Wie geht’s? Mich? Ich bin gut. Ist Ihr Hemd gelb? Nein, nicht gelb. Ist Ihr Hemd blau? Nein??? Wo sind wir? Wir sind in der Keller. Das Haus ist weiss und dieses Haus ist neu. Ist jedes Haus alt? Was ist das? Das is der Laptop. Ist das mein Laptop? Ja, das ist Ihr Laptop. Sind sie klein oder gross? Sie sind klein.
Did you get all of that? No? Well that’s okay, you didn’t really miss much. For those of you who are wondering, yes I am trying to learn German; and for those of you who can read German you can see just how well it’s going (or not going…).
I’ve had multiple people tell that they have “learn another language” on their bucket list, which is a great thing to try to do. I also have been captivated by the idea of being able to speak more than one language, probably because in my mind people who can speak multiple languages are more sophisticated than others. However there is one thing that people never really tell you about learning to speak another language:
how HARD it really is
There’s articles that tell you that learning another language is like giving your brain a superpower; which is all good and well but for me it feels like my brain was forever destined to remain the sidekick and not the superhero. I can feel my brain overheating as it fires all of its synapses at once to try and get me to remember how to say “my name is” (which is “Ich heisse” in case you were wondering…I think…), so I think that at this point trying to have a full conversation in German would totally fry all of my brain cells.
Yet somewhere in the depth of my soul and my mind I am determined to learn this language that has words that literally sound like you just sneezed. Why am I doing something that makes my head hurt after 10 minutes of trying to remember a single word? I could say that it’s because I love the challenge, or I’m not a quitter, or that I just really want to feel like a sophisticated superhero; but the real reason is a lot simpler than that and also convicts me a lot more that:
I promised I would.
I promised myself that I would do this, that I would stretch myself. That I would step out of my comfort zone. That I would face my fear of failing by learning a language that has letters I actually cannot say. That I would no longer sit on the side lines and wish my life away, but rather that I would make those wishes a reality. As well as being able to go to Germany and be able to talk to people and get around somewhat on my own; and also so that I can actually talk to all of my German friends in their native tongue which is something that I think is pretty cool.
So I’ll continue to learn this language that is full of sneezing sounds, and letters that I can’t say, and rules that make my head hurt, because I made a promise (and also because a little part of me wants to be a sophisticated superhero). And here’s hoping that one day in the not too distant future I can actually hold a real adult conversation in German, and not just ask people what colour their clothing is.
***Note: Since I am typing this on my computer I have no clue how to get the umlauts or the eszett (the fancy B thing that’s not actually a B), so that’s why they’re not shown here***