Fourth meeting: Poem night

Reading and translating poems and tongue twisters.

On our fourth meeting, we had a poem night with some tongue twisters at the end. We found famous but short German and Finnish poems that we showed to each other. After we read them, we started to translate the meaning of them and also the unknown words. It turned out that it is not that easy to translate the meaning of a poem, but it was a fun experience.

The poems we chose were Sommer (by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe) and the Finnish National Anthem – Maamme. I have never heard or read a German poem in the original language, so that was a new thing for me.

After the poems, we decided to do tongue twisters. Every one of us tried to tell a tongue twister in their mother tongue and then we translated them too. Besides the fact that it was funny to hear, we realized that regardless of language tongue twisters are hard.


Johann Wolfgang von Goethe: Sommer (1810)

The original:

Der Sommer folgt. Es wachsen Tag und Hitze,
und von den Auen dränget uns die Glut;
doch dort am Wasserfall, am Felsensitze
erquickt ein Trunk, erfrischt ein Wort das Blut.

Der Donner rollt, schon kreuzen sich die Blitze,
die Höhle wölbt sich auf zur sichern Hut,
dem Tosen nach kracht schnell ein knatternd Schmettern;
doch Liebe lächelt unter Sturm und Wettern.

The translation:

The summer follows. Day and heat rise,
And from the island it urges us to glow;
But there at the Waterfall, at the bottom of the cliff,
A drink refreshes a word from blood.

The thunder rumbles, now the lightning crosses,
The cave bulges to offer safety,
After the rumbling it finally crumbles,
But love smiles during storm and weather.



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