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!
And whyyyy are the words so long!?
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!
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!
Swati & Sam
Melody Pittman (@melodytravels)
The Adventure Ahead
Buddy The Traveling Monkey
Manon | The Dutch countryside