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    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Greek
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      • Greece
      • Current Location:
      • Greece

    • Join Date: Jan 2012
    • Posts: 27
    #1

    Good English literature suitable for learners?

    Dear English speakers,

    I would like to develop as much I can my English skills and vocabulary.

    Could you suggest me good English literature (not special adjusted editions) suitable for learners?

    Till now, I have in mind John Steinbeck as a good English author. There is any other good author suitable for learners (serious, quality authors, preferably not like the contemporary bestselling ones)?

    Thank you in advanced.

    Postscript:

    “Till now” or “So far”? There is any other alternative phrase?

    There is any other alternative for the phrase-question “there is any other […]”?

  1. emsr2d2's Avatar
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      • British English
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      • UK
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      • UK

    • Join Date: Jul 2009
    • Posts: 41,912
    #2

    Re: Good English literature suitable for learners?

    It's a very personal decision. There's no point reading a book in any language if you don't enjoy it. If you hate sci-fi, for example, in your own language, then reading it in English won't make you enjoy it any more even if it's great for vocabulary (I'm not saying that it is!)

    Have you enjoyed reading any books which have been translated into your own language, but which were originally written in English? If so, why don't you get hold of the English language version. The fact that you have already read the book is not a problem. In fact, it may help because at least you will remember (hopefully) the basics of the storyline but you will still get plenty of vocabulary and grammar constructions from the original.
    Last edited by emsr2d2; 24-Jan-2012 at 08:48.

  2. Raymott's Avatar
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      • English
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      • Australia
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      • Australia

    • Join Date: Jun 2008
    • Posts: 24,104
    #3

    Re: Good English literature suitable for learners?

    John Steinbeck is a good author, and if you read The Grapes of Wrath you will read plenty of incorrect English, such as:
    Pa asked, "Goin' west?"
    "Nope. We come from there. Goin' back home. We can't make no livin' out there."
    You'll also learn the vocabulary of loading up trucks and seaching for work picking oranges.

    So, I'd add to ems's advice. Pick books that are likely to contain dialogue and subject material that will be useful to you. You might find that "contemporary best sellers" would serve your purposes much better than literary classics.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Greek
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      • Greece
      • Current Location:
      • Greece

    • Join Date: Jan 2012
    • Posts: 27
    #4

    Re: Good English literature suitable for learners?

    Dear English speakers,

    First of all thank you very much for your advices.

    Last days, I have started to read John Steinbeck’s “Of mice and men”, as an attempt to improve my English.

    Indeed, Steinbeck has a high degree of language plasticity in his writings.

    My assumption was that authors with language plasticity or “dirtiness” in the characters’ dialogues might offer more challenges for English thinking and language skills development.

    To be honest, I do not like literature much. I have mainly scientific orientation in my readings. At the same time, I know that scientific literature alone cannot help effectively English language development.

    My native language is Greek. The only literature that I would enjoy to read in Greek is some translated works of Dostoyevsky.

    Would you find that reading Dostoyevsky in English (translated and not original English works) is a correct measure for improving English?

    The best English translation of Dostoyevsky?

  3. Raymott's Avatar
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      • English
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      • Australia
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      • Australia

    • Join Date: Jun 2008
    • Posts: 24,104
    #5

    Re: Good English literature suitable for learners?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lennie_ar View Post

    The best English translation of Dostoyevsky?
    Yes, certainly. Crime and Punishment would be a great book to read, because it gives you all the words that describe people and their basic activities and feelings. Of course, again, you'll get no exposure to objects or concepts that were invented since the 1880s - which a contemporary novel might give you.

    The translation by Constance Garnett is popular. I've read it in the Penguin edition. I note that Amazon has her translation:
    Crime and Punishment (Dover Thrift Editions) by Fyodor Dostoyevsky and Constance Garnett (Paperback - Aug 22, 2001)
    Buy new: $3.50


    There's also a free kindle edition, which I can't vouch for.
    Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky (Kindle Edition- Mar 1, 2001) - Kindle eBook
    Buy: $0.00





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