This Friday, I’ll take my first German language test. The good news is that it doesn’t actually *mean* anything if I fail, i.e. they won’t kick me out of class (or the country). The bad news is that I’m still nervous. It’s amazing how after almost four weeks in an intensive class, I still feel like I know practically nothing.  One of our teachers (we have two) is always encouraging us and telling us that we’re doing so well and can communicate so effectively after only a few weeks. It’s nice to hear a compliment, but I’m wondering if she’s talking about the same class. The class I’m in can *barely* construct a grammatically correct, basic sentence *if* we’re lucky.  Oh, German….you really kick my a** challenge me.

But on a upnote, after a year of living in Germany,  I finally know how to say “I’m just looking” when a salesperson approaches me in a store. The phrase, “Ich schaue nur,” is simple enough and I could have learned it in my first week in the country, but for some reason I never did. And every time I’d enter a store, I’d be annoyed because I’d immediately remember that I had (yet again) not either looked up or asked the Mr. for the phrase “I’m just looking” in German, and then a salesperson would pounce on me and I’d awkwardly stumble through a reply of no thanks (hoping that was, in fact, an appropriate answer to what they had asked me.) But now I’m pretty sure “Ich schaue nur” will cover all the bases. So hey – at least I can’t say four weeks of intensive German hasn’t taught me anything useful. 


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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2 Responses to Something

  1. cliff1976 says:

    Aha, you’ve been leaving the house without your scripts? Sarah and I used to jot down keywords and phrases we thought we might need for daily interaction, depending on the target (retail, DB, Ausländerabteilung des Einwohnermeldeamts, etc.).

    • Ja, you caught me – on both counts! Cheers for that 😉

      I had a small phrase book I carried around my first week or so in Germany, then decided it was too bulky and left it at home. From that point on, I’d never ask questions once I was in town (i.e. avoiding any interactions requiring language skills) and would just sort of wing it. Not exactly the best way to learn a language or integrate into a new country, I admit….and having a German spouse definitely allows for a lot of laziness. But I’m getting better, and more confident! I went into the pharmacy today and asked for an item and even had a short conversation with the sales clerk regarding the item, all relatively fluidly. That felt good.

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