One of the hardest parts about the German language learning so far has been to just accept that it ‘is’ and not question ‘Why, oh God, why?’
Perhaps more frustrating than accepting a language for what it is, is learning said language based on grammar rules that I never even learned about my native English language! I feel like if I had been better educated this would come much more naturally to me now.
The German language has so many complexities it often feels like I am trying to solve mathematic equations – a subject I was never particularly gifted in and have no desire to dabble in on a daily basis. There are moments when I feel boastfully confident as though ‘ I am really grasping this now’! And then bam, my next class hits me and slaps me with a new coat of insecurity. I can usually be found sitting with my chin in my hands gazing imploringly at our teacher . I imagine I must resemble one of those puppies sitting on their hind legs moving their heads from side to side in confusion, as their owner instructs them to ‘sit, roll over, conjugate a verb’
If you have a German boyfriend like me everyone you meet will ask you incredulously ‘But why don’t you speak German with him?’ The answer to this question is simple. Its soooo much easier to speak in English! I know, I know! Don’t say it. But his English is perfect, in fact his English is often better than mine. Another reason? If my very patient boyfriend and I begin to speak German and we come across a strange sentence construction which needs explaining, this inevitably switches us straight back to English for the explanation portion of the evening. And from there, we simply forget to switch back to German. Plus I really am the worst pupil and bless his heart, he really is patient while I pout like a 16 year old who doesn’t understand fractions. (my poor dad ).
But I am getting there. However, it is hard not to become discouraged when I consider I have been here for one year and I still feel my face burning with embarrassment when my colleagues attempt to engage me in light banter.
Despite being told and recognising that my speaking will only improve with practice and that opportunities will be greatly increased by my achieving a confident speaking level, I still hesitate to dive right into a conversation.
Mark Twain wasn't joking when he said what he said about the German language.
It ain't easy folks.