Sprichst du Deutsch?


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I
came to Germany 5 months ago (September 2016) in order to do my European
Voluntary Service (EVS). My German skills were very basic as English language
was always more important then any other language in high school. But here I
was in the middle of a country where every day started to be a struggle whether
I should
use
der, die ordas
.

“German
is difficult because of it’s grammar and many rules, many exceptions to the
rules. There is no certain structure, you can know a lot of words but can’t put
them in a proper sentence.” said Rita Rowland Jones, a friend whom I met during
my German course in
Volkshochschule
Münster
. Indeed, there
is a general rule “the verb takes the second place in a sentence”… but still
even if I have the needed vocabulary to create a sentence, the order of the
sentence causes me a headache. Another amazing thing about German language are
nouns as it is famous for its compound nouns. The fact we always need to write
them with capital letter is actually a normal thing but I dare say nouns coming
from Germany can be the longest words in the whole universe, e.g.:

Donaudampfschifffahrtselektrizitätenhauptbetriebswerkbauunterbeamtengesellschaft – 80 letters, yes that’s just one word, and yes
it has a meaning! Fascinating, oder? 🙂

The
lenght of the words or their
pronunciation
make
the language quite challenging for me to learn. Yet, there is one reason why
I liebe German. I love learning langauges which
have different letters from the alphabet of my mother tounge (Polish).
All ß, ö, ü and ä make
the word so cute even if it consists of 80 letters. I asked my German teacher,
Mrs Sigrid Steinigeweg, if she’s able to recognize the nationality of her
students only after hearing their accent while speaking German: “I can
distinguish the languages from Eastern Europe – Polish and Russian yes, Czech
and Bulgarian less. I don’t know all the African dialects, there are so many.
Yet most of them speak either French, or English, or Portuguese and very often
they take part of this accent. But I did a several mistakes concerning the
accents when the people learnt another languages before, For instance I had
people from Russia and they learn’t English or French before and I didn’t
recognize the Russian accent”.

Mrs Steinigeweg emphesized the importance
of learning the language of the country you live in “Generally I would always
recommend to learn the language of the country you live in. Even during
holidays. I always spend my holidays on Fuerta Ventura, I started 20 years ago
and I started learning Spanish, some Spanish at least.  I try saying in
Spanish what I want to say and the people react very friendly even if I make so
many mistakes. They notice and approve the effort and that’s what I expect of
any person living in another country. I think is the culture of politeness”. My
Spanish friend from German classes, Laura Garcia, told me her reasons of
learning German “I came to Germany because my husband has a job here so together
with our childern we’ve been living here in Münster since 3 years. I guess to
live here you need to know the language. Ok, you can communicate in English and
even though German is very difficult I want to learn it because this is the way
to integrate with the people and be accepted by the society. It’s just illogical
to come and live in a country and don’t speak its language.”

I
never liked German, I want to be honest, mainly because of its pronunciation.
After almost half a year of living here in Münster I really started to change my
attitiude towards German language. And it’s not only because it’s already a
daily routine to
hear genau and stimmt while
people talking. It’s because Germany is giving me the best experience of my life
and I already feel a kleines part of the
country. And even if I might speak broken German, I have the need to try and
integrate with German citizens.
Not because I have to, but because I want
to
.

 

 

Beata
Jaranowska

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