The terrible German language

Discussion in 'General Discussion Forum' started by Korin, Nov 6, 2019.

  1. Korin

    Korin Sonny, I Watched the Vault Bein' Built!
    Admin

    Aug 6, 2010
    I know there's a lot of Europeans here, so sharing my language journey... I have been dating my German-born girlfriend for almost 5 years now (and have visited her family in Germany with her several times). Her entire family is trilingual, speaking English, French and German. I am essentially a hillbilly from Canada who can only speak English.

    About a month ago, I decided to fire up Duolingo and have been aggressively learning german for 1-2 hours a day (I usually marathon 3-4 hours on Sundays). I'm listening to daily German podcasts and have all my Netflix shows subtitled in German. We're visiting her family again this Christmas and I thought it would be a good present to surprise her and converse with her in her native language.

    I am now on day 30 of learning German and feel that I have learned enough to form some opinions about the language. I've been told many times over that English is unintuitive, doesn't make sense (their, there, they're) and has a lot of nonsensical rules. I was told that German (like the people) was efficient, sensible, not like that filthy English stuff. I am asserting that this is actually hogwash... perhaps even balderdash.

    I won't go into detail because I feel like some of you are German and know these things. At the very least every single noun in the German language is gendered and done so randomly (don't lie to me). I've never spent so much time looking at an object trying to figure out whether it's masculine, feminine or neuter. This would be fine if the gender of these words didn't affect how you need to use every other word in a sentence.

    The experience learning German is such a brutal and relatably confusing endeavour that Mark Twain actually wrote a book about it:



    Right now this book is getting me through it because this shit is real:

    upload_2019-11-6_17-32-52.png

    I will say that I really appreciate that Germans just make new words by compounding existing words. It is amazing and terrifying to encounter 20+ letter words regularly. It's also really handy if you don't know the actual word. Example: I recently didn't know the word for feet so I said fleischschuhe (meat shoes). Really does the trick.
     
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  2. Hassknecht

    Hassknecht For hate's sake. Admin Orderite

    Aug 16, 2010
    Yeah, I don't envy anyone having to learn German.
     
  3. The Dopamine Cleric

    The Dopamine Cleric ☠ ☠ ☠ ☠ ☠ ☠ ☠ ☠ ☠ ☠ ☠ ☠ ☠ ☠ Orderite

    Nov 3, 2007
    I'd just lay on your couch and let you read me your modus operandi and sprekin ze deutche plus autocorrect.


    That sounds gay but I promise you that's not the type of meat that I go to Germany for.
     
  4. Crni Vuk

    Crni Vuk M4A3 Oldfag oTO Orderite

    Nov 25, 2008
    Ihr habt doch alle von Tuten und Blasen keine Ahnung!
     
  5. Korin

    Korin Sonny, I Watched the Vault Bein' Built!
    Admin

    Aug 6, 2010
    I love Germany and hearing German. I'd really like to speak it someday. Right now it feels like trying to drink a picture of a lake.

    Ich spreche schlecht deutsch und ich verstehe deutsch nicht. Du hörst mein schlecht deutsch und wir haben viele bier. Genau (because they say this all the time for no reason).

    The meat is amazing there... I've never had such good meat/bread in my entire life. That and the glühwein. One of my favourite parts of Christmas in Germany.

    Yeah, so I don't understand this sentence... you all have... not sure what doch alle von means. Tuten and Blasen (???). Followed by "no idea". This is as far as one month has taken me. You all have no idea about something something.
     
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  6. Hassknecht

    Hassknecht For hate's sake. Admin Orderite

    Aug 16, 2010
    "Tuten und Blasen" means something like "hooting and blowing", playing brass and woodwind instruments. It's a proverb meaning that you don't know shit.
    German can be rather poetic. I like how in Goethe's Faust a guy asks for french wine:
    Man kann nicht stets das Fremde meiden
    Das Gute liegt uns oft so fern
    Ein echter deutscher Mann mag keinen Franzen leiden
    Doch ihre Weine mag er gern.
     
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  7. Crni Vuk

    Crni Vuk M4A3 Oldfag oTO Orderite

    Nov 25, 2008
    I am not sure if what you really value here is the poetry and asking for wine ...
     
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  8. Hassknecht

    Hassknecht For hate's sake. Admin Orderite

    Aug 16, 2010
    I value shitting on the French.
     
