Recently, I was on the hunt for a birthday present for my mum and found myself at Spitalfields Market. I don't tend to shop in there because I still remember its glory days, before it was tarted up, and the present incarnation is a mere, sad shadow of what it once was. But, I had a quick walk through and came across a stall selling second-hand books. This one caught my eye... for myself, not my mum...
I have to admit right here and now that I am something of a Germanophile. And so my heart obviously skipped a beat when I caught sight of this 1950s young adults' book, complete with a stylish teen on the cover.
Now, I'm trying to cut back on my possessions this year so, after delightedly flipping through the book, I put it back on the shelf despite the excellent price pencilled on the front page. And then I walked away...
But then I found myself walking back, by now utterly distracted from my original mission. I picked it up again, and flipped through it again. 'Well', I began thinking, 'another aim this year is to start learning German again and this would be a rather good incentive'. But would buying the book really focus me, or would it just end up untouched on my shelf? I put it back down and walked away again.
But still I couldn't shake the book from my head, so I walked back once again. "Make a decision, love", the man at the stall teased me. "We're about to close up." Well, when you go back to look at something not once but twice, I think you've already decided, haven't you?
So now I have to push on with my German so I can work out what's actually going on in this lovely book:
|Oooh, "eine Sensation"! Can't wait to hear what it is! |
(Speaking of sensations, that dress is certainly one.)
|Mmm, a Mona Lisa, with milk, cream, egg, banana and... what the "Flip" is |
Sanddornvollfrucht?? (It ain't in my dictionary - or on Google - so I may have to
live in eternal wonder...)
|Why is Rita telling her father he's "the best Dad in the world!" |
Is she trying to butter him up? I'll tell you when I've translated the rest of it!
|Oh no, Rita's got something on her chin - how embarrassing!|
|Not sure what's happening but check out Fred's teddy boy bow tie|
|Whatever dramas I'm yet to translate end happily ever after with dancing, |
|Imagine if I could get my mitts on all these titles!|
These are pretty much all the illustrations in the book so, to get the most out of it, I'm really going to have to learn to read it. I feel like reading teen story books is probably a great way to learn to read a language actually - naturally written, but not at too high a level of complexity. I certainly have better hopes of getting my head around this than Goethe or Nietzsche or Heidegger...
Is there any language you desperately wish you could speak and understand? Any foreign country you want to elope to one day (apart from the past, that is...)?