Sunday, June 21, 2009

german class is over.

i want to take a moment to reflect on learning german. 

my class ended this past thursday and i have to that i really am satisfied with how much i know. before i got here i was convinced i could become fluent in one year, and while i think it is possible with many languages and even with german it was not possible for me. considering i never spoke german outside of my class save for a few phone calls or quick store interactions and a conversation here and there with the housekeeper i really know tons! i understand i would say 60 percent of the spoken language, but most everyday happenings i understand 95-100 percent of everything said. its just when i get into television aimed at anyone older than 14 i sometimes get confused!

with reading im even better! even when sometimes isn't immediately clear after a few rereads i am always able to work more and more out without ever reaching for my dictionary. ive read first harry potter book and am now working my way through feuchtgebiete, which is like legit. i felt like i was cheating with harry potter because id read in english so many times, but i feel just at ease reading this book which as of yet does not even exist in english. 

speaking. sigh, this is the real hurtle for me. i am still very embarrassed to speak german with native speakers. i trip and mumble and blunder and usually give up halfway through and beg for them to speak english with me. BUT on the few occassions when this hasnt been possible after a few minutes ive seen my fears get left behind and i stop thinking about grammar so much and i really CAN do it. sure there are mistakes and i need to search for words and i need to use some funny phrasings but its getting there! of course my opportunities to speak german are going to seriously dwindle once i leave, but hey, thats what the internet is for, right?

i just really want to keep working hard with my german. i dont want to forget anything and i want to go back to columbia next year even stronger than i am right now. 
once i began learning german with earnest my realistic goal was to learn enough to be able to take the 300 level once i got back to school. and i really think i am there!

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