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Condition: Used: Good
Comment: The item shows wear from consistent use, but it remains in good condition and works perfectly. All pages and cover are intact (including the dust cover, if applicable). Spine may show signs of wear. Pages may include limited notes and highlighting. May include "From the library of" labels.
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Short Stories in German / Erzählungen auf Deutsch (New Penguin Parallel Texts) Paperback – December 30, 2003

3.9 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Ernst Zillekens teaches German at Charterhouse in Godalming, Surrey.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books; 1St Edition edition (December 30, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140265422
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140265422
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.5 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #83,267 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By W. Nugent on April 16, 2007
Format: Paperback
Learning styles differ so much (I expect especially regarding foreign languages) that I hesitate to offer this personal perspective. However, this book works for me.
I am a veteran of 4 semesters of college German and have occasionally used language CD's to review conversational German for trips abroad. I have struggled to watch movies like "Run Lola Run" or "Das Boot" auf Deutsch. However, the fact is that I am not very proficient in the language and could benefit from additional German reading matter. But the problem is sitting with the book in one hand and a German dictionary in the other hand, trying to decide which of several meanings of a word applies and then missing the colloquial sense of a phrase anyway.
So this volume has several things going for it. The stories are engaging. Because they are short, each provides a bitesize piece of reading and a sense of accomplishment when you finish. What I find works best for me is to read an entire paragraph in English to get a sense of where the story is going and then tackle it sentence by sentence in German, referring back to the translation as needed.
This seems to provide an ideal solution for me and conceivably will for others coming from a similar place. Certainly, one will need some background in German to provide the needed vocabulary.
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Format: Kindle Edition
This book in Kindle format is NOT A PARALLEL TEXT. The full English translation trails each German story. With no bookmarks to make this arrangement functional in any way, the process for retrieving the corresponding passage is much more convoluted than even a Kindle would necessitate.

This book needs a re-edit. To work the way it was intended, it should either alternate the German and English paragraphs, or be set up with bookmarks and chapters so the reader can click away and return easily.

The reviews for this book are apparently about a print version. I was grateful for the reviews because most of them are uncommonly informative and helpful. The author's introduction is compelling and I was looking forward to what appears to be an entertaining and thought provoking selection of stories.

If only the Penguin editors had taken similar pride in their work. This book is useless for its intended purpose. And no thanks to Amazon for failing to state the format that was reviewed.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I wish not to affect the rating of this book, nor discredit it. The reason being, I don't know enough. But there in-lies the point. As others have commented, this book is great for people who have an "intermediate" mastery of the language, or have gone through 4 years of German in college. But, if you're picking up the language on your own, though audio cds, flash cards, etc., this book is a bit overwhelming.

To the relative beginner, the sentences are long, with complex words and sentence structure. I would say that your average native English speaker with high school diploma would be in the thick of it reading the English alone.

I intend to hang onto this book until I know a bit more. Until then, I'm considering picking up some children's books in German, to get the hang of more simple sentences. It's not that I haven't learned anything from this book, it's just too much, for now.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I figured that it would be beneficial to try this book, but I also thought that it would be boring drudgery. No way! Although I'm still going through it, I've already ordered the second book that they've since published. A previous reviewer stated that he prefers to first read the English and then look at the German. One can no doubt finish the book in a fraction of the time that way but probably get only a fraction of the value out it. What I find so fascinating is how German builds it's vocabulary on existing words. I'm constantly exclaming to myself "why didn't I see that?" or, "Isn't that interesting, I see it now." It's like being on a constant treasure hunt - you're surrounded by clues and have only to use your noggin go figure it out.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is one of the best foreign language reader series I've found so far. This book has a great mix of simple and complex syntax, words, etc. to create a great learning tool for any level of reader.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The stories in this book are interesting and provide some fun reading. The translations allow for an intermediate level proficient person (such as myself) to enjoy the stories for their value, while learning new vocabulary and expressions.

I enjoyed this book for the ability to increase my language proficiency in an entertaining mannger, and recommend it to anyone with intermediate proficiency (or greater).
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
While all the positive views about the book hold true, let me point you to the down to earth and not even contents related issue that nevertheless marred my encounter with the text. Namely, it is printed on awfully cheap, grey and rough paper. It is still possible and bearable to read it ,but then you can hardly call it enjoyable. It is even more important when you need to read it over and over again as part of your study activities.
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Format: Paperback
The stories are well-written and whenever one has a problem with the German a quick reference to the English translation gets you back on the track. If you feel confident enough after reading this book I can recommend Die Biene Maja und Ihre Abenteuer (German Edition) which was written as a children's book originally but is much more entertaining than any book written for teaching purposes, and Das Kleine Dummerle und andere Erzahlungen (German Edition).

See my list "Great German Books".
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