  9. Crni Vuk

    Crni Vuk M4A3 Oldfag oTO Orderite

    Nov 25, 2008
    German is pretty awesome though. Not only because it's a crazy language but because we have an unlimited amount of "accents". After spending half of your life learning German you believe that you've mastered it. Awesome you think. Then you move from one crazy German place to another. Let us say from the north to the south - which is Bavaria. And then you get to some rural town/village in Bavaria and you're greeted with this :



    And yes I understand (most) what they say.
     
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  10. Korin

    Korin Sonny, I Watched the Vault Bein' Built!
    Admin

    Aug 6, 2010
    You can not (???) the (????)
    The good (???????)
    A real German man doesn't like(?) (????) unfortunate
    (?) you all something... wines... or her like something

    I'm sure it's more poetic if you can understand it :p
     
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  11. Crni Vuk

    Crni Vuk M4A3 Oldfag oTO Orderite

    Nov 25, 2008
    Imagine what Shakespeare would say if he hated the French but loved their wine.

    Also, what's up with your love for the German language?
     
  12. Korin

    Korin Sonny, I Watched the Vault Bein' Built!
    Admin

    Aug 6, 2010
    I stayed with her family last summer and I can kind of pick out the worlds they say to each other (even when I didn't understand them) but they had a construction worker from Berlin renting one of the rooms and every time he spoke I couldn't understand anything. Have also tried learning German from a show called Hubert und Staller and found some characters harder to understand than others.
     
  13. Crni Vuk

    Crni Vuk M4A3 Oldfag oTO Orderite

    Nov 25, 2008
    That's not your fault I think. No one understands Berlin.
     
  14. Hassknecht

    Hassknecht For hate's sake. Admin Orderite

    Aug 16, 2010
    I love it when they use extreme dialects in german dubs. Like Kling and Schultz in Hogan's Heroes.
    Anyone remember Count Duckula? Once they travelled to Scotland, but how do you show the impenetrable weirdness of the scottish language in the german dub? By making it impenetrable bavarian, of course. Also, some guy speaks absolutely awful east german gobbledigook.

    Halt's a mal, halt's a mal, woher saids'n kema?
    You can't always avoid foreign lands
    Good things are often far
    A real german man does not like the Frenchmen
    But their wines are very welcome
     
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  15. Korin

    Korin Sonny, I Watched the Vault Bein' Built!
    Admin

    Aug 6, 2010
    Meine freundin ist Deutsch und ich gehe Deustchland... something something... for weihnachten. I've been there a few times already and I'd really like to be able to talk to people. I am enjoying learning German, even though I also hate it.
     
  16. Hassknecht

    Hassknecht For hate's sake. Admin Orderite

    Aug 16, 2010
    Give us bavarian yokels a ring when you come so we can buy you a beer or fifteen.
    (We don't actually speak like that, though. Especially not me, I'm from Western Germany and grew up with pure High German)
     
  17. Crni Vuk

    Crni Vuk M4A3 Oldfag oTO Orderite

    Nov 25, 2008
    Which is like High Elvish with the Bavarians speaking in Orc.
     
  18. Korin

    Korin Sonny, I Watched the Vault Bein' Built!
    Admin

    Aug 6, 2010
    My girlfriend was trying to explain Bavaria to me (Bavarian culture is often used to represent Germany as a whole in North America) and how they are actually a strange oddity within Germany, not the majority. Her explanation was that they were essentially the rednecks/hillbillies of Germany and everything about them was strange. Funnily enough I was reading an article recently about Arnold Schwarzenegger when he did the Terminator movies. They were going to do a German release and he offered to dub his own acting because he "spoke fluent German" but once the German producers heard him speak they said he "sounded like a backwoods farmer" and would have made the character a laughing stock.
     
  19. Korin

    Korin Sonny, I Watched the Vault Bein' Built!
    Admin

    Aug 6, 2010
    Man I'd love to! I haven't been to Bavaria yet! We're there two weeks in Christmas. Not sure what we're doing yet, other than going to weihnachtsmarkts every day.
     
  20. Hassknecht

    Hassknecht For hate's sake. Admin Orderite

    Aug 16, 2010
    I might not be in Bavaria for some time anyway, as I said, I'm from Western Germany near Düsseldorf so I'll be with my family for a few days, too.

    This is a bit closer to my home dialect (even though it's a rather terrible representation of actual Cologne dialect). No, I don't speak that, either.