A Study of Depression in German

mein herz

mein herz (Photo credit: ovit)

Last night whilst my neighbours’ non-stop table tennis game entered its seventh hour and turned into drunken non-stop table tennis and I was trying without any success to sleep, my brain started wandering as brains tend to do. However, my brain being more than slightly weird started to construct sentences in German.  These sentences became a stream of conscious thought about depression which I noted down in my notebook that I keep next to my bed.

Please note, before you start getting anxious about me that I do not suffer from depression and this was just an exercise in fictional writing inspired by the experiences of my many dear friends who battle depression.

Ich bin müde. Mein Kopf tut weh. Mein Herz ist schwer. Der schwarze Hund jagt mich. Ich würde laufen aber meine Beine sind erstarrt. Ich lasse ihn mir nehmen. Die Dunkelheit umschließt mich. Ich gebe mich ihm hin. Es ist die Zeit ohne Sonnenschein.

English translation:

I am tired. My head hurts. My heart is heavy. The black dog hunts me. I would run, but my legs are frozen. I let him take me. The darkness covers me. I surrender to it. It is the time without sunshine.

I submitted this piece to Lang-8 which is a wonderful site where native speakers of the language you are learning correct your writing.  The German above is the corrected version.  The uncorrected version was:

Ich bin müde. Mein Kopf tut weh. Mein Herz ist schwer. Der schwarze Hund jagt mich. Ich würde laufen aber meine beine sind gefroren. Ich lasse ihn mir nehmen. Die Dunkelheit bedeckt mich. Ich gebe zu es hin. Es ist die Zeit ohne Sonnenschein.

Surprisingly, not that much needed to be fixed which is totally unlike most of my writing in German.  Perhaps I should write in German when I’m tired more often.

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7 thoughts on “A Study of Depression in German

  1. Very interesting. I have found for myself that just before sleep when I’m in bed, I have clear thoughts, and great ideas. My fault is that I seldom stir to write them down, and I many times lose track of or forget these thoughts.

  2. I like it.

    I’m not sure whether you want someone in your comments to correct it or not, but as you can delete my comment, I’ll just go for it.

    Ich lasse ihn mich nehmen. Because ‘mich’ is accusative and ‘mir’ is dative.
    “Who do I let me take?” not “Whom do I let me take?”
    (I hope the questions are right, because my english is most likely worse then your german.)
    Ich gebe mich ihr hin. If you refer to the darkness. It’s a lady in Germany :)

    Last thing is choice of words. If you want to express you are taken in the sense of beeing carried away, you shouldn’t use ‘nehmen’. ‘Nehmen’ alone is mostly used in the context of things. You can say “Ich nehme dein Buch mit” for “I’m taking your book with me”, but “Sie nimmt sie” is more like a nicer version of “She does her”, while “Sie nimmt sie mit” would translate to “She takes her away”. So you should go with “Ich lasse ihn mich mitnehmen”.
    (Another possibility could be changing the verb. “Ich gebe mich ihm hin” – “I surrender to him” or “Ich lasse ihn mich davontragen” – “I let him carry me away” but that would change your choice of words.) It’s no real mistake, but you know the strength of Germany’s animal rights activist. :)

    Again, I enjoyed reading it, which is why I write this comment, and hope you will keep on writing this blog.

    Yours
    Markus

    • The reason why I post my German writing is so that people will correct it, so please don’t feel bad about doing so. I really want to know where I have made mistakes so I can try not to do it in the future (but knowing me I probably will).
      Thanks for your corrections, they are extremely helpful. ;)

  3. Your German study/text is really quite intense, it reflects the oppressive mood very well.You made only a few rather “typical” mistakes in it.
    This shows your feeling of language. (wish my English was half as good as your German)
    But please don’t forget to write also about some more “cheerful” topics and thoughts in German!
    Good luck for your language summer challenge!

    • Thanks :) I will try to write on more cheerful topics when my muse gives me some inspiration but she seems to be in a sombre mood lately.

  4. I’d like to know how it is that someone on lang8 corrected your original only to end up with different mistakes. You need to check who’s doing the correcting. And really, unless someone’s certain they shouldn’t make any corrections. It basically sabotages the whole concept of lang8.

    • I think if you got 10 different people to correct a piece written in English, you would get 10 different ways of expressing it. The errors were not things that were absolutely incorrect, it is just that folks that comment here would write it a different way to convey more meaning or to have it closer to the meaning of the writing in English.
      I find all corrections extremely helpful and I really appreciate it someone taking the time out of their day to help me, regardless of whether their corrections are 100% correct or not.

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