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Elemens de la langue Russe ou methode courte et facile pour apprendre cette langue conformement a l'usage [with] Georg Philipp PLATS, Dialogues domestiques. Gesprache von Haus-Sachen. ???????? ?????????. Colloquia domestica.
Imprimerie de l'Academie Impériale des Sciences Saint Peterburg ; 1749 1768 - Two works bound in one volume, small 8vo (19.5 x 12.5 cm). 14, 367 pp., a folding table; 230 pp.; marginal waterstain, heavier to the end. Contemporary half calf over marbled boards, black morocco label with spine lettered in blind; rubbed, corners bumped, loss of leather on upper corner, small worming to spine. Two important and early works that in the next 50 years became main references for those willing to study the language. Here both are rare first editions; in a contemporary binding. The first title in this compilation is widely known as the earliest significant work on Russian grammar in a Western European language. Its author Charpentier (1740 - 1800), a French linguist working at the Russian Academy of Sciences, combined in his "Elemens de la langue Russe" own experience of studying the Russian language with elements recently developed by Mikhail Lomonosov in his "Grammar" (1755). The edition includes a folding table showing the Cyrillic alphabet as well as Slavonic numbers. Of particular interest is the second work in this volume. It is a rare first edition of a popular textbook aimed at helping young people to master basic conversations and courtesy phrases in three main foreign languages languages - French, German and Latin, used by the aristocracy in the Russian Empire in addition to the native Russian. This is a translation of a work by Georg Philipp Plats published in Nuremberg in 1734 under the title "Dialogues domestiques francais- allemand avec des compliments familiers" and comprising parallel texts in French and German. In our edition the Russian translation was done by Vasiliy Lebedev. The Latin translation was originally prepared by Vasiliy Trediakovskiy, a Russian literary theoretician and poet whose writings contributed to the classical foundations of Russian literature. His translations, though, frequently aroused the ire of the censors (this being the reason for his dismissal from the Academy in 1759); in the case of "Dialogues domestiques" Trediakovskiy's work was sharply criticised by his colleague at the Academy Christian Kruzius, who finally stepped in to rewrite it. All the 2406 copies of this first edition sold out quickly, and by 1804 further nine edition were published in Saint Petersburg, Leipzig and Riga. This work reveals a common approach to teaching foreign languages in the XVIII century Russian Empire, as much as details of the domestic life of the middle and upper classes at that time. It consists of 96 "Conversations" that could be used at home and everyday life with text in French and German printed on the left hand side and a parallel translation into Russian and Latin appearing on the right hand side. Young people were expected to learn these conversations by heart as part of their education and "a great deal of tears had been shed by the poor victims, tortured and exhausted by the attempts to fix in memory these "courtesies" (Guberti). This method of mastering foreign languages remained in place well until the first quarter of XIX century. Subsequent editions were printed almost without any changes, meaning that many household items and cloths referred to in text would have become archaical by then. First edition of this work is very rare: WorldCat locates only three copies in public libraries, all in Europe (Staatsbibliothek in Berlin, Danish National library and British library); we could trace no copies at auctions in the past 30 years. Elemens de la langue Russe: Barbier II, 53-54; Sopikov 2962; not in Fekula and Smirnov-Sok., Biblioteka. Dialogues domestiques: SK XVIII 1970; SK XVIII. V.3. p.486; Sopikov 9437; Guberti I, 69. [Attributes: First Edition; Hard Cover]
      [Bookseller: Shapero Rare Books]
Last Found On: 2016-09-25           Check availability:      ZVAB    

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