Für Deutsch e vocabolario in italiano vedi sotto siehe unten

 Hans Christian Andersen was born in Odense in 1805. By the way, Christian  and Hans are traditional Danish names.


Hans Christian Andersen
Hans Christian Andersen

Most of us know him probably for his  fairy tales and his real life also had some aspects of such children’s stories. He was born as the son of a poor cobbler and he died as a rich and famous man, celebrated around the world, the intimate of kings and queens. His books have been translated into 15o languages! In the period when he was born only 60% of Europeans children survived and most of them grew up illiterate.

Sometimes, because he was  tall, ugly with a big nose and big feet, he was portrayed as a simple, innocent, child-like spinner of tales, a character from his own stories, but letters and diaries by Andersen’s contemporaries, however, draw the picture of a very different man: a sharply intelligent, ambitious writer with a hardscrabble past and tortured soul. The message of his stories has various layers and is in my opinion, also for adults interesting.

Like The Ugly Duckling,one of his very famous books,  born in a humble duck-yard yet destined to become a swan seems to be authobiographical.

Speculation suggest that Andersen was the illegitimate son of Christian Frederik, the Crown Prince of Denmark and later King Christian VIII of Denmark.

Here a summary of the plot.

At the beginning of the tale a duck mother hatches her eggs and one of her little hatched out birds is perceived by the other ducks as a different and homely little creature and suffers very much because it is verbally abused by the neighbours and ostrasized by them. It sadly decides to leave the farm and lives with wild ducks and geese until hunters slaughter the flocks. It then finds home with an old lady but her cat and hen tease it mercilessly and again it sets off on its own. It sees a flock of migrating wild swans and is delighted and excited but can not join them. Winter arrives. A farmer finds and carries the freezing little bird home, but the foundling is frightened by the farmer’s noisy children and flees the house. It spends a miserable winter alone in the outdoors but, when spring arrives, it is welcomed into a flock of beautiful swans for it has matured into one of them. It turned out that one of the swans eggs had rolled into the ducks nest and therefore produced all this confusion.


I also include a game with the swans:http://www.purposegames.com/create/quiz/?gameid=68083&bg=50606

Just click on the dots and the respective name will appear.

If you click on the following link you can listen to the summary:The Ugly Duckling

Vocubalary list to „The Ugly Duckling“


to hatch the eggscovare le uova/brüten
duck/pl. ducksanatra/e- die Ente/n
goose/pl. geeseoca/oche- die Gans/Gänse
to perceivepercepire- wahrnehmen
to ostrasizeemarginareausschliessen
neighboursvicini di casa- die Nachbarn
to slaughtermacellare- schlachten
flocklo stormoder Schwarm/¨ne
swan/scigno/i- der Schwan/¨ne
to set off on its ownpartire da solo- alleine fortgehen
to fleefuggire- flüchten
it turned out thatsi è verificato/è successo chees hat sich herausgestellt


By the way, Odense’s old town enchanted me completely and in one of the yellow houses H.C. Andersen grew up. The town is on the island Fyn and can easily be reach in one day by train from Copenhagen.The museum dedicatd to H.C. Andersen  fits perfectly well into the surrounding.The writer left his hometown at the age of 14, after having worked for some days in a factory. He travelled all alone to Copenhagen to become famous and rich. He was determined to join the Royel theatre but the director blunty sent the scruffy urchin away. He was desperate because nobody wanted to help him and he run out of money. Eventually it was Mr Weyse, an accomplished composer who took pitty of the boy and promptly raised a sum of money on the boy so

that he could study and rent a room.


Some taletitles:

– The Princess Test

– The Tinder-Box

– The Princess and the Pea

– The Little Mermaid

– The Butterfly

– The Emperor’s New Clothes

Watch also the video a made with Animoto:http://animoto.com/play/O4G9f2THLwy4UE5M0fBiiQ


Vielleicht hat jemand Lust sich dieses Video von der Geschichte “Das hässliche Entlein auf Deutsch” anzusehen.

Hier eine kleine Wortschatzhilfe auf Italienisch

1.Der Bauernhof/ la fottoria 2.ausschlüpfen/ sgusciare, 3.der Tollpatsch / il scemo, 4. verspotten/deridere,

5. davonlaufen/scappare, 6. einsperren/chiudere dentro, 7. der Käfig/la gabbia8. der Schilf/la canna, 9. stolz sein/ essere orgoglio,

10. füttern/dare da mangiare.

Link to my other post about this writer


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