Tuesday, February 15, 2011

"Life is a ticket to the greatest show on earth"

I've been putting off writing this post for a while now. I just haven't felt like writing one lately. Philipp warned me about this in the beginning though. He said that about halfway through you realize what a pain it is to update your blog. Now that I think about it, a couple of other people have also told me that. 

We had a field trip yesterday. We went to the place where all the newspapers are printed. It was pretty cool to see these 2 ton bundles of paper mass printed into newspapers. The best part was definitely that I understood everything that the tour guide said and everything in the presentation. The actual printer itself was the size of my house. It turns out newspapers in about a second. The whole process was actually really cool. 


Today I had a normal day of school and came home and relaxed again. Germany is making me very lazy. We did the whole valentines exchange today because we were away yesterday. I got one as a joke from a friend of mine but I got another one from Carina and Judith (also from my class). They wrote a legit message and I got some candy too. 


Tomorrow is some sort of sport and culture day. We had the option of going skiing, skating, to a movie or something I don't remember. We are all going to the movie theatre. We are seeing Gulliver's Reisen. I don't know the title in English but it translates as Gulliver's travels if that helps. After that we are going out to get Döner. 


I thought of another thing I miss about the USA today. Unfortunately my parents can't put this in a box and send it to me. A big difference between Germany and the USA is patriotism. Germans just don't seem to be as patriotic as we are. They don't have all of the patriotic songs like we do. I'm not just talking about the legit ones either. We have songs that you hear on the radio talking about the USA but Germany just doesn't have that. Only a few houses fly their flag here. In the USA, most of the houses fly our flag somewhere. Most of the kids in my class that I have talked to don't know the full anthem. 


One thing about Germany that I really like is that Germans don't criticize their country. Of course they point out what they think is wrong but it's just different. I can't really explain it, I think Germans have a much more quite pride in their country. We are very loud and open with our American pride but we also criticize the country much more openly then they do. I hope you guys understand what I mean here. 


Another big topic is how the language is coming. I get asked that pretty often now. My German is in no way, shape or form perfect. I am at that point where I understand 95% of normal German. By normal German I mean with the exception of complicated school subjects (Chemistry, Physics, NWT, etc), medical lingo and all that complicated stuff. I can understand a lot in some classes like Biology, GWG, GMK and even somewhat in German class. I still don't understand Math, Physics and Chemistry. Chemistry is tough because I don't understand the words needed to be able to do Chemistry. Physics is bad because I literally have no idea what's going on and don't understand the words needed to clarify it. Math is just math and it doesn't matter what country I am in; I can't do math to save my life. 

I can pretty much say whatever I need to in German. I just can't do it grammatically correct. I have no problem with vocab. I don't ask for a word nearly as often as I did before. I still have problems with the adjective endings, word order and the forms of "the".  


I actually prefer talking rather than writing. You can kind of mumble/slur the forms of "the" so you don't have to really pick one of the 7 forms. I'm not sure if I ever explained that though. 


The three main articles are Der, Die and Das. Der is the article for masculine nouns. Die is for feminine nouns and Das is for neuter nouns. In English, we just have the and the articles don't change based on gender. In Spanish, the words that describe women/end in A are are feminine and take the article la. The words that describe men or end in another letter are masculine and use the article el. 


That is much easier. You see Mujer and know it means woman. Ok so it is a feminine word and therefor takes la. You see Hombre and know it means man. It is masculine and there for takes the article el. That's that and its done.


German, unfortunately is not so easy. You kind of have to memorize what form of the goes with which noun. 


It could be das Mädchen. That means girl. The word is girl so why isn't it a feminine noun? You just have to know which nouns go with which form. There are a few rules to remember but there are enough exceptions to make them absolutely useless. So okay you spend hours memorizing nouns and article forms. You finally know what words go with der, die and das. They have a few more tricks up their sleeve now.


Now comes the point where you actually have to speak full sentences. Of course, you don't use der, die and das (at least not all the time). There are 4 sentence types; akkusative, dativ, nominativ and genitiv. Don't ask me how to differentiate them though. 

 Here is a nice chart to show you the different articles.


ARTIKEL – DER, DAS, DIE, DIE
Maskulin
Neutrum
Feminin
Plural
Nominativ
der Hund
das Licht
die Katze
die Lichter
Akkusativ
den Hund
das Licht
die Katze
die Lichter
Dativ
dem Hund
dem Licht
der Katze
den Lichteren
Genetiv
des Hundes
des Lichtes
der Katze
der Lichter





The hardest part of German is trying to find out the word "the". Not usually a hard thing to do. I'm not going to go into it now but the word for "a" and the negative article are also like that. 


Here is the graph for the "a" declension.

ARTIKEL – EIN, EIN, EINE + KEINE
Maskulin
Neutrum
Feminin
Plural
Nominativ
ein Hund
ein Licht
eine Katze

Akkusativ
einen Hund
ein Licht
eine Katze
Dativ
einem Hund
einem Licht
einer Katze
Genetiv
eines Hundes
eines Lichtes
einer Katze















OK you are probably all sick of listening to me whine about German. 


I finally put more photos on my shutterfly. Nothing really that interesting but for the first time in a while, there are new photos. 

I think that is all for this blog post.

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