I've been simply thinking a lot about whether I should read the German translations of English classics or the original versions. I'm learning a lot of languages (English, French, Spanish, Japanese, Italian, hell, I'm even learning Latin) and thankfully I'm pretty gifted in this area. My English is rather good (well, at least I hope so!) and I love it but German is my mother tongue and there are undoubtedly some fine literary nuances that escape my attention when I'm reading in English.
Anyway, after almost falling asleep over a dreadful translation of A Christmas Carol I swore never to read anything by Dickens again, but since my curiosity was stronger I couldn't resist buying a cheap English copy of the book when I saw it in a shop window. You kno what?
It turned out to be one of my favourite (Christmas) stories ever.
With the support of Robert Frost's wisdom I've finally come to a decision. I'm going to read the original versions of all books which were originally published in English but the German versions of all books whose original languages I don't know well enough (Spanish, Italian, Japanese and French if you don't count The Little Prince) or not at all (I couldn't animate myself yet to learn ancient Greek or Russian). I know that a translation, even a good one can never be more than a faint reflexion of the original work, so I'll do my best to concentrate and understand the English versions.There it is, after all:
One does not argue with Robert Frost.Poetry is what gets lost in translation.