The German Language, It’s Not for Sissies

As many of you know, my daughters and I are trying to learn German.  We just completed our A1.1 course and next week we move on to A1.2.  This essentially means that we are now able to tell people our names, where we are from, and that we speak English “und ein bisschen Deutsch”.  We can also count….. somewhat.  I feel fairly confident saying my numbers up to nineteen, and then I must stop.  The German number for 20 is, zwanzig. This seems simple enough.  However, for some reason I tend to say another word, Schwanzig.  It sounds similar to my ear.  The meaning is NOT similar.  Schwanzig means “cock like”.  Not the best word to say when at the grocery store and trying to communicate with the grocery clerk. Hi, my name is Cherie and I would like “cock like” tomatoes please, or I would like “cock like” brötchen, bitte.  So, many new ways for me to say embarrassing things.  With German skills like these, I may never make any friends here.

A1.1 class

Here is a picture of our group of future German speakers.  Wish us luck as we head into the next class!

For those of you that are bilingual, what crazy things have you said to others as you tried to learn their language?


34 thoughts on “The German Language, It’s Not for Sissies

  1. I can feel with ye in this…..
    I remember to order beer at the cinema in GR and asked the guys if one of the 2 cunts are able to give me a beer and wondered why their face turned angry red.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. So many ways to stuff up the Turkish language as well.

    Sick (Turkish: Sik) – Translation: Rhymes With Duck
    Um (Turkish: Am) – Translation: Rhymes With Runt
    Peach – (Turkish: Piç) – Translation: Bastard

    So much fun 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I feel your pain. I’ve never asked for cock-y bread before but I have proudly informed people about the weather outside. “isn’t it schwul?” I would say. “Very schwul outside, I feel awfully schwul today”

    After much puzzlement I discovered that I meant schwül (humid) not schwul (gay).

    Liked by 2 people

  4. After two years of German in high school, I know enough to find someone who speaks English. I have a hard time with other languages, it’s almost like a wall that’s been built and I can’t seem to cross over.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Yes, like every language foreign, German and French are difficult to learn and practice….I have had the privilege to learn both of them here in Calcutta, India…..and found it challenging….:)

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Boy am I glad I ended up in the Netherlands and then Belgium and not Germany. Dutch is tough enough, but Deutsch? My faux pas was to ask a supermarket to tell me where to find the “rode bonen” (red beans for a chili). The dumbo was completely unable to help me, even though I repeated it numerous times, in increasing volume. Only afterwards did I realise I was asking him for “rode benen” (Red Legs!).

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I took French in high school and college. I wish I’d taken enough to speak fluently. However, I haven’t used it in so long that I’ve lost the small amount I did learn. Kudos to you for giving German a go. I’ve heard from others that it’s a tough language to learn. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Brilliant! Eyes are creased laughing at your pre’dick’ament! I would love to learn German so that I could look into my family history more; my Great Grandfather emigrated from Germany to Scotland and we know that there are still family members in the village where he was born.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. I’m lucky in that other (closer) relatives have either done some work, or have memories of family from before the Berlin Wall went up; that obviously made it much more difficult to stay in touch. But now we’ve made contact with the Canadian branch of the family, and I’ve about 80 cousins I didn’t know of 5 years ago. It’s been great!

        Liked by 1 person

  9. I think this schwanzig tomatoes would break the ice 😉 don´t worry about that, even a lot of germans can´t speak german properly, esp. the teenager. the best way to learn a language is learning by doing. never be scared to say something wrong. as i was younger, i´ve told the uncle of my friend that she has slaped someone. a bit later on he asked me, why i´ve told him that she has slept with someone, that´s private -.- well you see, no one is perfect 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Learning Thai is the same as it is very nasal and I could never write it as It is symbols although when you look closely some resemble English numerals just turned on their side with a little squiggle added …. The Latin I learnt in school I can remember more of that than the German and French I learnt….Good luck I am sure you will be fluent in no time 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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