Tuesday, February 1, 2011


We have been here for almost 8 months now, so you might be wondering how we are getting along with that language they speak here...Deutsch. It depends on the day you ask really. Before moving to Germany I had studied German for a year in high school, spent 3 months in Switzerland, and studied one year in college. But if you don't use it, you lose it. And lose it I did!

When we arrived in Germany in June I could hardly form a sentence or remember the most basic words. I couldn't count, and when I tried to say something it often came out in Spanish. With Simon, it hasn't been possible to take a course - so I have been learning on the fly.

But I am happy to say that I get by - and that I enjoy the challenge, and deal with the frustrations. I can have basic conversations, go to the grocery store, market, or post office and get it done in German. If all else fails - most people understand English, but I try my best to speak German when possible.

One of the things that has been most helpful in learning German has been taking Simon to courses with other German moms. Of course the courses (PEKIP and Babyschwimmen) are in German, and I get a chance to speak German with new people and learn German baby songs. It has helped me tremendously, and I have found Germans to be very patient and willing to put up with my crappy German. (I also believe that they would rather hear my crappy German than speak English.)

Martin, whose German is clearly better than mine, does not have nearly the opportunities that I do to speak German. They speak English in his office (because of him), but he doesn't have time to work on German at work when he so much actual work to get done. He did a one week intensive German course in January, but again - he's not out and about the way I am to really use it on a daily basis.

We both hope that we continue to improve our German. In the fall, I will be able to take a German course that provides childcare, so I am really looking forward to that.

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