Today, I want to share a great and free learning resource for language learners and teachers with all of you who like the Grimm’s fairy tales: Grimm Stories. Well, if we talk German fairy tales you have to know that they’re not very Disney-like, so not pretty and nice and innocent. Old German (fairy) tales are rather bloody or gory and they usually describe the social situation of a certain class of population at that time.
Undoubtedly, in Germany and worldwide the tales are meant to be children’s stories but as they have different layers of meaning and interpretation, they are also very suitable and interesting for adults. The site is not only designed for people who are learning German, although the original version of the different Grimm’s fairy tales is of course in German language.
I really like that the stories are available in various different languages on Grimm Stories, I guess there is a good chance that many of our Fair Languages readers will find a respective story in their native language and in their target language = the language they want to learn/are learning. If you’re a language teacher or tutor I can see that as a nice way to introduce your intermediate and advanced students to this kind of literature. It could not only be used as a text and to learn vocabulary but also provide a good basis for a discussion!
The following languages are currently available: English, German, Spanish, Italian, French, Dutch and Danish.
The structure of the website is pretty self-explanatory as well. In a first step you select the language you want to read a story in. You then come to another page where you’ll find different option on how to select.
There is on featured fairy tale each week which gives you the chance to discover new (or less known) stories as well. You can also choose to only read Grimm’s most famous fairy tales, get a completely list of the works or a list in alphabetical order. If you know the title you can also search directly for a specific story.
However, don’t underestimate the possibility that not all titles are translated literally. I tried it with a few titles and compared German with English, French and Spanish and I was happy that the other search options exist.
Each text can be printed out and for the most popular fairy tales like Rotkäppchen (little red cap) or Hänsel und Gretel (Hansel and Grethel) there is even an audio version available.
As said above, the site can be used completely for free. Naturally, there are ads on the site but I guess that’s acceptable for a free service and when you print the text, this issue won’t come up anyway. All in all, a great resource. I’m happy, I found it so that I can now pass it on to you! And if you speak one of the languages, please let me know if the translations from German make sense in your own language.