Learning German – week 14

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.

2 responses to “Learning German – week 14

  1. Your post brought back an incident which made me want to pack my bags and go back home!! We were barely a month here in Germany and our daughter’s teacher calls to meet us. And guess what she tells us flat on our face….that she didn’t care how intelligent our daughter was, but as long as she could not say carrot or any other vegetable in Deutsch, the she would retain her in the same class!!! It’s now been two and a half years and I am so glad that my daughter proved her wrong. Not only is she the best in Deutsch in her class, she will be going to Gymnasium this September.

    • Comforting but a little sad to hear that my experience wasn’t unusual but isn’t that just the best revenge and a great motivation to learn! Sounds like you are assimilating well and your daughter is kicking some tukas!

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