Listen, Germans! It’s Your Fault I Don’t Speak the Language

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Listen, Germans! I face serious challenges trying to speak German. Yes, I know – I have lived here for many years! Yeah, yeah, and I have gone to school, too! And yes, I have read every book there is! I also try really hard to say ich möchte, but that damn word never comes out right! But most of all, it’s your fault I don’t speak German!

I really love Germany; it’s my second home, but why oh why does German have so many words that kill me?! I have started to give up, sit on my couch, and eat ice cream while watching Netflix instead of studying my German, and now I have a big, fat greif bacon! Yes, greif bacon is a real word, English speakers. In German it’s kummerspeck.

I try to go out in public and practice my pathetic German skills, every day, even when my son (who is fluent by the way) makes fun of my pronunciation and rolls his eyes at me! He feels embarrassed for me and wants me to be quiet. After four years in Germany, many of you probably think I’m just dumb bread – dumm wie brot – or as we say in English, “dumb as a rock”, but let me just break this down.

First off, my husband is Lithuanian and I am American, and we currently live in Germany. My poor daughter doesn’t speak at all because her brain is full of words from several different languages… at least I hope that’s why.

We do speak multiple languages – Spanish, Italian, Lithuanian, English, a little bit of Czech, and our kids speak perfect German. I mean, to be quite honest, I have a hard time keeping up with them all. When I feel stressed, three or four languages will come out of my mouth. For example, I was at the grocery last week and I was trying to order meat and cheese at the deli. I ended up ordering in half-Lithuanian, half-Italian, and a jumble of other words from multiple countries, but at least I did say bitte (“please” in German.)

The woman behind the counter looked at me as if I was the dumbest person she had ever met. Vinny, my wonderful son, started to laugh; I just stood there while he held his stomach and doubled over in laughter. My brain is just always in kuddelmuddel – total chaos! See, I learned something today because I thought kuddel was a potato ball or something!

I know many of you think I’m lazy; some have even called me an ass violin – (no, really – it’s a word in German.) Arschgeige  someone who can’t do anything right. Which if you know me I would love to speak German just to use this word.

I just feel like there are so many rules – like 7,254 of them to be exact!

Siebentausendzweihundertvierundfünfzig  

And whyyyy are the words so long!?

Next problem:

E V E R Y O N E  S P E A K S  E N G L I S H 

Here is the kicker – most of the time, when I am out in public and try to speak German, even if I speak German to others, their reply back to me is in English. I’m not even given the chance to mess up!

The worst is if I’m with my husband and an admiring fan really wants to talk to him – they often try to speak with me first and it’s always in English! These are my fave people as their mouths are moving in my direction but their eyes are focused on the rock star next to me. I mean, at least pretend you want to talk to me, right?! I think it was better when men would talk to my boobs. Heyyyyy, buddy! My eyes are up here! This is when I can use the word backpfeifengesicht, right? Literally meaning a face that needs to be punched. I’d love this word, if only I could pronounce it.

I also have an issue with Germans who tell me, “no” or “just a little bit” when I ask if you speak English! LIE! YOU ALL LIE! Seriously, you all tell me “a little bit” then next thing you know you are using English words that I don’t even use! Your grammar and vocabulary are better than most Americans! A little bit, my ass.

So how am I supposed to learn when every person in Germany speaks English?! Damn it, Germany! Why can’t you be like America where people only speak one language! And they barely speak that language well! But no! I came to a country where everyone speaks two, three, and four languages! Geez.

Here is the problem as I see it – you all are too smart, and that’s why I can’t learn German. Basically, it’s your fault! Umm, so I’m really not a lazy pig dog – or innerer schweinehund. Yes, my English-speaking friends, that means inner pig dog – and no, I’m not one! Okay, sometimes I am but you don’t need to tell everyone!

Okay, now I know if you’re still reading this, you are probably mad at me and you may leave an ugly comment, so let me end with a few German words that I like and that I know how to say.

1) WINE. There. I really like the word “wine.” It’s nice and easy, and we all understand it!

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Okay, okay, relax. I have a few more, but wine is my fave word! Oh, and I really like handshue which means glove. My fave word might be “love handles”, or hüftgold, and translates to “hip gold” which means I’m the bomb in German ’cause I have a lot of gold to share on my hips!

OH I almost forgot another word Schnuckiputzi meaning sweetie pie, or Schnuckiputzalas as we changed it to be a German-Lithuania word by adding las – that I use for my husband!

Okay, maybe that’s not what it means. Oh well! Das its mir wurst or frankly, I just don’t give a sausage! I love that there are so many idioms about sausages in Germany! And for all your information, Germans do make the best freakin’ sausages and brats in the free world. I’m not kidding! I love bratwurst, but I’ll save that for another post.

So don’t be mad at me that I can’t speak German or that I’m making fun. Let’s have wine and all get along! I am practicing, and if you don’t think I am funny, well, sorry but don’t be an die beleidigite wurst spieler (insulted liver sausage.) I just hate being a liver sausage don’t you? It actually translates that way but to English speakers it means “get over it!”

If it makes you feel any better, I decided to write this post while I was totally drunk on GoldWasser and will probably regret I ever wrote this. You actually have a word for that in German, too – schnapsidee (meaning doing something when you are drunk and totally regretting it later.)

Maybe I am learning after all. YEAH, ME!

Do you have any favorite German words or idioms? If so, I would love to hear them! Drop a comment below!

