Friday, March 18, 2011

How do you say “AAARRRGGGHH” auf deutsch?

If a cat cries miau, miau and person yells Aua! when he stubs his toe, what German sound should I make when I want to SCREAM?
I'm no Edvard Munch, but I think I at least captured my fondness for purple wigs
Now, you may be asking yourself what this Ami in Munich has to be frustrated about. I’ll admit I have little to complain about these days, what with not having to work at the moment and living in Europe.

But residing in a land where your language skills are (depending on the day) somewhere in between those of a half-baked pretzel and a four-year-old can have its ups and downs.

Today, for example, was no red letter day in my quest for German fluency – unless of course that red letter is a big, fat F (for those not familiar with the A-F grading style, that’s failing…miserably).

It was another one of those days where it seemed like every question I asked in my German class elicited something like: Haben wir das nicht schon in Kapitel Blah Blah gelernt? (English translation: Didn’t we already learn that in chapter blah blah?)

Just half way through the lesson, I was beginning to think that any question with enough audacity to leave my mouth hole would be met with a similar response:

Me: Entschuldigung, I seem to have bitten my pencil in half and am unfortunately chocking on the eraser. Would you be so kind as to perform the Heimlich maneuver
Response: It’s pronounced HEIM-lich! Didn’t we already learn the proper syllabification?

Okay, okay, so now I’m just being snarky. But on days like this, I get the feeling I’m condemned to a life of toddler-speak and charades.

On the other hand, perhaps I would do better to stop complaining, and open my textbook instead.  Good advice from the more articulate, English-speaking side of my brain. Of course, the immature four-year-old, German-speaking side thinks watching cartoons and eating chocolate might be a better solution. Guess which one the rest of me is going to side with?


  1. If you wanted to verbalize your frustration in Bavarian, here are 2 that I use:
    1. Herrgottsa....! (hairgoatsah)
    2. Zefix (tsay FEEX)

    Hope this helps. :)

  2. Haha, I sooo know how you feel. I actually feature German cuss words every Friday on my blog (I know, mature, haha) so you might want to check it out! I hope you have a less stressful weekend!

  3. I long to be able to speak German like a 4 year old. I have honestly listened to the little tiny ones at the Kita and thought "Man, what I wouldn't give to be able to speak like that!".

    I feel your frustrations. Ach, manno!

  4. Oh, I know what you mean. I wish there were a "like" button on blog posts...I would be clicking it right now! Hang in there!

  5. Heavens, what a snarky class you have! If you are at the 4 year old level now, you are far ahead of where I was after being here longer. And I'm not certain I will ever speak as well as I hear or read, but at least understanding comes. After the pain:-).

  6. I know. Exactly. How. You feel. Good language vibes coming right atcha from over here.

  7. Watching cartoons in German could be both language and a frustration reliever. I so remember the frustration of trying an immersion class of Italian. I get frustrated when I cant communicate and they correct everything. Though it took me many years to learn German. Keep at it.