Reading books in your second language can sometimes be tricky. For kids it can feel intimidating and less fun especially if they don’t know the story. When I was younger my favorite way of learning English, was to re-read the books I already knew. So after reading them in German I read them in English.
Tons of authors are known around the world and many classics can be found in any language ! Why don’t you give it a shot and find one of your favorites ?! I’m sharing some of my favorite German/ or well known around the world classics and also how you can find them if you live abroad !
Ronia the robbers daughter has always been one my favorite ! Many of Lindgrens books have been translated into 107 languages !! Maybe you haven’t heard of many others than Pipi Longstocking, but there are so many others by this fascinating author ! She was seriously one of the pioneers of modern children’s literature, with a wish for children to grow up loved, free and respected. The children of the noisy village, Mio, my son, The brothers Lionheart are all pieces of beautiful literature that are timeless and full of magic and deserved to be read by anyone all over the world !
has written some beautiful children’s book and are definitely great classics. The little ghost and the Little witch were also made into a few Tv series and great movies ! The little ghost movie is available on amazon prime and the Little witch is as well !!
Most of his books were translated into 55 languages !
One of the latest language editions to Harry Potter is Scots ! Which is spoken by 1.5 million people in Scotland and is a disappearing language. Harry Potter has been translated into more than 80 languages ! And of course audiobooks and the movies are available in lots of options too . You can find it in german , french, afrikaans and many other beautiful languages !!
Cornelia Funke has written almost 50 books, which have been translated into 37 languages, selling more than 26 million copies worldwide. In 2005, Time Magazine even included Funke in their annual list of the top 100 influential people in the world. Her books are full of adventure and make believe, a joy to read for young and old ! Our favorites are dragon rider, the ghost hunter series, chix ( die wilden Hühner) , ink heart trilogy and so many more….
Eric Carle ( for the littles ) everyone knows the very hungry caterpillar! Indeed because it’s been translated into over 62 languages worldwide ! In fact quite a few of his books have, and they are a joy for little ones to read and look through ! Because we all know the beautiful art work that comes along with each one of his titles ! How about the hungry caterpillar in Russian ?
Or rather Chinese
Another around the world known author from the UK with books translated into around 60 languages around the world ! Charly and the chocolate factory, Matilda, James and the giant peach ( spanish)… all beautiful books we all know and would make it easier to read in a second language !
I’m always surprised when many Americans don’t know Enid Blytons books. With over 90 languages that her books have been translated to, you would figure she is known around the USA as well. A true classic of adventure stories, fantasy and make believe! Famous five, the faraway tree… seriously go google her and you will fall in love with her stories…
Never ending story ranks at the top of the Bestsellers of all times ! 35 books sold a d over 49 languages you can find them in ! Jim Knopf und die Wilde 13 (Jim Button and the Wild 13) Momo, Der satanarchäolügenialkohöllische Wunschpunsch (Translated into English by Heike Schwarzbauer and Rick Takvorian as The Night of Wishes and many others
is one of the pioneers of children’s literature and has been given many awards and prizes because of it. Some of the most beautiful stories include
Emil und die Detektive, 1929 (Emil and the Detectives) ,Pünktchen und Anton
Das fliegende Klassenzimmer, Das doppelte Lottchen or in the US known as Parent Trap
Usborne Books are often also available in different languages but only mainly available overseas. ( amazon.de)
Finding the titles in your language of preference can be tricky but not impossible. I always check on amazon first. That is in the US and Germany. They ship books from Germany relatively cheap and I bet you can find many other European languages in their selection. It’s the easiest and most uncomplicated way to find them, but maybe not the cheapest. You can find used book sites, like abebooks, book depository . I have gotten very lucky over the years there. Also check your local facebook market place or search for flea market groups on facebook. In your local communities of native speakers, someones children might have outgrown the books and are getting ready to let them go. Or you could arrange a switch.. and exchange books every so often with someone near you ! Also don’t be shy to ask your local library ! Many are opening up their doors and minds to multilingual books ! So make some suggestions and you might be surprised what they are willing to purchase for you !
There are amazing authors around the world and we are lucky that nowadays so many do get translated into other languages ! Reading books from another part of the world can teach us and our children so much ! It explains culture, history, way of life, empathy and more ! If it’s because you want to learn a second language and re-read some of your old time favorites or if you got curious what other authors from around the world have to offer, go find one of these classics ! Maybe talk to your library too and see if they can add some of they do t have any. Share the love and have fun reading !