News

The Path to Public Service at SEAS

News

Should Supreme Court Justices Have Term Limits? That ‘Would Be Fine,’ Breyer Says at Harvard IOP Forum

News

Harvard Right to Life Hosts Anti-Abortion Event With Students For Life President

News

Harvard Researchers Debunk Popular Sleep Myths in New Study

News

Journalists Discuss Trump’s Effect on the GOP at Harvard IOP Forum

No Headline

NO WRITER ATTRIBUTED

In a recent editorial in one of our bi-weeklies it is attempted to show that the German instruction suffers in no respect when compared with that furnished in the French course. We are far from assenting to this, as we have frequently asserted that French is the best taught modern language that the curriculum offers. Can one find in the German electives the carefully graded courses corresponding to French 1, 2, 3 and 4? or does one hear in all the German courses a pronunciation equally good as that employed in all the French courses? Both of these questions may be answered in the negative, and that, too, with perfect safety and unqualified decision. It is generally conceded by all who have studied German in college, that too much time and attention are devoted to the mastery of minute features of the language, so that one finds, even after considerable study, that although he may have become quite intimate with some of the minor characteristics of German, he possesses, however, but very little familiarity with the language. The correct translation of a noch in a particular passage of Mr. So-and-So's writings does not contribute very much to a person's general knowledge of German.

It is far from our purpose to deprecate the careful examination of such details of a language, or of its peculiar genius, but it does not seem that such study is necessary for a beginner in order to give him such working power with the language as to enable him to employ his acquirement outside of the recitation room. As to pronunciation, the less said the better; it is after all perhaps merely a matter of taste. But it certainly seems only fair to say that the methods employed in some of the German electives are far from accordance with the generally recognized manner of the best and purest German pronunciation.

Want to keep up with breaking news? Subscribe to our email newsletter.

Tags