All I’ve Got to Do

Today was another semi-rough day of language class. Towards the end I was having issues concentrating and on answering anything correctly.

I’ve decided that perhaps I need to set a goal for myself as a sort of motivation to keep going. And what shall be my goal? Pride and Prejudice, people. Pride and Prejudice.

Let me explain.

Shortly after we moved to Germany, I discovered the big bookstore in town, Hugendubel (also the location of infamy where my beloved wallet was stolen.) Like most big chain bookstores, Hugendubel also sells CDs and DVDs. They have a pretty good selection and many older releases are marked down to 5 or 6 Euros. Well, it didn’t take me long to spot Pride & Prejudice, the much-beloved BBC version starring Colin Firth.  Now, what I am about to say may shock some of you, but I HAVE NEVER SEEN THIS VERSION OF PRIDE & PREJUDICE. I know…it’s upsetting…take a moment to collect yourselves. Well, I grabbed a copy with utter glee and decided it was about time to treat myself. But I thought I had better check the languages on the back, just to be sure they had the original English language track as pretty much all English-language films do.

It wasn’t there. No English track. Nothing but German.

I rubbed my eyes and checked again as surely it’s there, I think, and the information saying it also has the original version in English is just somehow escaping my notice. I re-read the back cover over and over. Nope, it’s not there. It’s just in German.

I put it back on the shelf.

Now, each time I go to Hugendubel, I (and this is where the story gets a little pathetic – cue the violins) pick it up, flip it over, and hope that somehow it’s magically changed – somehow now the English-language track will be there. And of course it never is.

Could I buy a copy online somewhere with the original English language track and have it sent here? Of course I could. And maybe someday I will. But for now, I think I’ve just figured out what goal I want to work towards with my German language classes. I want to listen to some other dude’s German voice come out of Colin Firth’s mouth AND understand what he’s saying.

Wish me luck.

Oh, and enjoy the eye candy, too 😉


About bittenbythebug

I love travel and have always been fascinated by other cultures. Back in 2004, I began my life as an expat in Edinburgh, Scotland. Fast forward 5 1/2 amazing years later to 2010 and the new chapter in my expat adventure: Würzburg, Germany.
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10 Responses to All I’ve Got to Do

  1. fenella says:

    Hmmm… I’m not sure how I feel about this. It’s like watching Shakespeare in Korean. Not quite the same thing. The beauty of Austen IS the language. But if it helps you keep the gumption up, then I won’t comment.

    I’ve ordered the Rosetta Stone for German which should be delivered in a few days. A South African colleague and I will begin together to learn German, MUCH to the amusement of my German-speaking colleagues I’m sure! Oh well. I don’t mind as long as it boosts morale.

    I’ve just sent invites round to the office for a dinner out together at Xiangbala Hotpot which is on Dalry Road near us. It’s a fondue-like way of cooking the Chinese use, where you pay a set price for 2 hours all you can eat, you pick what foods you want from a list, and two types of broth that is then boiled on a hotplate on your table, and the food comes in big platters and you dump it into the pots and cook it for 30 seconds or a minute and then put it into your little bowl with sauces and eat it. A fun communal thing.

    I’m also researching having a breakfast team bonding meeting on a canal boat in Ratho, a few miles from here, and then in the same theme, grabbing a bunch of people to volunteer cleaning up the canal.

    So that’s the craic this morning.



  2. Ha, yes, Fenella – I agree that this goal doesn’t perhaps make the most sense, especially given that Colin Firth and his dashing voice are mostly the reasons I want to see it! I think my inability to buy this film and watch it, though, has annoyed me to the point where I want to defeat it. Er, or something like that 😉 And actually, I’m not sure it’s very a reasonable goal at all as even if my German greatly improves, I may still struggle with German in Austen-style language. Maybe I’ll have to lower my goal to watching Kung Fu Panda or something similar entirely in German…so we’ll see.

    Ooh, I’m excited you’re going to learn German, too! Now we can moan about our struggles together =)

    Does part of your job role involve “team-building” efforts or planned social activities, or do you just enjoy doing things with your colleagues and like to organize get-togethers?

    • fenella says:

      I don’t think it’s officially in my job description, but then I do lots of things that aren’t in my job description. I have taken it upon myself to keep morale up. It’s a hard task in this project. It’s also a bit of legitimate procrastination of things I don’t like doing!
      Organising the Christmas party is definitely in my job remit. I take it very seriously. Sadly this past one was marred by lots of snow preventing a third of my guests coming. But it went well otherwise. We ended at the German Market drinking gluhwein and eating gingerbread. I was absolutely knackered that night and ended up having to walk all the way home in heavy snow slush on the pavement. Crashed into bed about 9 that night.

      • I think that’s great that you do so much to bring your colleagues together, and your ideas are creative – not always revolving around the pub (as so much of socializing in the UK is!) You’ll have to tell me all about the Hotpot place. I’ve always wanted to try eating at a restaurant that offers that style of food.

      • fenella says:

        I missed you on Sunday when I went to the new cupcake bakery on Hanover street.

        It was absolutely delicious and decadent and superlative. I got three. One I had as soon as I got home, the others Mark and I had for dessert yesterday evening.
        Chocolate Cheesecake (oh so good!)
        After Eights (very very minty, with an After 8 stuck on top)
        Chocolate orange (Mark had that one, it had a wedge of Terry’s chocolate orange on top).

        They also sold bits and pieces for doing your own cupcake baking and decorating. The edible decorations, icing, doilies for going around it… oh so much. And I thought it such a shame you couldn’t see this place in all its bright pink glory.

        When you come back to visit Edinburgh, you’ll have to go to this bakery!


  3. cliff1976 says:

    Good luck with that — it sounds daunting to me.

    You’ve got your determination working in your favor, but working against you are:

    — antiquated expressions, and
    — unsynchronized mouth movements

    Assuming you don’t lipread as part of your daily life already, I suspect you’ll find the sounds you can SEE as well as hear are much easier on your non-native-speaker brain than those that don’t LOOK like how they sound. For this reason, we had to abandon dubbed-into-German-from-English TV/movies for a few years. It’s still more work now, but it has gotten marginally easier.

    Curious to know the results!

    • Oh, that’s good point, Cliff, about the lips not matching the words – I hadn’t thought of that! Yeah, this is probably going to be tougher than I originally thought. But for the 6 euros or whatever it costs (it’s pretty cheap), maybe I’ll just have fun trying =) Perhaps it would make more sense (as a realistic goal) to come up with an actual German film that sounds interesting to watch. I own Run Lola Run, but do you have any favorites you’d suggest?

      • cliff1976 says:

        Seen it and liked it:
        der Untergang
        Goodbye, Lenin

        Haven’t seen, but heard it’s good:
        das Weiße Band
        Das Leben der Anderen

  4. cliff1976 says:

    Slight correction, we just watched Das Leben der Anderen last night and really enjoyed tha one, too.

    The ability to pause, rewind a few seconds, and replay as necessary is very helpful.

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