Not literally, of course.Lately I’ve been feeling pretty lazy about my German progress. My two-year anniversary came and went last summer while I was comatose after the trip to the States. But two+ years in, and I don’t have a single German lesson under my belt. This is due to a variety of factors, namely finances, time, and laziness.
That said, I do know, and understand, a good deal of German. When BV speaks to me, I understand darn near all of it. His dad on the other hand… not so much. His mom? No problem, she speaks clearly. Random people in shops… not so much. German is like so many other languages, in that it’s dialectal, and prone to vast differences given who is speaking it. I swear, every time I learn a word, I learn two more that are synonymous with it. I would say that it’s irritating as hell, but I’ve been hearing the same thing about English for the last five years so I’ll let that one go. But still.
Frustrating? Yep. Yep it is.
I pay attention to things. I read things. I play with my DuoLinguo App, which is as hilarious as it is helpful. One sentence it had me do was “pants off!” I really need to check into who this app is geared towards….
But some things. Some things are just beyond me. For whatever reason I have developed a mental block here.
So, I give you five words that I cannot for the life of me remember.
- ruhig: quiet. Given how often I want to use this word, you’d think I’d be able to remember it. Nope. But its opposite, laut/loud, is so god-darn obvious, I think I want ruhig to be also. It’s not.
- Beispiel: example. This is one that I hear a lot, especially in teaching. But without fail, every time I hear it I have a whole mental conversation with myself… “Beispeil, beispeil, oh God, I know that… what the hell is that again? Where’s my phone? GAH EXAMPLE. I’m an idiot.”
- schon: not to be confused with schön, which means beautiful. Schon can mean already, yet, really, anyway, already, or any other damn thing someone might want. People seem to just insert it into sentences willy-nilly, which confuses the hell out of me because I can’t hear the difference between schön and schon yet.
- Freude: joy/pleasure/delight/happiness. I see it and I immediately think Freund(e), or friend. Nope. Not the same.
- Geschäft: store/shop. This is how my internal dialogue goes “Geschirr (dishes), Gesicht (face), Geschichte (story/history), nein nein nein! What the f*ck is store? Gah! Geschäft! I knew that!” Every. Bloody. Time.
So… any advice for me from the other expats? My residence permits didn’t provide me with the integration courses like I’ve heard other people have gotten, which I’m kind of happy and yet kind of pissed about. BV and I do speak together, but the conversations are usually fairly short, and of course he can’t explain ALL THE THINGS to me. I would like to get to the point where I’m comfortable functioning in it on a daily basis, which is not something I need to do right now with my job. But, I’m also getting to the point where I want to transition into doing something else. That’s a whole ‘nother box of fun here, but if I spoke better German, it would make life a whole lot easier.
So, any suggestions for a cheap and effective way to work on my German?