Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Donaudampfschiffahrtsgesellschaftskapitän


Integration courses


Learning German has regrettably become something simmering on the back burner. Practically everyone knows English here which makes me lazy to learn it quickly, but this is no excuse. If I am going to be working in a German city, I sure as heck need to know it and quickly.

Now, here are my predicaments. After about 2 weeks of living here Christoph and I went to the immigrations office to get my visa stuff sorted out. Unexpectedly the lady at the desk started asking me questions in German, speaking very quickly. It's no wonder they have glass in between her and the immigrant because I really wanted to punch her in the face. Of coarse I wasn't ready for this kind of thing, and after I gave her a couple glazed over looks she concluded that I would have to take an Integration language course. I start next week, so me being the extremist I am have decided to learn all of the German I can before I take my test tomorrow to see where I am placed. I have taken the online test twice, and after cheating the second time and looking up all the words I was still, STILL ranked for the lowest level. Who do they think I am? Some CIA agent I guess. I said to Christoph, 'How long will this thing be, because I'm pretty sure you have to be fluent to be done with it.' He said. 'Two months probably.'
I laughed in his face. Apparently he is on their side.
So now, I have to live up to the expectations of the immigrations coarse and my husband in order to not be deported back to the land of the free.
But I will keep my head up. Learning a language fluently can't be that hard. They only have words like....

"Donaudampfschiffahrtsgesellschaftskapitän", which in English becomes four words: "Danube steamship company captain."

"Itisalmostlikeputtingeverywordtogetherjustforshitsandgiggles."

Or "schifffahrt" and "Betttuch." which have a billion f's and t's in them. I believe someone with a speak impediment created those words.

Sometimes I think it's a joke when I learn how to spell a word. Never in any language have I seen a need for 3 letters all at once. I guess it shows the importance of the pronunciation, I guess.

None the less learning a language is fun. When I was little I would always stare at mexicans in a Dillard's store when I was shopping with my mom, and be fascinated by how fast they spoke. I always thought it was so mysterious and they were up to no good. In my mind at the time this was like being a secret agent. No one would know what I would say if i knew how to speak Spanish. After that me and my neighborhood best friend decided to make our own language. We combined pictures and swirlies and dots to make our own alphabet. Then we spied on the neighbors and recorded things in our spy book like "Leon is mowing his lawn." or "The twins went out for ice cream with their real dad."

Then we forgot where we hid our spy book and moved onto things like smoking her moms cigarette butt behind the shed. We only did that once because we realized we were in fact smoking the filter. Tasted like plastic burned paper. We would also make about 1 dollar a day selling rocks that we painted pictures of little girls on. After bringing our price down from 10 dollars to 10 cents, we knew this was not a profitable business. We had to think of something more innovative than lemonade.

Ah yes those were exciting times. I wish my imagination was still as it used to be.

Now I am off to do my new workout video. It seems the video fitness instructor used to be a boxer, and he has a patch over one eye. It kinda creeps me out a little bit but none the less it's a great workout video. He doesn't say anything cheesy like...

"And a one, a two, a one two three four. Keep it up! Let your arms soar!"

1 comment:

Lynda said...

A million years ago I tried to translate a letter that Mr Dear Husband had received from his mother.. with a dictionary. But I couldn't work out where the words began and ended. I would much rather be painting rocks.