For anyone who is looking for something to read in their language of choice almost all - if not all- of the Grimm's fables can be found here http://www.grimmstories.com/de/grimm_maerchen/index in languages ranging from Russian to Dutch to Spanish and more. warning the vocabulary might be a bit high but for those who are learned at it should be decent.
How different is the German used in the original Grimm fairy tales compared to modern German? Reading them is actually one of my main goals in learning German, but I don't want to screw myself up by reading them too early if I will learn bad habits.
The language on the web site the OP posted uses modern orthography but a lot of dated idiomatic expressions and grammar, especially in the dialogues:
"Mir wird hier im Walde Zeit und Weile lang, ich will einen guten Gesellen herbeiholen ... Ach, ein Wolf kommt! Nach dem trage ich kein Verlangen,"
This is most certainly done on purpose, it's just fairytale style. In modern German we'd say "Mir wird hier im Wald [note the absence of the dative "-e"] langweilig..." and "... Auf den habe ich keine Lust.", but the tale wouldn't "work" any more, as characters in fairy tales are just expected not to speak in a modern idiom.
If you want to get a feeling for how different the language is, I think the translations carry over that aspect pretty well. The same monologue in English:
"Time is beginning to pass heavily with me here in the forest, I will fetch hither a good companion for myself. ... Ah, here is a wolf coming! I have no desire for him!"
It... depends. There are a few that are in "Mundart" (dialect), which are very hard to read even for natives. The Rest is close to modern German, although you of course have some words or ideas you will not be aquainted with.
On the other hand, what do you consider the "original" Grimms tales? There were several revisions by the brothers themselves which changed some of the language and some of the plot...
If the editing was done by the Grimms it is fine. I just don't want an edited, modern version of the stories. Good to know that most of them are close to modern German, now I need to stop slacking off and get back finishing my tree so I can start reading them.
Great resource! I've added it to the wiki. :)
This spot provides some Grimm fables and other stories in German but what I find useful is that you can view the German and English side by side. http://germanstories.vcu.edu/
For some reason I can't access the Options to make it work automatically but if you add "_dual" at the end of the url of any of the fables you get them both. Cinderella for example: http://germanstories.vcu.edu/grimm/aschen_dual.html