– Stacey

Booking.com

24 Comments

  • Reply February 26, 2017

    Swati & Sam

    You should head to India someday, there are 100s of languages and dialects. It's easy to pick up a language during one's formative years. Most of the folks in India speak at least 3 languages. Had a good time reading this article. :) Swati & Sam recently posted...Places To Visit In Nusa PenidaMy Profile
  • Reply February 22, 2017

    Karla Ramos

    Wow, I give you credit for trying but this is a really funny post. Karla Ramos recently posted...Relax and Take a Break at Dusit Thani Hotel MakatiMy Profile
  • Reply February 21, 2017

    Anita Hendrieka

    Haha I loved this! Yes, German seems like a very difficult language to try learn. My father is Dutch and when I tried to learn I found it near impossible! I think I will stick with English, it's probably better for everyone ;P
  • Reply February 20, 2017

    Jackie Sills-Dellegrazie

    I give you a lot of credit for even trying! When I was in Germany, I had such a hard time pronouncing so many words. There are so many vowels! ;) My best piece of advice is to refill the wine glass and let the kiddos do the work since their German is perfect! Jackie Sills-Dellegrazie recently posted...3 Ways Cash and Debit Cards Make Reaching Travel Goals a ChallengeMy Profile
  • Your posts always crack me up! LOL I would think that German is one of the hardest languages to speak. I cannot get my mouth to make some of those sounds even trying. LOL
  • Reply February 19, 2017

    Brianna

    Language learning is not at easy task! I mean, if you really think about it, English is also a hard language with stupid rules and phrases. It's definitely easier to learn languages when you are younger and your brain's language centers are still developing. It's good that your kids are exposed to so many different languages, but as adults it is so much harder to learn! Brianna recently posted...Skip Taronga; Featherdale Wildlife Park Is Where It’s AtMy Profile
  • Reply February 18, 2017

    Monika mizinska

    hahaha this is hilarious!! I have the same feelings as you !! German can be a useful language but is hard and sounds super rough !!
  • Reply February 18, 2017

    luxurycolumnist

    Is kuddelmuddel a real word? Brilliant! I did a bit of German at school but found it quite challenging compared to French luxurycolumnist recently posted...Wildlife Watching on a Fascinating Journey Through MayakobaMy Profile
    • Reply February 19, 2017

      BasketsLife

      HAHA yes it is a real word! It really mean confused and total chaos!
  • Reply February 18, 2017

    Anne

    Ah I wouldn't beat yourself up. Let's face it, the Germans speak amazing English. Also o speak fluent French and English with a little (and I mean little) of Italian, Spanish, Arabic and a bit more than a little German. I create sentences all the time with multiple languages. Frankly I think it makes me way more interesting (or dumb, but who cares?!)
  • Reply February 18, 2017

    The Adventure Ahead

    Thank you for the morning giggle. The struggle is real :) Fun story. The Adventure Ahead recently posted...New Themes: TextBook and DaraMy Profile
  • Reply February 18, 2017

    savoredjourneys

    This is hilarious. But I do feel your pain! It's really hard when they speak perfect English back to you too. Then you just feel even more stupid for not being about to form a proper German sentence. People everywhere really need to stop apologizing for their "bad English" when it's really perfect.
  • Reply February 18, 2017

    Buddy The Traveling Monkey

    I totally feel your pain! I lived in Germany for 3 years and learned no German whatsoever. Every time I tried, the Germans would respond in English. And like you said, they lie!! They ALL speak English!
  • Reply February 17, 2017

    Ria (@lifeinbigtent)

    Unreal! To find among all bloggers person who is a wife of Lithuanian basketball player is something unexpected for me :) Why I'm so excited? Because I'm Lithuanian too :D (but at the moment I'm living in Indonesia :)) At school I was learning German but somehow this language not for me - I remember now only several things :) But maybe it's not German language fault? Just to many languages in your head? :)
    • Reply February 17, 2017

      BasketsLife

      Well Hi then Nice to meet you! So we are almost family then LOL :)
  • Reply February 17, 2017

    louboutinsinmyluggage

    Hahaha! I live in Germany (Berlin) and am also struggling to learn the language and keep it up now that I'm working and not taking classes (English is the office language). So I'm basically forcing all my German colleagues to speak to me in German - daily struggle!
  • Reply February 17, 2017

    Alice Chen

    Entertaining! I definitely understand this feeling!
  • Reply February 17, 2017

    Priyadarshini Rajendran

    Haha..this is the most amusing post I have read so far...you have a great sense of humor. I guess your daughter will start speaking all the languages soon and you have a feast :)
  • Hahah I know how you feel, well, only because my friends from the US, Canada or the UK complained about me knowing too much languages haha. I'm Dutch, so that has to do something with it.
  • Reply February 16, 2017

    clare

    Great read. I have heard this from so many friends who live in Germany, that there is no point learning german as everyone speaks german!! I have tried to learn as everyone i meet travelling is german but it is so difficult and not a nice sounding language like spanish/french!!!
  • Reply February 16, 2017

    Claire

    Haha this really made me laugh! I was taking German at school so I appreciate how hard some of those words are. Since leaving school i've moved on to trying to learn French, much easier language! ;)
  • Reply February 16, 2017

    Lauren

    This blog post is hilarious!!! Learning German sounds SO difficult. I only know how to speak English, other than the little bits and pieces of languages I try to learn on Duolingo. The German language is so quirky! I love it...although it I were trying to learn it , I can see how it would get frustrating!
  • Reply February 16, 2017

    Cindy ladage

    Fun story!
  • Reply February 15, 2017

    Tamara Wilcox

    This made me laugh! I studied German in college, and I did appreciate that a lot of German words are similar to English. But you're right about the crazy use of compound words. And how do you speak German without sounding like you're spitting or clearing your throat?

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