Mark twain essay on the english language

The Awful German Language

It is a bleak Day. Now let the candidate for the asylum try to memorize those variations, and see how soon he will be elected. Parentheses in literature and dentistry are in bad taste.

And that sentence is constructed upon the most approved German model. Schlag, for example; and Zug. Of course, then, the reader is left in a very exhausted and ignorant state. German is not special in this manner, but, as the linguist Guy Deutscher observes, it was simply the language that Twain was learning at the time of the work.

Then you blandly say also, and load up again. Jenerally, then, the improvement would kontinue iear bai iear with iear 5 doing awai with useless double konsonants, and iears or so modifaiing vowlz and the rimeining voist and unvoist konsonants.

This allows for an analysis in linguistic weight assigned to various typological and stylistic aspects of language which revolve around the difference between an analytic language like English with a language like German that is a synthetic language with some analytic characteristics.

Hear the Rain, how he pours, and the Hail, how he rattles; and see the Snow, how he drifts along, and oh the Mud, how deep he is! Think of the ragged poverty of a language which has to make one word do the work of six -- and a poor little weak thing of only three letters at that.

Now there are more adjectives in this language than there are black cats in Switzerland, and they must all be as elaborately declined as the examples above suggested.

I will make a perfectly literal translation, and throw in the parenthesis-marks and some hyphens for the assistance of the reader -- though in the original there are no parenthesis-marks or hyphens, and the reader is left to flounder through to the remote verb the best way he can: Every time a German opens his mouth an also falls out; and every time he shuts it he bites one in two that was trying to get out.

The sad event has cast a gloom over the whole community. And it cannot get her out. So is the text "Shania". When a German gets his hands on an adjective, he declines it, and keeps on declining it until the common sense is all declined out of it.

I consider this capitalizing of nouns a good idea, because by reason of it you are almost always able to tell a noun the minute you see it. Wilhelm, where is the turnip? Up to as late as Mr. When Twain translates the "Tale of the Fishwife and its Sad Fate", he expresses feelings of anger that result from his attempt to learn the language: For instance, there is the word vermiethen to let, to lease, to hire ; and the word verheirathen another way of saying to marry.

But you would never guess. Surely there is not another language that is so slipshod and systemless, and so slippery and elusive to the grasp. In the interest of science, I will cipher it out on the hypothesis that it is masculine. Genitives -- Meines guten Freundes, of my good friend.

You can hang any word you please to its tail, and make it mean anything you want to. For example, in Year 1 that useless letter "c" would be dropped to be replased either by "k" or "s", and likewise "x" would no longer be part of the alphabet. The inventor of the language seems to have taken pleasure in complicating it in every way he could think of.The 10 Wittiest Essays By Mark Twain.

Marcelina Morfin. Updated: 14 December Twain explores this in the witty essay ‘The Awful German Language,’ which was first published in Appendix D in A Tramp Abroad. Twain caught wind of it and translated it back into English but using the grammatical structure and syntax of the French.

Literature Network» Mark Twain» Concerning The American Language Concerning The American Language --[Being part of a chapter which was.

Concerning The American Language

A Plan for the Improvement of English Spelling, by either Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens) or M. J. Shields. The plan is provided and authorship discussed. Please find the full brochure “Mark Twain: The Awful German Language” now at (pdf) If you’re only looking for the text of his speech, please find Mark Twain’s “Die Schrecken der Deutschen.

The Awful German Language by Mark Twain The Awful German Language. But in English, when we have used a word a couple of times in a paragraph, we imagine we are growing tautological, and so we are weak enough to exchange it for some other word which only approximates exactness, to escape what we wrongly fancy is a greater.

A Plan for the Improvement of Spelling in the English Language. By Mark Twain. For example, in Year 1 that useless letter “c” would be dropped to be replased either by “k” or “s”, and likewise “x” would no longer be part of the alphabet.

Mark twain essay on the english language
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