Would you like to share with us anything that you enjoy in your mother tongue?

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White Belt
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Would you like to share with us anything that you enjoy in your mother tongue?

Postby sanjiu27 » Thu Aug 06, 2020 9:40 pm

I've seen that this forum is full of people from various parts of the world, so I was wondering if you'd like to share with us which kind of media (ranging from books and podcasts to social media accounts) or topics do you usually enjoy and find interesting in your mother tongue.

In my case, I'd like to talk about a topic I've been very interested about for a while: the so called memoria histórica, that is to say the people's history of Spain in the twentieth century. I hope this will be of some interest to you too.

La memoria histórica.

As you may know, here in Spain we lost the war against fascism during the late 30s and only after roughly 40 years of dictatorship we had a peaceful transition to democracy orchestrated by the own institutions. This means that it was them, the fascist politicians, the ones who directed the shift to democracy. As a result, there was not a replacement of civil servants and other vestiges of the dictatorship, and it was promoted by all means a "Pact of Forgetting" and an official version of the historical facts which more or less equate the role of the republican faction and the "Nationalist" (fascist) faction in the Civil War, and also presents Franco as a sort of benign (or not-that-bloodthirsty) dictator. You can read about this official, supposedly "impartial" version in the short book "La Guerra Civil Contada Para Jóvenes", by Arturo Pérez-Reverte [1].

I've read and listen to hundreds of testimonials about these years, including from people who are still alive today. They usually talk about the poverty, the unemployment, the extremely low salaries, the slave labor of imprisoned people (mostly because of political reasons), the extreme kind of violence perpetrated by the fascists, the unequality, the continuous calls to the fascist authorities made by malicious neighbors and, especially, the starvation, so I don't have words to express my indignation. Here in this blog you can read some of those: https://viajandoentrelatormenta.com/. They're also available in the website of the non-profit organization Association for the Recovery of Historical Memory. Many of them leave you speechless.

The starvation was a direct consequence of voluntary economic policies adopted by the fascist regime, as it's analyzed in this article by a researcher of the University of Granada. In school textbooks, however, they say that it was a natural consequence of the war. The starvation and the poverty forced millions of people to migrate to Latin America and Europe, and to those who stayed and didn't own any land to chase cats, doves and rats, and to look for food in the garbage so they could survive. You can hear about this from almost anybody who is today 80-90 years old, maybe 70-80 in some regions. Here an example.

They only ones who benefited from this regime were the big landowners, bankers (like Juan March), ecclesiastical authorities, high-ranking military officials and businessmen, and all those people closely allied to their interests. The pretended impartiality is nothing but a desire to dillute this simple fact.

If by any change you're also interested in this topic, I'd suggest to:

- Read the books "Historia de España" and "La Guerra Civil Española" by Pierre Vilar (I can share them).
- Read the novel "Los Santos Inocentes" by Miguel Delibes, or watch its adaptation to the screen in Youtube.
- Read poems by Miguel Hernández, Federico García Lorca, Antonio Machado and Gabriel Celaya.
- Watch "Plácido", by Luis García Berlanga.
- Read the Memoria Histórica's section of the alternative newspaper Kaosenlared, particularly the articles by Manuel Márquez Berrocal.
- Listen to any of these songs: Asturias by Víctor Manuel (Pedro Garfias' poem), Fidelidad by Luis Pastor, Todos Repiten lo Mismo by Labordeta, Emigrante by Pablo Guerrero, La Poesía Es un Arma Cargada de Futuro by Paco Ibáñez (Gabriel Celaya's poem), Uno de Aquellos by Joan Manuel Serrat (Miguel Hernández's poem), Al Alba by Aute and Cuervo Ingenuo by Javier Krahe.

[1] A big majority of the current Spanish intellectuals are quite conservative, specially those related with La Real Academia de la Lengua Española.
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Yellow Belt
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Re: Would you like to share with us anything that you enjoy in your mother tongue?

