Not So Lost In Translation

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Today I had a not-date with one of the girls I met on a lesbian dating site and have been emailing for the past 2 weeks.  I was kinda nervous because not only would I be meeting someone totally new, but I would be doing it all in German.  These past two weeks, my friend and fellow Hamburg Player B has kindly given up her Monday evenings to help me practice and improve my spoken German. Something I will be eternally grateful to her for.  Therefore, I knew that I could make myself understood, but would I be able to actually meet someone brand new and have a meaningful conversation with them all in German?  That was the sixty four thousand dollar question and something that I could only really answer by getting up the courage and just giving it a try.

The short answer is, yes I can. I was so fortunate that M is such a friendly and open person and that she had spent her school years learning English and had worked in the US as an au pair for a year, so that when I forgot or simply did not know the German word, she could provide it.  Still, we spoke pretty much exclusively in German except for an English phrase or word here and there.  My German was not pretty and I made so many grammatical errors, but I could make myself understood and get across what I wanted to say.  Not only that but M speaks almost accent-less German and she also slowed down her speech for me, so that I understood almost 95% of what she said. This was a pure joy as my ability to understand spoken German has been something I have struggled with since I started learning the language.

Also, our not-date was an absolute blast.  We ate unbelievably good Dim Sim (and lots of it), laughed lots and talked non-stop. We have already planned our next outing – to go and see The Hobbit in German.  I went to see the Hobbit in English last night (just a fantastic movie, everyone must go see it!) and was thinking that it might be good for a laugh to go and see it in German to see how much I could understand of it.  Therefore when M tentatively suggested it, I was totally on board (much to her surprise I think).  The only downside is that M has declared that only sweet popcorn shall be eaten during the film.  But I guess since I’m going to see a film in German, I must also eat German style popcorn.

I am on an absolute high at the moment.  I can speak German!  This is something I honestly thought I would never be able to do.  Long-time readers of this blog know how much I have struggled with learning German.  For the majority of this year, I felt I had put so much effort and time into learning German but was getting absolutely nowhere.  Everything was a struggle and nothing came easily.  Now I know all that effort and frustration has paid off.  I still have a long way to go with my German.  My pronunciation is dreadful and my grammar doesn’t bear thinking about.  But now I know that I can do this and it is not beyond my reach or ability.  It might take me 10 times longer than everybody else, but I can do this.

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10 thoughts on “Not So Lost In Translation

  1. I’m thrilled for you! And being understood is key. Means you can keep plowing ahead and your grammar and pronunciation will clean up as you go. Just taking this big step is so key to your confidence. Very proud of you!

    • Thanks so much. You are right about being understood being the key. I just wish I could have realised that earlier instead of being scared of speaking because it wasn’t perfect.

  2. It seems to me that you may have reached a tipping point with your German and that now you may even have the confidence that is so necessary to go that next step.
    Oh and Good luck with M as well!

    • It’s a not-date because it wasn’t a date, simply meeting up with someone I met on a dating site, but we have no romantic interest in each other. I figured not-date was a good way to explain it.

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  4. Late to the comment I may be but with no less pride in what you’ve achieved. Congratulations on being able to converse in German, learning and applying another language besides English (and programming languages) is a skill I’m not sure I’ll ever master but also haven’t really attempted.

    • Thanks :) I’m sure if you attempted to learn another language you would succeed. It takes quite a bit of effort and hard work, but if I can learn another language, then anyone can.

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