Different Tongues

Posted on September 1, 2011 by | Posted in about LibriVox, Blog, Monthly Picks, News | Comments: 1 Comment

September 26 is the “European Day of Languages” to promote language learning. We at librivox do that all-year-round with recordings in more than 30 different languages. And we’ll present the following 10 gems from our non-english catalog:

The Ancient Greeks are considered the fathers of Western culture, and at that time, Greek was indeed the lingua franca. No wonder St. Paul would write his letters in this language! Read the Epistole pros Collosaes in the version of the Patriarchike Ekdosi. We also have the English KJV of this text.

A major pillar of Eastern culture are the teachings of 孔子 – Confucius. His 論語 -Analects have been collected after his death, and have been ingrained in daily life until today. Besides the Chinese text, we also have a reading in English.

Egri csillagok by Géza Gárdonyi tells about culture clashes: about the occupation of Buda and the siege of Eger by the Turks in the 16th century. Of course, there is also a love story within this historical novel – the most famous one in Hungarian.

A clash of different sorts is described in the novel Max Havelaar. Multatuli writes about the corrupt government system and the exploitation of the coffee workers by the Dutch on Java from his own experience.

Matsuo Basho also relates his own experiences in his travel diary Oku no Hosomichi. It tells of his journey from Edo to Northern Honshu and back in the late 17th century. Let’s hope it will not take you 156 days to get through our recording in Japanese!

Born in the Austro-Hungarian Empire about 200 years later, Franz Kafka wrote mainly short stories, and he himself considered Ein Landarzt to be one of his best. It is contained in a collection of his works in German.

The Finnish novel Rautatie by Juhani Aho is considered his main work. Here, an old couple meets progress in the form of the railroad and finally decide to take their first ride in the horseless carriages.

When from four people in a room three wind up dead, the fourth one has to be the murderer, right? Monsieur Lecoq however, does not think so and embarks on a long investigation to solve the mystery. Enjoy the whole novel by Emile Gaboriau in the original French – or the first part of it in English!

For poetry this time, we present the Spanish collection Simplemente Darío by the father of modernism from Nicaragua, Rubén Darío.

Finally, two men with very different ideas about love think that they contend for the love of a pretty widow in the drama Desencantos. It is one of the early works of famous Brazilian author Machado de Assis, written in Portuguese.

Enjoy – and keep your dictionary handy!

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1 comment

  1. Zack R. says:

    Thanks so much for providing free audio poems en espanol! I am studying the language and this website is going to be a huge help… Muchas Gracias! ~Z

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