Book recommendations?

Ideas for learning Dutch. What have you tried? What worked for you? What did not work for you?
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Bedtimestorynyc
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Book recommendations?

Post by Bedtimestorynyc » Fri Jan 11, 2013 7:10 pm

Hoi,

I am not talking about text books, I have good ones, but rather regular books! I would like to start reading the Dutch literature, written by Dutch-speaking writers. I feel like I need to start somewhere simple. Where do I start? Any books? Ok, ok, "a book" per se may be too much at this point, maybe just some short stories. Or a book of short stories. I accept the possibility of may be even some children/teenage literature - not necessarily but maybe.

Any recommendations would gladly be appreciated.

Dank u wel :)
M.

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Re: Book recommendations?

Post by Quetzal » Sat Jan 12, 2013 11:11 pm

What kind of books do you like? To be honest, I at least have read very little actual literature in Dutch with a handful of exceptions, but I can recommend a number of excellent books/authors that I guess would now be called "young adult" if you don't mind that. Do you like historical fiction? Fantasy-like stories? Or would you rather read more contemporary realistic stuff?

Of course, reading books that you already know in Dutch translation could also work, that's one of my strategies for learning other languages... but to be sure it's more fun to read original works, since that way you may also learn some things about the history, culture and so on.

Bedtimestorynyc
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Re: Book recommendations?

Post by Bedtimestorynyc » Tue Apr 09, 2013 4:38 pm

Hi Quetzal,
I posted this topic like 3 months ago and I totally forgot about it.
Let's just put it this way - what is the required reading for the Dutch teenagers in high schools?
Bedankt,
M.

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Re: Book recommendations?

Post by Quetzal » Tue Apr 09, 2013 6:51 pm

Bedtimestorynyc wrote:Hi Quetzal,
I posted this topic like 3 months ago and I totally forgot about it.
Let's just put it this way - what is the required reading for the Dutch teenagers in high schools?
Bedankt,
M.
Hm. I'm inclined to say - that's mostly based on my personal experiences, of course, and the impressions I get from talking to Americans and Britons - that there is much more variety in that than in Anglo-Saxon schools, and probably also less required reading, period. I think throughout my entire school career, I've had less than ten books (novels, I mean obviously) that were required reading, and a couple of those were in English or French class rather than Dutch. Most likely, barely any or none of those are the same as what someone in another school would've read. We read plenty of excerpts, or poems, but few whole novels (and sometimes it was a free choice of novel, or a choice from a long list of options). Among the required reading that was in Dutch, my favourite novel was actually a translation of an American one (Carson McCullers' Ballad of the Sad Cafe).

Obviously Dutch literature is more limited than English(-language) literature, and there really are rather few classics which aren't hopelessly old-fashioned. There aren't too many writers who wrote more than a few decades ago that are still considered relevant, or frequently read in schools. And those few classics that do maintain their status (like e.g. "Max Havelaar" by Multatuli, a mid-nineteenth century novel about the excesses of Dutch colonialism in Indonesia) aren't exactly easy reading material. I honestly think that the biggest names of the YA literature are far more universally read and acknowledged than the "adult" literature ones, not sure why... Maybe it's just that the widely read adult literature works are mostly translations - we're too small and too internationally oriented to be very chauvinistic in our reading (or other cultural) tastes.

So yeah, that question doesn't really help with finding good but easy reads. :P

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Re: Book recommendations?

Post by Bedtimestorynyc » Wed Apr 10, 2013 5:11 am

Hahah, but that was an honest and well appreciated answer anyway.
Strangely, I took to the Bijbel recently - the universal book that every body knows what it's about, so it would not be much of a chore to try to understand/translate :)
I was looking into some some Dutch literature to download on my iPad, and found not too shabby of a selection. Obviously nothing close to English or French or Russian (my native), but still.
My textbook is starting to get more challenging as it starts to introduce some longer literary texts, btw.

PS: nothing by the Flemish writers either huh? Or did you include them in your answer as well?

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Re: Book recommendations?

Post by ngonyama » Wed Apr 10, 2013 6:14 pm

dbnl has a lot of stuff online

How about http://www.dbnl.org/tekst/eede003klei02 ... 1_0001.php Frederik van Eeden. The only problem is that it is in old spelling and has all these weird case endings. But then Russian is far, far worse... It's a bit like reading свѣт instead of свет.

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Re: Book recommendations?

Post by Bedtimestorynyc » Wed Apr 10, 2013 9:58 pm

Hartelijk bedankt Ngonyama!
Every bit helps!

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Re: Book recommendations?

Post by Jodi » Wed Mar 12, 2014 2:27 pm

Thanks for the tips! I was looking for Dutch books but had no idea about the authors

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Re: Book recommendations?

Post by Shazzy » Fri Mar 14, 2014 3:13 pm

Hoi
Have you seen the LeespuntNL series. They are excellent and especially written for foreign students in mind. Some are A2 level and others B1 level. I have all 8 books. They also come with a cd so you can listen to the accent while you read. You can find them on Bol.com or Internaal. I think I bought them from Intertaal. You might find them in the library if living in holland. If you need titles and Isbn numbers I will gladly give them to you. These are a good starting place.

Groetjes

Shazzy

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