Let’s have a little fun this time…So you want to learn German…
As I mentioned last month, Duolingo added a whole slew of new vocabulary and lessons back into the stuff that I had already completed. I am not mad. This makes me more proficient. In three days I zipped through the lessons and now I am just on a repeat loop making my brain remember it all. It was a lot! I may have rushed more than necessary and hurt myself in the process. Just because I zipped through doesn’t mean I am retaining the language lessons I completed. A lot of it was simple, stuff I pretty much already knew. Still, it’s a lot! I mean a lot! I am reeling from all of the words added.
A new favorite: Baumwolle. It means cotton. If you pick apart the word it literally means ‘tree’ + ‘wool’. Is that the cutest thing ever? Tree wool! How can you forget that? So in one word, I have just remembered three. Tree, wool and cotton. Bam! Just like that. Pretty much that is how it works. I mean, after all, words are signs. They stand in for the objects of which they’re designated. I guess I am a visual learner, in some ways, yeah?
There have been a couple more words that are tongue twisters. The key is to realize that most big German words are compound words like Baum + Wolle. No sweat. Just say the words sorta mashed up. You don’t even have to mash them, I guess. The list of words strung together in speech will be clear enough. You just have to remember no spaces when writing it.
There have also been some words that sound like something other than what they mean. Wie, for instance, keeps making me think why, instead of how. And then there are those like wind which is wind. Eventually, you just keep them straight thanks to repetition. That’s too much to hope for with the brigade of whiches and whys.
The newest word that puts me into giggles saying it is die Umgebung. It simply means environment. This isn’t the same issue as wrapping my tongue around Vegatarier’s first and last ‘r’ loop. It’s that it sounds like something else entirely, but not in a false friends way (where it sounds or is like the English word for something else). Either way, I won’t be forgetting this one either. Much like der Hase, I keep repeating it in my head or outloud because it’s just a fun word.
I couldn’t help myself. This scenario popped in my head this morning and I had to meme it. This meme pokes fun about both stereotypes of German and American people, language learning and highlighting how it might be humorous to some but not others. I hope you’ll find it amusing, because Brunhilde draws up Bill and Ted quite short on their little joke. Go get em, Brunie!