version of the same translation.
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german2k01
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Re: Did you read Anna Karenina And War&Peace? At what level on the CEFR language framework?

Postby german2k01 » Mon Sep 13, 2021 1:59 pm

Doitsujin wrote:
german2k01 wrote:I think if I do L-R to these novels, I may get more value out of these books and may understand them better, and can start my journey even before C1. But for it to happen, I will need to find corresponding audiobooks in German and translations in English.
Then do extensive reading to check how far I can move along without using any external help.
Let's see if I can find audiobooks for free otherwise, I will have to purchase them or look out for them on Audible.
The 1920 Hermann Röhl translation of Anna Karenina is available for free at zeno.org and Librivox offers a German audiobook version of the same translation.


Thanks. The same audiobook is uploaded on Youtube as well. The audiobook for war and peace is also available there.
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Re: Did you read Anna Karenina And War&Peace? At what level on the CEFR language framework?

Postby Le Baron » Mon Sep 13, 2021 4:30 pm

I haven't even tried reading these translated into my native language. Very long novels make me feel ill.

However, looking at those snippets War and Peace in German looks a lot easier than I imagined! I've been tricked before though. I read the back cover blurb and think it looks easy. Then a couple of sample pages including the opening page (which is often the most complicated in a novel) and decide it's possible.

Three chapters in... its like riding a bicycle through a swamp.
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Re: Did you read Anna Karenina And War&Peace? At what level on the CEFR language framework?

Postby SalzSäule » Sun Sep 19, 2021 9:00 am

Based on the extracts they definitely seem closer to C-Level novels to me. The extract from Krieg und Frieden is somewhat easier, but I still wouldn't expect someone at a B2 level to know Krämergeist, zerschmettern (can figure out on context though), and maybe even argwöhnisch although this is borderline B/C level I would say.

I did however just read through a few pages on Gutenberg and maybe someone with a solid high B2 level could read Krieg and Frieden, actually.
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Re: Did you read Anna Karenina And War&Peace? At what level on the CEFR language framework?

Postby aronald » Sat Sep 25, 2021 1:39 am

german2k01 wrote:Hello Guys,

I would like to read the translation works of these two giant Russian novels by Tolstoi in German. I am wondering at what level should I approach reading them? Did anyone of you ever try reading them in the target languages you were trying to learn?
How was your overall experience dealing with them? Was it laborious? Did you feel comfortable? At what language level did you try reading them in your TL?

Thanks.


I can't speak for the German version, but the Russian version is manageable at a C1 level. Tolstoy uses simple and straightforward language. Dostoevsky on the other hand...
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Re: Did you read Anna Karenina And War&Peace? At what level on the CEFR language framework?

Postby RyanSmallwood » Sat Sep 25, 2021 11:45 am

I went through Anna Karenina with Listening-Reading after just going through some Russian Assimil, and it worked really well. Story was very absorbing, and there's lots of parts where you're listening to character's thought processes and it kind of follows the flow of thought where they repeat certain things which makes it very easy to hook on and pick stuff up.
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Re: Did you read Anna Karenina And War&Peace? At what level on the CEFR language framework?

Postby pityus » Thu Sep 30, 2021 9:54 am

i've read "Anna Karenina" in English, although Russian is my mother tongue. as far as i remember, it was quite a manageable read for me, which is why i think a C1 should be sufficient in order to enjoy the masterpiece, and the German snippets above also confirm my conclusion - it is not all too dificult.
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