Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Warum Kenst Du Deutsch?

Just confirmed that everything that I need to get in to school is in to school, and now I just have to wait. In the end the last thing was my transcript from Middlebury college where I took a summer intensive German program. In the course of doing that I realized that it's been ten years since I went there.

Unlike my BFA, which I can tangentally point to (speaking, reading and conveying emotion, being able to walk on my hands), my flash-fry immersian in the German language is even harder to put my finger on. With the exception of some very surprised German tourists looking for directions, I haven't used it a whole bunch.

I guess I learned how to learn a language and how to be completely comfortable listening to people talk when I catch only 1 out of ten words that they say. Most Americans get edgy after about a minute of this. The other thing I learned was that you need only know a certain number of words in any language to shock the hell out of people and get some love.

Knowing a few words a phrases in Spanish got me through my days in the food industry, and got me a lot of free food. Knowing the smallest bit of Arabic got a huge laugh out of my old local deli owners and I was able to hop the line a few times and the bit of Polish I sat down and learned kept me in good stead my five years of living in America's second largest Polish community.

When I lived in Chinatown, I bought a tape and diligently tried to get a few phrases, numbers etc. down. Blank stares every time, but hey, my pronunciation probably sucked.

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