I have lived in Germany for almost three years and my German is limited to:Das ist schön – That is beautiful ja bitte eine Tüte – yes a bag please Zahlung mit meiner Karte bitte – paying with my card please ein schönes Wochenende – have a nice weekend
The last one helps me get away with not understanding anything else. When we moved here I started going to the German class for foreigners that the city of Emden offers free of charge. The class met at the Kulturbunker a few hours every week and all was going swimmingly until our lovely teacher Suzanne emigrated to Norway, of all places!
She was replaced by a less friendly although more stereotypical teacher. She was strict. She laughed at you when you mispronounced a word and she harassed immigrants from far away countries. She refused to acknowledge the difference between Iran and Iraq and kept insisting that even though the students were fluent in Arabic that they were illiterate and not worth teaching.
Every class was cringe-worthy and I weened little more than a deep distrust and distaste for Germans. Not a great combination since we were staying here a while longer, so I just avoided them. We did our shopping in The Netherlands and rarely mingled with the locals. The only notable exception are my husbands colleagues, whom are exceptional in every way!
As time wore on, I we met some lovely people in Bavaria, I started thinking that it could be that I have been unlucky. Maybe there are some open-minded people in Germany who enjoy and appreciate a multicultural society. So we took a language class in Hamburg at Christmas time and our teacher was really nice. I mean so nice and open, he loved the students from Mexico, America, Jamaica, China, Russia and England, ahh what a relief. There are good teachers in Germany.
So I vowed that after we got settled in our new place in town I would look into learning German again. I found a great little school thanks to my blog and I am starting the end of April. I even took a test and apparently some language skills are absorbed through the skin because I answered a lot of questions right. But my very kind, new teacher sheepishly told me that my pronunciation was horrible and I think he really felt bad about saying that.
Five hours a day, five days a week, for 6 six months. Which should make a German speaker out of me by the time we are heading back to Norway. Yeah, yeah, at least I will be able to tell the annoying people I have met that they can kiss my tukas, in their native language, of course.