As some of you might know, at the beginning of May, I started an intensive German course. Until now I was learning on my own using different helpers – like Duolingo and Memrise which I strongly recommend. 😉
Thanks to mere luck and power sent by Gods, I was able to make it on my own until A2.2 level. After passing the written and oral tests I felt like a younger sister of Zeus. I said to myself: “Well, if I was able to learn so much on my own, and so fast (last year I organized my wedding, spent 4 hours per day commuting to work and also learned some German), I would definitely rock this course!”.
And guess what? Of course I was no younger sister of Zeus or any Greek god! Darn, I’m a mortal! 🙂
But let me start with the beginning:
In the morning of my first German class I woke up with butterflies filling my stomach. On and on I had recurring thoughts in my mind: “OMG, OMG! How will the course be? ” , “Will I have a nice teacher?” , “Will I be able the understand a word of what the teacher is saying?!?”. I got in front of the building where the German course was taking place. It’s sitting face to face to the beautiful Vienna Opera House. Got on the 1st floor and then I started looking on the yellow pages where were listed the attendee name, classroom number and our teacher’s name. There were so many people from all over the world speaking languages which I have never heard. As it was too early, I started walking through the hallway. The classrooms were full with students and their teachers. I could see through the glass door people smiling, gathered around a big rectangular table. I took a peak behind every door to check the spirit. The 2nd group was happy. The 3rd one was laughing to tears… and so on. It was a good sign to see that people can learn a language and have fun in the same time! The morning courses ended so the classrooms started to get empty. Shy, I entered room 107…
Our teacher was GREAT! She is definitely in my top 5 best teachers I’ve met till now. Even with such a great teacher, learning German is not easy-busy! The first two weeks spent at the course were lovely… but incredibly hard. The course was held in German only and I was happy to find out that I could understand almost every word my teacher or colleagues were saying.
In a previous post I was confessing the fact that I love foreign languages and I mostly learn words in different languages as grammar is no friend of mine. Well, this has been proven once again to me.Imagine spending 3 hours a day, keeping your eyes open as you were a zombie. Imagine yourself nodding like a madman after each sentence spoken by your teacher. Imagine yourself being so focused that small wrinkles start to appear on your forehead. Well, my dear friends this is what learning German means. 🙂 🙂 🙂
At the beginning of the course we agreed with our cool teacher to have a weekly test. The first test was scheduled on a Thursday. We had 3 grammar subjects to cover. After the first day spent at the course I said to myself that I still have lots of time to study till the big test day. There was absolutely no need to panic. On Tuesday I said the same: “I have tons of time to study till Thursday, so there is definitely no need to panic”. On Wednesday afternoon, while I was returning home from the language school I realized it was high time to panic!
I got home, did my homework and started to practice grammar. I was panicked, as a weird voice inside my head was telling me: ” You have only 3 hours to study this”. “The clock is ticking, you have only 2 hours left” and so on. The annoying voice was not leaving me alone. It just got nastier. As I was getting tired of sabotaging myself, I finally decided to go to bed. So as I laid in my bed I started looking on the window… saw few lights coming from the neighboring windows and grey heavy clouds. My eyelids were getting heavy…
All of a sudden, I was walking to the German class. Strange enough everything looked black and white around me. The tram was passing me by without making any noise. As I was walking I found myself in the classroom. My black and white German teacher was asking me: “Was hast du gestern gemacht?”. (What have you done yesterday)
And I answered:”Als ich Kind war, habe ich viel gespielt” (When I was a child, I played a lot)
The teacher asked me again: “Was hast du gestern gemacht?”. (What have you done yesterday)
I replied: “Wenn Anna viele Schokolade isst, fuhlt sie sich sehr voll”. ( When Anna eats lots of chocolate, she feels very full).
The black and white teacher was repeating the same question again and again. My brain was trying to get the correct answer but somehow I was answering something else. Wrong of course. “Ich bin nach Hause gegangen”. “Ich habe meine Hausaufgabe gemacht”. “Nominative: Der, die, das. Accusative: Den, die, das. Dative: Dem, der, dem…. Das Essen wird von mir gemacht”. I opened my eyes… a sharp pain was coming from my forehead. God, I was dizzy. I woke up feeling as I slept for only few minutes and felt awfully tired. But my brain was still speaking German. “Gott sei dank, es was nur ein Albtraum!” aka Thanks God, it was only a nightmare!
Just to make it short – my first test was terrible. I kind of screwed up everything, and I guess this says it all. But the next test, got better. The last test even better. My conclusion was: never give up what you really want to do, just be patient. As I do not want to end up “working as food”, like Wilbur the adorable pig portrayed at the beginning of this post, I started focusing on grammar. 🙂
Might be a cliche, but my advice for the people eager to learn German is:
🙂 🙂 🙂