Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Learning German

I had a phone conversation with my Hubby's granny this weekend, well not so much a conversation but an exchange of words that mean nothing to the other. What a hoot. I don't speak German, and she doesn't speak any English, and even though I could sorta work out what she was asking...I could only respond in English.


 I was so embarrassed after that call. My hubs though, found it absolutely hilarious. I would too, had something like that happened to him instead. His sister also sent me a really awesome cook book. I know it's awesome cause the pictures are amazing, but its all in German. And so I've decided that could be a fun way to learn.

It's been a crazy start to the year, and with work and school, learning German had since taken the back seat. I have 3 language courses (you know those you get to learn the language quick just so you can get around when you there), and one of them is supposed to be a little more advanced.


But still! An acquaintance who moved from Germany to South Africa years ago said that he found it easier to read a book in the language you want to learn, along with a dictionary. Lol, that one didn't go down well. I've gone through THREE pages and it's taken me FOREVER.
When Hubs and I met, he didn't speak much English either, and I promise, this guy read through the English dictionary and It felt like just weeks and we were having hours long conversations in English. Seriously though, I don't see myself reading though a German dictionary, I doubt that would work for me and I simply don't have that kinda time on my hands.
Another suggestion was to surround yourself with people that speak the language. I don't know how that's supposed to help because if no one translates, I just zone out and start planning and ticking off lists in my head...actually I do that regardless of what language people speak if the conversation isn't exciting (so bad, I know, but my attention span is just sad), and in any case, my in laws usually revert back to English when they realise they've gone off in German.

Regardless of my failed attempts, I think I'm just not putting enough energy into learning it. And I should, but obviously I'll have to find fun ways of learning, rather than making it feel like a time consuming chore I have to do. Any suggestions or ideas of other fun ways to learn a new language?


  1. Rosetta Stone is supposed to be great...if expensive. I started Spanish that way and it was going really well. I still want to get back to it. Amazing that your husband learned English so fast. It seems so impossible to learn another language...though clearly it's not.

  2. Seriously when you find out let me know. But good luck! I think you can do it!

  3. I don't speak a word of German (actually, I know the word for scar- Narbe...that may be wrong.), but when I visited my German friend I did start to pick up what tehy were talking about even if I didn't know every word. So emersion does work.

    Also this reminded of a hilarious conversation I had with my German's friend's grandmother who didn't speak English. She ask me something in German and I'd answer in Spanish - because hey, why not? It was so awkward.

    Mostly because I don't even speak spanish fluently, so I was talking about cats and green chairs and other inane stuff.

  4. Learning a new language as an adult is not an easy feat. Immersion is the best I think. My husband is still trying to learn French after 8 years.

    German is very intuitive and much closer to English than you think. Get the books for sure but also have your husband talk to you in German. Watch German movies with English subtitles. Practice, practice, practice. You get used to the sound, then you start recognizing words, and next thing you know you are fluent...ok, maybe not so easy but close

    Ich habe in Deutschland fur 3 jahre gelebt. Mein Deutsch is nicht so gut aber Deutsch ist einfach zu lernen. Viel gluck. Du kannst Deutsch lernen und sprechen.

    Just wanted you to pull out the dictionary :)

  5. Do they have sesame street in German? Or any other children programs you can watch on DVD? When I was learning Spanish it helped to watch Sesame Street in Spanish because they speak slowly and clearly!


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