Postby Sonjaconjota » Fri Apr 16, 2021 2:16 pm

I would like to present a German author.
I grew with the children's books by Otfried Preußler, my mother loved them and used to read them to me.
Books like The Robber Hotzenplotz, The Little Witch or The Little Water Sprite are very famous and popular and have been translated into many languages, including Esperanto. There are also audio books and films available.
I have to warn you though if you want to read his books in German - they are old, and they are also written in a very peculiar German with some unusual words from time to time. I'm assuming it is because Preußler was born and grew up in a German-speaking family in Bohemia, which is part of the Czech Republic today. I guess these were characteristics of the German from this region.
Some years ago, as an adult, I came across a book from Preußler that I had never read before, Krabat, and became curious.
It is not a children's book, I think it was conceived as a book for young people.
But I was deeply impressed when I read it. It was one of the best books I had read for a long time, and probably one of my all-time favourites.
Krabat takes place in a fantasy world and is based on a Sorbian legend. It is about a young man who starts an apprenticeship in a mill and unexpectedly finds himself involved with black magic. Ultimately it is about power and temptation, kind of a metaphor for the second world war. If you don't speak German or don't have a high level, I would suggest you read it in a translated version. If you want to read it in German, be ready for a challenge. I'm a German native speaker, and I had to look up many words. But I really loved Krabat.

Otfried Preußler Wikipedia: https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Otfried_Preu%C3%9Fler
Krabat Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Krabat_(novel)
A short recording of Preußler talking about his childhood: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VBXviDfvIE0
Hotzenplotz Hörbuch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D7A_6Oc9_qk
Die kleine Hexe Hörbuch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dHni_AeuhOw&list=PLfdMKJMGPPtwMK90PNpUpDwQtbicv-P7B
Der kleine Wassermann Hörbuch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y7Kmy1N8scA
Krabat Hörbuch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hrUMSNbfX7U
Krabat Zusammenfassung: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dL19a0079II
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Yellow Belt
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Re: Would you like to share with us anything that you enjoy in your mother tongue?

Postby BeaP » Wed Oct 20, 2021 10:30 am

This is a great topic. I hope I'll revive it with my comment. (By the way, I love Preussler, and I've read the whole trilogy to my daughters.)

When I registered at goodreads, and looked for book recommendations, I was shocked to see that Hungarian literature is Márai Sándor and Szabó Magda for foreigners. They are considered second-rate authors here, and that might be az understatement. So first I'd like to share two links and a list of authors and books that are definitely part of the canonised literature here.

You can read Hungarian classics legally and for free here: http://mek.oszk.hu
You can read contemporary Hungarian literature legally and for free here: https://pim.hu/hu/dia

The best Hungarian novels from the canon (in my opinion) are:
Ottlik Géza: Iskola a határon (Bildungsroman about some boys in a military school, my favourite novel of all time)
Kosztolányi Dezső: Édes Anna (a servant kills her masters in turbulent times)
Móricz Zsigmond: Rokonok (how politics works in a small town)
Szerb Antal: Utas és holdvilág (love, friendship, philosophy, Italy)
Závada Pál: Jadviga párnája (problems in a marriage in the first part of the 20th century - regional dialect, archaic language!)

Also some recommendations outside of the canon:
Böszörményi Gyula: Leányrablás Budapesten (the first in a great detective-adventure series, that takes place in the monarchy, hard to put down entertainment with excellent language, although some expressions are archaic)
Kun Árpád: Boldog észak

A Hungarian site similar to goodreads: https://moly.hu
You can read opinions about novels here, even without registration.
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Re: Would you like to share with us anything that you enjoy in your mother tongue?

Postby sfuqua » Tue Nov 02, 2021 4:11 am

This is probably old hat to everyone, but learners of English should not miss Ernest Hemingway. He is completely out of fashion now in the United States. Many of the criticisms of him seem to be written by people who haven't read any of his books, but have just heard about him. Give him a chance. :D

He is famous for his prose style which is intentionally kept simple and straightforward, which makes him good for English learners. Of course he is a Nobel prize winning author, so there is plenty of complexity in his thinking, but the language is simple.

Now, he is an old favorite in some parts of the world for ESL students, so you may have already had your fill of him, but if you were put off by complaints about his macho side, give him a chance. He is more nuanced than one might think. :o Anyway, he wrote thrillers before there were thrillers.

I mean, I don't hunt, I don't fish, and I don't get bullfighting, but I love Hemingway.https://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=95604448 :D
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