German Letter Writing

My A1 test is coming up next month and one of the exercises we have to do in the test is to write a letter.  Therefore, our German homework over the weekend is to write a letter to someone back home about Hamburg.

Here is my attempt, a letter to my friend Kym back in Sydney.

Liebe Kym,

Ich wohne jetzt schon acht Monate in Hamburg.  Hamburg ist sehr schön und ich liebe es hier. Meine Wohnung ist in Eimsbüttel und nah der Supermarkt und die Drogerie.
Meinen Nachbar sind ruhig und freundlich.
Letze Woche waren meine Eltern in Hamburg. Wir sind zu Michael’s, St. Nikolai und Miniatur Wunderland gegangen. Am Sontag wir sind zum Hafengeburtstag gegangen. Mein Vater hat die Schiffe geliebt.
In Hamburg kann man viel machen: ins Rathaus gehen, im Stadtpark spazieren gehen und in der Mönckebergstraße einkaufen. Hamburg hat sogar ein englisches Kino Streits heißen. Einen Film kostet €9. Es ist billiger als Australien Kinos.
Ich hat viele freunden gemacht. Am Sonntag abends gehen wir zu Finnegan’s Wake für pub trivia. Es ist in Englisch. Diese Woche kamen wir siebten. Wir sind nicht sehr gut aber wir haben spass.
Ich vermisse dich. Besuchen bald!

Herzlich Gruß,
Meg

I’m still really struggling with accusative, nominative and dative cases.  I know the various forms but I have no idea when to use them.  I flunked grammar in school and am now struggling to learn it in a foreign language.  I’m hoping that one day it will just click into place, but probably not before my exam.

Please feel free to pick out all the mistakes I have made.  I have already annoyed the wonderful German speakers on Twitter about the correct way to say ‘My father loved the ships’ in German (I never knew it was so damn complicated) but I’m sure every other sentence also contains errors.

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16 thoughts on “German Letter Writing

  1. Sehr schön! Ich habe fast alles ohne Probleme verstanden :-)

    Liebe Kym,

    Ich wohne jetzt schon acht Monate in Hamburg. Hamburg ist sehr schön und ich liebe es hier. Meine Wohnung ist in Eimsbüttel und nahe dem Supermarkt und der Drogerie.
    Meinen Nachbarn sind ruhig und freundlich.
    Letzte Woche waren meine Eltern in Hamburg. Wir sind zu Michael’s, St. Nikolai und ins Miniatur Wunderland gegangen. Am Sonntag wir sind zum Hafengeburtstag gegangen. Mein Vater hat die Schiffe geliebt.
    In Hamburg kann man viel machen: ins Rathaus gehen, im Stadtpark spazieren gehen und in der Mönckebergstraße einkaufen. Hamburg hat sogar ein englisches Kino, das Streits heißt. Ein Film kostet €9. Es ist billiger als australische Kinos.
    Ich habe viele Freunde gefunden (ODER: kennengelernt). Sonntagabends (if you go every week ODER : Am Sonntagabend sind wir zu…. gegangen (if you went only one time) gehen wir zu Finnegan’s Wake zur? pub trivia. Es ist in Englisch. Diese Woche waren wir zu siebt. Wir sind (ODER: waren) nicht sehr gut aber wir haben (ODER: hatten) viel Spaß.
    Ich vermisse dich. Komm mich bald besuchen )ODER: Besuch mich bald)!

    Herzlich Gruß,
    Meg

    • Thanks so much!! I was wondering if the Supermarkt and Drogerie were dative and you just confirmed my suspicions. Obviously I should also spellcheck my work before putting it on my blog. :)

  2. […] Sonntagabends gehen wir zu Finnegan’s Wake zurpub trivia. Es ist in Englisch. Diese Woche wurden wir Siebte (I believe you wanted to say that you made 7th place?). […]

    You did a good job! :) German is hard. If you ever have more questions regarding the cases, please contact me. I love grammar and know my way around the cases ;)

  3. I’m still really struggling with accusative, nominative and dative cases. I know the various forms but I have no idea when to use them.

    You’ll know when to use each of the cases of the Holy NADGe when you are comfortable with your constituents (I just learned that word in this context today!). Besides the finer points of the parts of speech, you gotta know what is the subject, what is the predicate, and what are the objects in any sentence you wish to write. Without recognizing direct and indirect objects, your rote memorization of Accusative and Dative inflections is worthless.

    There are other benefits to this, too. If you can recognize in/direct objects, then you are in a position to recognize transitive/intransitive pairs of verbs. Why is that so necessary? Because the transitive verbs in German very often tend to be the friendly, play-by-the-rules, you-can-count-on-me variety. It’s the intransitive ones who tend to rebel against the system, forcing you to commit them to memory.

    I’ll stop here, because we don’t really want to destroy your readership.

    I’m hoping that one day it will just click into place, but probably not before my exam.

    C’est la vie!

    P.S.– I’m sure if you took that grammar test from your past again today, you’d pass with flying colors. Foreign languages are really, really good at improving your command of your native one.

    • The English language version:

      Dear Kym,
      I have now lived about eight months in Hamburg. Hamburg is very beautiful and I love it here. My apartment is in Eimsbüttel and close to the supermarket and the drugstore.
      My neighbors are quiet and friendly.
      Last week my parents were in Hamburg. We went to Michael’s, St. Nicholas and the miniature wonderland. On Sunday we went to the harbor’s birthday. My father loved the ships.
      In Hamburg you can do many things: go to the town hall, walk in the city park and shop in the Mönckebergstraße. Hamburg has even an English cinema, the Streit’s. A movie costs € 9 It is cheaper than Australian cinemas.
      I have made many friends On Sunday nights we go to Finnegan’s Wake fur pub trivia. It is in English. This week, we came seventh, we are not very good but we have a lot of fun.
      I miss you. Visit me soon!

  4. I thought this was great and I could understand it perfectly…although I couldn’t correct the grammar as well as the posts above as my grammar is still very elementary. But still, kudos! And an extra pat on the back for having the guts to post this on your blog. :)

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  6. I’ve been going through your blog archive over the past week or so, and judging by the letters you’ve posted, I’ve noticed that over the past several months of blog posts your German has noticeably improved. It may or may not be that noticeable to you, but since I have the luxury of going through several months of blog posts in a couple days, I’ve noticed an improvement. I’m interested to see how it is after I fast-forward a year.

    My German skills improved immensely over the first couple months I lived there, but I had the advantage of 2.5 years worth of German classes in the USA beforehand. The language is a lot easier to pick up once you have already learned the grammar.

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