What is Foreign Exchange to Me?

"A year of of my life. My life in a year."

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Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Oh,German.Must You Be So Difficult?


PA101566Yes! I have progressed from “Good job, I understood you,” to, “Angie!! You said a grammatically correct sentence in German! :D “For those of you who don’t speak German and don’t know anything about it, German grammar is insane. It has der, die, and das as forms of ‘the’ and there are no rhythms or rhymes as to why words are masculine (der), feminine (die) or neutral (das). They just are. And that’s just the beginning. German has four cases (Nominative, Dative, Genitive, and Accusative), and is nothing like English grammar in the sense that if you have two verbs, the second goes at the end of a sentence. If I were to directly translate a simple German sentence to English, it would be “I want today to the park to go,” which makes German particularly difficult for me, because when speaking a long sentence, I have to remember to put the verbs at the end, and sometimes by the time I get to the end of a sentence, I forget what verb was supposed to be to begin with. On top of all this, German has four letters that English does not have („ä“„ö“ „ü“ „ß“) and it is seemingly impossible for me to make the sounds because I have never had too before.

All that being said, I no longer feel like I am three years old… maybe five or six now. It’s nice; I have been here just over two months and can understand a lot of German, especially considering I have never taken a German language course. And even if I don’t understand the meanings of the words, sentences no longer sound like “ichsidfuljwdbruieybgv” but rather “frkv ujkvb evfeu ivtur” so I can separate the words from one another most of the time.

On Monday evening I went climbing with my friends Leo and Konnie, as well as my Rotary councilor (as we do every Monday now) and I met a man from Italy who lived in California for 12 years. It was nice speaking with someone who knows “California Slang” and understands all the culture differences. Not to mention, he also spoke Spanish so we had a lovely conversation in Spanish as well.

All in all, it’s been a good week. But my English is getting worse and worse every day, which would make me happy…if only it weren’t time for college applications.


  1. tell me about it with the forms of "the". We have that too in Danish. it makes me go crazy when I ask what the rule is for something grammatically and they just say there is no rule, you pretty much have to be born here to fully grasp it.

  2. “I want to the park today to go.” = „Ich möchte zum Park heute gehen.“
    That still doesn't make sense, you have to say this.
    "I want today to the park to go." = „Ich möchte heute zum Park gehen."
    The information in a sentence has to go in this order = time (when), manor (how), place (where). You can put one of them at the beginning of the sentence and then swap around the verb and the subject to add emphasis to that word. e.g. „Heute möchte ich zum Park gehen.“

    I definitely wouldn't say the word order of any language is weird, it's just different to what you're used to. Eventually things just either sound right or wrong, that's when it becomes more natural and makes more sense.

    1. I totally agree that the language takes more time to sound natural. I wrote this when my German was limited to probably about 50 words because I didn't learn any German before I went to Germany (which, was very unintelligent I have now realized). But now, German (the the word structures) sounds almost more natural to me than English. :)
      Thanks for your great comment!


Days in Germany