The intellectual equivalent of a ham sandwich.

Posts tagged ‘duolingo’

Du Spreche?

Recently I decided to take my German learning attempts to the next level. That is, LEVEL 0.2. My current level is doing Duolingo every day (or close to that), which has been going well.

I thought for next steps two things might make sense – a pen pal or reading children’s books in German. I’m anti-social enough that the pen pal idea lasted about one second.

panama 1For the children’s books I googled for German children’s books to learn German and what do you know – handy results came back. Great! I ordered three books:

Morgen, Findus, Wird’s Was Geben (Tomorrow, Fundus, Will Give What … That can’t be right, but I have no idea what it is)
Eine Woche Voller Samstage (A Week of Saturdays)
Oh, Wie Schön ist Panama (Oh, How Beautiful is Panama)

I looked forward to my three books with great anticipation. When they arrived I happily took the package home, opened it, and was immediately filled with … Whatever word means the emptying of ambition. These are no children’s books! These are more like elementary to middle school books! I wanted to be treated like a 3 year old having a book read to me! Dang it!stamstage

Oh, Wie Schön ist Panama is the one I will start with. It’s the easiest of the three. In this book a bear and a tiger (adorable) are on a journey to visit Panama (super adorable). I don’t know why, or if they succeed, my German isn’t that good. And, frankly, at this point I basically open a page, type word for word what I see into Google translate and then say ‘ohhhh, ok, I knew three of those words.’

Wish me luck on my likely fruitless endeavors.

Also, lesson learned, Germans do quotes differently. For example, in Oh, Wie Schön ist Panama they use these guys: << and >>.

<<Wer wusste?>> (Who knew?)

(I have no idea what’s happening in this book … but I’m excited to stumble through it 10 years from now.)

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Attn: Ellen (8/16/17)

Front

Ellen321a

Back (apologies for my handwriting!)

Ellen321b

 

The text of the postcard is

Dear Ellen,

In my feeble attempt to learn some German via Duolingo, I am also learning that I don’t know much English. For example, today I am doing a lesson on ‘Genitive Case.’ I don’t know what that means, but I can only assume it’s language you’d use while visiting Geneva. Stuff like, “hey, nice watch!”

Sincerely,
DumbFunnery.com OR @DumbFunnery

Why am I doing this?

Hallo Fliege

In this post I am going to attempt to use my fledgling German knowledge to express my hatred of a fly that is inside my house and does Top Gun style fly bys of the tower (my face) and I want to kill him but he never seems to land. Except for on my legs when I am eating.

 

Hallo Fliege,

Mein freund, du bist nicht gut. Und ich habe kein liebe für du.

Ich bin stark, und groß, aber du bist schmutzig und … um, nicht stark.

Hmmm. Ich spreche ein klein Deutsch so das ist schwer. Ich brauche … etwas.

Mit hass,

Mich

 

And now a translation to see how I’ve done. I can already tell you – not well. But let’s see it. I am lacking a vocabulary. You want me to say hello to a potato? I can do that. But to fully express my hatred for a fly? That’s beyond me.

 

Hello fly,

My friend, you're not good. And I have no love for you.

I am strong, and tall, but you are dirty and ... um, not strong.

Hmmm. I speak a small German so that is hard. I need something.

With hate,

Me

8% Fluent

According to Duolingo, as of tonight, I am 8% fluent in German. I don’t know who I could communicate with my 8% fluency but I think it would have to be someone who has been hit by a truck several times.

I could maybe keep up with a 16 month old. Would you consider yourself 8% fluent in the English language at the ripe age of 1 and 1/4 years old?

Ich bin eine banane. Did you know that means I am a banana? I can tell people these kinds of things with my 8%.

“Hallo.”

“Hallo!”

“Du ist eine kartoffel?”

“Nein, bitte! Ich bin ein mann!”

Here we see one of any number of classic German conversations I might have. Someone greets me, I greet them in return, they ask if I am a potato, and in turn I inform them that I am actually a man.

What if I need to find a bathroom in Germany? No clue. But I can point to a glass of hot chocolate and say, “HeibBe schokolade, bitta! Mmmm, es ist lecker!” (This is tasty!)

Also that B should be … well, a different B. It’s called Eszett. Did duolingo teach me that? Of course not, I know “8%.”

I wish I could be confused as this guy, you need 80%+ understanding before idioms can even make sense enough to baffle you.

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