Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Getting started in German...

Getting started in a 'new' language isn't easy even though something over forty years ago I had enough to make myself understood with a few German-speaking friends and odd cousins. Never having got beyond a sort of child-speak stage I am now struggling with declining articles, variations in pronouns that make English look simple and verbs that change according to pronoun and tense.

The pronouns change according to gender, so you have to get to know whether a thing is masculine, feminine or neuter and some things you would think are obviously "neuter" turn out to be masculine or feminine in German! A good example is in the Communion service where "The Body of Christ" becomes "Der Leib Christi" and "The Blood of Christ" becomes "Das Blut Christi". The "Body" is masculine, but the "Blood" is neuter. It gets more complicated when you hit composite nouns, because now it is the last sylable which determines the gender. But now I'm jumping ahead to far for my own good!

For now I had better get to grips with -

Ich wohne
Du wohnst
Er/sie/es wohnt ....

and the plural gets even better ...

Wir wohnen
Ihr wohnt
Sie wohnen
sie wohnen

OK, that's enough mayhem for the rest of you for today. I'd better get back to my exercises and crack on. I have to master at least the basics as I've booked myself a place on an Intensive Language Course offered by the Volkhochschul, in Wiesbaden and it starts in eight weeks time...


  1. I made my mom teach me one phrase in German so that whenever one of the old ladies at church asked me, "Sprechen Sie Deutsch?" I could respond, "sehr wenig".

    (It happened quite often, actually)


  2. Yup, and it just gets more complicated as soon as they think you have grasped it...

  3. The blank look on my face reads the same in every language. ;-)