Welche sprachen sprichst du? Was the first tongue twister questions I learned when I began my German language studies. And I remember how fretful I was about studying this tough sounding language with its declensions, chs, schs and long compound words that basically mean simple things in English. I used to go on about how I would never learn German so many times and yet here I am, learning and even getting upset when people use wrong phrases, confusing my limited knowledge!
I first needed a good knowledge in A1 to be given a residence permit so I could legally reside in Deutschland with the Mr. So with a bit of help from Babbel and Duolingo, and the most gawd awful nerves, I went in for a placement test and was put in module 2 or 3, I can’t remember. I have to say tho that my Lehrerin is the most amazing and patient woman I have ever met. She makes learning German so easy and yes sometimes she can go so fast with her speeches but after a while you just pick up! Sure we have some really slow learners and hey I have to say I’m impressed with myself. I am not good at all with learning new languages( hell, my father gave up trying to teach me Ibibio) so I guess I need to ease up on the slow learners. It just bothers me that they have lived in Germany 5-12 years and still can’t make a complete sentence or read with commas and periods.
Anyways, the German language is basically quite easy I have to say….I find it more confusing than difficult especially with neutrals, feminine and masculine cases and articles which totally makes up the whole grammar. I mean your sentence depends on these babies before you even consider dative, or accusative forms! See? Confusing! Then you have to consider that plural words also have their own form. The use of adjectives gives me 100% trips. A little lesson: when saying “an interesting book” auf Deutsch, you say “ein interessantes Buch” “a tall man”=” ein großer Mann ” “a pretty woman”= ” eine schöne Frau“. Neutral, masculine and feminine respectively. So you basically use your adjectives with these forms and the trick is to figure out if a word is neutral or feminine. A tip the Lehrerin gave is that most times, the ending of a word determines the cases. Words ending with –ung mostly have the feminine article “die”.
German is really a very distinctive language and when you think that it is also basically renowned in the fact that a lot of the things we do was formulated from the language, you realize its greatness. Remember Mr Einstein? The great Mozart? Oder Beethoven? Yes, those old timers were German men! So it’s some what appropriate to say music grew out from the schs and the chs of the world’s living language! Last week in class we talked a bit about a story written by the brothers Grimm…. Yup, Germans and this I knew way back when so wasn’t a shocker to know most of my favorite fairy tales are originally German! Rumpelstiltskin, Rapunzel, Hansel and Gretel…. The list is endless.
Like I earlier said, I find it easy but confusing. Probably because English is my language and I notice a lot of similarities. Some words sound so alike it’s uncanny. A few examples would be : schwester(sister) Onkel (duh), mein(my (masculine and neutral) ) man(which means one eg, one must be careful), radio(again, duh!), komme(come), bett (bed)…..
The articles ein, eine, ein can switch up to einem, einen, eines, einer with dative cases. Feminine articles become einer in dative sentences while the other two articles become einem. In accusative only masculine changes to einen.
Last week, I began tutoring a 13 year old English and I find myself constantly checking up grammar online and comparing with my German lessons. Adjectives, if-clause types, conjunctions, verb forms….it’s incredible. I feel like I’m learning English all over again.
I just found a young woman who is interested in language exchange classes and I’m super excited because Clara always talked endlessly about how good it was to do this and I think my German will improve(yeah, I’m very stubborn and speak only English with Gorgeousness).
So learning a new language can be fun. I admit that. I am on the B1 level right now and it’s going truly great. Sure I get confused with plusquamperfekt and all the three verb forms and the time to use them, but hey, that’s the thing about Deutsch: it puts me in a constant state of confusion and that’s very OK!
Want to learn a language just for fun and free? Download the Duolingo app. It’s a super fun way to learn and would help you if you do decide to enroll in an actual school.
Enjoy the weekend!