Thursday, February 22, 2007

Ein junge unter einem flugzeug

In September I'm going to Germany for a week for work. There's a big trade show that fills something like 100 buildings and lasts a week.

Yet, I'm still somewhat apprehensive. See, I don't speak German. My Spanish is pretty good, and I can speak English well enough. All my travel thus far has been either to a country where I spoke the language (domestic, Spain, Ecuador) or with someone else who did (France). While I know that the conventional wisdom says that everyone in Germany speaks English* I just like the idea of at least being able to say "please", "thank you" and "excuse me".

While I thought about taking classes, I've been in airplanes enough lately to read thousands of advertisements for Rosetta Stone's language software. So I picked up the "German Level 1" set to try out and see how it works. After doing the "Day 1, Lesson 1" set, I can conclusively say that I know how to say "a boy is under the airplane" in German.

Obviously, this will come in very handy in the event a kid gets lost at the airport and starts running around the tarmac while my flight to Germany is taxiing.

* Indeed, every German foreign exchange student we had in high school spoke better English than most of the other kids in the class.

5 comments:

KC said...

I took 3 years of Spanish when I was in grade school and the only things I've remembered from it is how to count to 29. Yes, 29. I stop there because I can't remember what 30 is in Spanish.

I'm sure you'll do fine on your trip. You probably will never need to use your new German phrase about the boy, but keep it in mind... just in case.

MKD said...

You have no idea how jealous I am that you get to go to Germany. No idea.

I was born in Germany, but seeing that I was a baby and all, I remember nothing about it.

My paternal grandmother was born and raised in West Berlin. She spoke broken English until the day she died even though she spent the majority of her life in the States.

I took 4 years in High School, 2 years at JoCo and minored in German at University. I spoke more German in those 8 years than English and spent time translating English into German in my mind.

I've been trying to teach my daughter some phrases but all I seem to remember is how to tell someone to go f**k themselves or ask where the toilet is. (I remember numbers, some other phrases and alphabet too)

I'm jealous. Remember to take lots and lots of pictures and post them so I can live vacariously through your trip to Deutschland.

J.Bro said...

Eintz Vine Dry Dee Flaydermouse Von Gutenburg Schadenfroode. I'd get along just fine. Juuuust fine.

Alternative comment: generic comedy "speak english loudly" answer.

Sophist said...

The only German I know is:

"Bist du Gott Sohn?" Which I believe means, "Are you the Son of God?"

grrrbear said...

Yeah, I probably won't need to use that one a lot while I'm there, Sophist. If I did I fear I'd probably be mistaken for a crazy person.

Or a Roman Centurion.

After all, Elmo seems equally disinterested in both...

I have a hard time believing that Elmo was traumatized by Katy Perry's decollatage after discovering that he had already "been arou...