https://www.duolingo.com/GregHullender

Candide Turns Out to be a Great Intermediate Read!

I just finished reading Voltaire's Candide a couple of days ago. It was fantastic. The story is great, and the French was easy enough that I never had to resort to the English translation I had acquired "just in case," although I did use it to double-check myself at the end of each chapter.

Candide is a funny tale about a young man who was brought up to believe that "we live in the best of all possible worlds where all things work out for the best." Naturally his own experiences contradict this, but in ways that are more comical than horrifying. Usually.

When I was in highschool, kids in second-year French read Candide towards the end of the year. Now I understand how it could a) be easy enough for teenage boys to read b) be naughty enough to keep them entertained c) still be a classic.

Here's my detailed review: http://gregreflects.blogspot.com/2015/01/candide.html

January 6, 2015

12 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/geekest_cat

Thanks, I'll surely follow your suggestion! For those interested, it's available as an eBook in the Project Gutenberg site in both French and English: http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/4650

January 7, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/oskalingo

And a full audio recording of the book can be found at LibriVox:

https://librivox.org/candide-by-voltaire-2/

January 7, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/hellerm

Thank you for the suggestion! Could you recommend your favorite beginner book please? I really want to try translating a real paper back book. Happy learning! :D

January 6, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/hellerm

Thanks. This is actually one of the few French novels I do own, but it is really good I must admit.

January 7, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Bvogel1

My favorite is "Sans Famille", which we read in first-year French back in the 70's. We read the abridged version... the original is a little too long and complex to be considered a beginner book. Should be available online; I found myself a copy a few years back.

January 8, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Carolyn250

Seems to me I read it (and enjoyed it) way back in my university days, but that was fifty plus years ago, so my memory of the details is a bit vague. Should look again! Thanks, Greg, for your suggestions.

January 7, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/AureliaUK

And also a short work, IIRC. That always helps when you're just starting to read in a new language.

January 7, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/acbroek

Awesome! I've read Candide in English but for some reason never thought to read the French version, thanks!

January 8, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/yomofos

which level?

January 9, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/agent001

thanks for sharing : )

January 9, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/T-Mr

Thank you. One of my primary motivations for learning French is to read people such Voltaire. I read Candide years ago, translated of course. I appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts. It's reassuring to know that my goal is not far-fetched.

January 11, 2015
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