Lost in Translation

No, this isn’t about the movie.  I’ve been in Munich for a month now. In class I’m only using German. I have some friends from my program that only speak German outside of class too. Then I have friends that only speak English outside of class.

There’s a sign in JYM that says we must only speak German. The alternatives are Bayrisch (local dialect) Afghanisch and Shakespearean. But we use English anyway among ourselves. We have to speak German to the staff. Some of use have no problem with it, while others avoid speaking to the staff because their German is bad.

I’ve realized that I’m frustrated with my German. I’m so expressive with my English because it’s my Muttersprache (mother tongue) and I want to say the things I say in English in German too. But I’m not there yet. It sounds impressive when I say I’ve studied German for over 6 years. Problem is I was forced to take a year and half off, (No German was offered) and for the last year I’ve only met with my German professors one hour a week! So when we had a placement test, I tested into the middle of the pack with my listening comprehension being the worst out of Grammar, writing and reading comprehension.

But I love it here. And most of the Germans I’ve encountered smile/are amused when they hear me speak German. They’re nice about how bad/American it sounds. Most of them will speak English to me (especially in the Tourist areas) but I try to only speak German back.


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