Category archives: germany

language cocktail, shaken

I discovered that apparently Mark Twain lived in Heidelberg, Germany for a while and apparently had a love/hate relationship with the German language, which is a very familiar feeling to me. He says it best:
“A person who has not studied German can form no idea of what a perplexing language it is.

The other night over dinner in Strasbourg I realized how depressingly bad my french has become. Even though it was never all that good, during my year in Paris, I could get by day to day speaking and understanding a fair bit. When I tried to open my mouth to order my dinner, french, german and english words all found there way into one sentence. so. not. cute.

I’m sure if I spent more time speaking french, it would slowly find it’s way back into my brain, but now the focus is German. Which i must admit, is the BIGGEST pain in my life- the numerous 8 syllable words and trying to understand why the 3 articles before a noun change depending on the sentence. It is MUCH more complicated than French and while some words might sound similar to english, the structure is completely different. My understanding continues to improve and given the right circumstances, I can communicate just fine. We are not talking deep intellectual conversations here, but a bit of chit chat is definitely possible.
But once I get feeling pretty good about my comprehension, then comes the f-ing dialects. grrrrrrrr. The dialect here is a beautiful one, but nearly impossible for me to understand, leaving me defeated every time I am surrounded by people speaking mostly dialect.
Someone feels the need to tell me almost daily: “Andreas should speak more German with you!” and its true. plain and simple. but a very hard dynamic to change. We met speaking english and that is what our relationship is based on. You cannot simply flip a switch. I have been getting pretty bossy as of late demanding that we speak more German together, and slowly progress is made. Even if sometimes I speak a little Deutschlish when I switch the words I don’t know with an English one…
I know learning a language is difficult and one must be patient, but sometimes it makes me want to scream. reall really loud.
and that is my rant for the day. Thank you for bearing with me.
images from Mark Twain’s The Awful German Language (his words, not mine) in buechertiger’s etsy shop

reason # 37 why i love europe

bank holidays! especially looking forward this long 4 day weekend we have coming… after the last few weeks of stressful work days I am SOOO ready to have nothing planned for four days except for spending each morning in a yoga workshop. hopefully the weather gods will decide to change their mind about the predicted rain this weekend, i could use a few days outside in the sunshine. maybe a bicycle ride? or two? or preparing my tiny little front yard garden?

Found these on my computer from random pictures I took last year on long walks near my home – I think we definitely need to get out and enjoy the beauty I am surrounded by and celebrate the end of winter hibernation!