April 16, 2009 10:37 am

I’m Learning German! (Slowly but surely.)

My German class is going splendidly! We have learned the alphabet, some verbs, and a lot of vocab words. For last week’s class we were supposed to write some short sentences using the limited knowledge we had at the time. Here is mine:

Mein name ist Meggan. Ich wohne in nordwest Portland. Portland ist schön aber das Wetter ist nass. Mein haus ist auf eine leise Straße. Die Wand in mein Haus ist hellgrün. Ich habe viele Bücher. Ich habe keine Katze.

It’s okay to laugh. I don’t know very many words yet! This should say: “My name is Meggan. I live in Northwest Portland. Portland is beautiful but the weather is wet. My house is on a quiet street. The wall in my house is light green. I have many books. I have no cats.” (Probably should have said “the walls in my house are” but… I didn’t think of it at the time.)

We had to read these out loud and I think I did all right. I can’t roll my Rs to save my life (I couldn’t when I took Spanish in high school either) so I sound quite like an American but I think I’m pronouncing things okay.

This week, we learned about family and different words for family members. For next Tuesday we are supposed to write some short sentences about our families. Here is mine so far:

Ich habe ein Vater, eine Mutter, und zwei Brüder. Mein Brüder sind jung aber gross – ich bin klein. Ich habe keine Schwestern. Ich habe zwei Großmutter und zwei Großvater; ein Großsvater ist alt und krank, andere sind alt und gesund.

I’m not done yet, only because I want to talk about Daniel’s family so I can practice the words for stepmother and stepsisters and such. I have a huge extended family so I’m not too concerned about subject material. My sentences should say, “I have a father, a mother, and two brothers. My brothers are young but tall – I am short. I have no sisters. I have two grandmothers and two grandfathers; one grandfather is old and sick, the others are old and healthy.”

I’ve been told that for our “final” (this is a non-credit course so no grades and no college credits), we go to an authentic German restaurant and have to order our food in German. The instructor said, “If you are unable to do this… [dramatic pause, wherein we all think we will be penalized horribly] …you will go hungry.”

My teacher is WONDERFUL. She’s this adorable great-grandmother (!) who came to Oregon from Germany when she was 25. She tells wonderful stories and is great at explaining words and concepts. I’m so glad I lucked out with a great instructor.

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6 Comments

  • callie says:

    GO HUNGRY?!!
    sounds like a pretty horrible penalization, to me.
    :)

  • Audrey says:

    They will serve you food if you order in English at the Reinlander, and the items on the menu are put in their German names. So you say, “Ich mag ______ und _____, bitte.” And just remember “ohne” means “without” so if you want it without tomatoes you say “ohne Tomaten” (: Ordering food is easy if you know German pronunciation ok.

    Your phrases all make sense despite the brevity. Sie schreiben Deutsch sehr gutt! Ich hoeffe es spass machen.

  • adastra says:

    Excellent! If you keep going like this, you’ll definitely have no problem ordering food in German or visiting Germany! ;) There are a few very minor grammatical errors in your texts, but that is to be expected with a language as ridiculously hard as German. It’s stuff that you probably best learn by being exposed to the language as opposed to studying grammatical cases… I’m currently learning a slavic language, same there. I have to deal with 7(!) cases and I absolutely don’t get it. But the important part is to learn the vocabulary, that’s enough to communicate ;)

  • Hev says:

    I can’t tell about German cause I don’t know it, but if it makes you feel any better. My Spanish teacher informed me that I was her first & only student in 40 years of teaching that was able to maintain their Hillbilly accent & speed (we talk very very fast & slur everything together) while speaking Spanish. She had lots of fun trying to understanding me that year. Cause no matter how I tried I couldn’t remove my accent. :grin:

  • Christine says:

    You sound like you’re doing great!

    I always wanted to learn german too. I took Linguistics in University and i was amazed to learn how closely related to english it is, even tho it doesn’t sound the same at all ^^

    Hope your week is going well :)

  • gem says:

    Mutter is my most favorite German word ever.