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Reading Practice: Vincent van Gogh's letters

http://vangoghletters.org/vg/by_period.html

If you're interested in Vincent van Gogh's letters, all of them are available online. He wrote letters in Dutch, French and English. His earliest letters were in Dutch, and on the link I have provided you can click "original text" and read the Dutch text. You also can read the translation on the other side. The "original text" does not provide Dutch for his later letters because their original text would be in French. However, he did have some Dutch letters here and there at the end of his life and those will provide you with Dutch text.

12
4 months ago
2

2 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Fire-ergens
Fire-ergens
  • 12
  • 12
  • 11
  • 7
  • 7
  • 6
  • 6
  • 5
  • 5
  • 4
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2
  • 464

Just a note for anyone interested in reading these to practice their DUtch:

The language and spelling used in these letters is very old-fashioned. See for example the sentence "Dank voor je brief, het deed mij genoegen dat je weer goed aangekomen zijt." "Zijt" is a fairly old-fashioned conjugation of the verb 'zijn' (to Dutch ears), and is nowadays only used in Belgium and some Southern dialects. However the combination of "je" with "zijt" is incorrect in modern usage as it is either "je/jij bent" or "ge/gij zijt". The same sentence in more modern Dutch I would write as "Bedankt voor je brief, het deed me een genoegen dat je weer goed aangekomen bent."

Some examples of old spelling from the first letter with modern spelling to the right:

  • tusschen - tussen

  • droppeltjes - druppeltjes

  • vreesselijk - vreselijk

  • t'huis - thuis (just a note here: thuis is derived from te huis. t'huis might also be a small error in either the digitalized text or his own writing.)

6
Reply14 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/owlhell

Yep :) They are old-fashioned to modern ears haha, very good point! I still think they're fun to read just like it's fun to read 200+ year old classic English books. Yes, it's important to remember these letters were written from 1872-1890, so over the years vocabulary has changed, spelling has changed, etc.

2
Reply4 months ago