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The facing translation is a great way for any English speaker to widen his or her German vocabulary.
The fact that it is a classic is one of the reason to read it, but it isn't one of those books that requires a great understanding of the time and era to appreciate.
Goethe became quite famous for many of his other works, and this one apparently gives great insight to his personal philosophies at different stages.
First, this translation is readable and fresh. The language and rhyme are straight forward and not overly flowery like other translations of this work. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Minga
As a native German speaker I read the original German version, of course, but I was thankful for the accompanying English translation by Walter Arnold Kaufmann who also was a... Read morePublished 10 months ago by jutta joines
Goethe's humor is often lost in the Kaufmann translation.
I found the Norton edition with Walter Arndt to be far more satisfying. Read more