‘i’ before ‘e’ except whenever you like

We are 3 weeks into the German course today. Although I think the school is treating it more as week 4 of an 8 week course, which is fine. Regardless we are almost finished book 1 and everything seems to have settled down to 3 hrs of German a day and around an hour of homework. After which it can be a bit trying to search out places and opportunities to practice – feels too much like schoolwork.

We had a bunch of new people join the course and that really brings home how much we have covered. Granted its not much more complicated than “Ich habe jetzt eine Wöhnung in München” and “Möbel für die Küche wir schon, aber noch keine Sachen für das Wohnzimmer” but put enough of those together and you can get somewhere. Slowly. I think the next set of tests we have will move towards wriing postcards and paragraphs rather than fill in the blanks. I am consistently getting 2/5 for my Diktats, Tests and Hausaufgaben. 1/5 being good and 5/5 being bad! So I’m making a lot of silly mistakes and very rarely not knowing words or phrases.

Of course its all artificial and I still can only barely cope in shopping or in restaurants when someone goes off script and says “would you like fries with that” or whatever. And we had one embarrassing incident where a group of us couldn’t figure out how to buy cigarettes from a machine – you needed a German credit or debit card for age verification. What kind of course teaches you to say “Mittags haben wir immer von zwölf bis vierzehn Uhr Pause” and then not teach you how to buy cigarettes for breaktime. But on the flip slide, we spent one and a half hours talking about beer. I seem to have sampled more beer than anyone else in the class Of the list we had; I have tried Wießbier, Pils, Kölsch, Helles, Export, Altbier and Bockbier but not Berliner Weiße. Sometimes that extra effort and determination goes a long way. Chuffy thinks we should take a trip to Berlin so I can fill out the list and have some Berliner Weiße. I’m sure hope I can find someone who can tell me if its worth going to Berlin just for the beer.

We reckon we should have a vocabulary of around 400 words, but none of us do. The course is moving fast enough that if you have a problem with cases or gender or pronouns or trennen verbs (damn trennen verbs) you can’t expect it will be picked up on and corrected in class. Now that we are almost half way through a lot of people are using flash cards and lists to keep track of things. I downloaded a copy of iflash to help organise myself. Its not great but it’ll do until I get around to doing something on paper instead/as well.

2 Responses to “‘i’ before ‘e’ except whenever you like”

  1. Joe’s Blog » Blog Archive » Bier in Berlin Says:

    [...] Short answer to Mike – go to Franconia (northern Bavaria, in German: Franken). In Berlin, Becks seems to be the beer of choice. There is a beer known as Schultheiss but it was more of an old-mans beer. Berliner-Pilsner was a good alternative to Becks. I heard of Berliner Kindl too but can’t remember it being any good. Certainly didn’t try any green/red Berliner Weisse [...]

  2. Ubollix - for it is he Says:

    Frankonia is the place to go youngish man. We also have a contact for you there if you wish to go. Bit sad but we met them in Zanzibar and “made holiday friends” but such is the way = sound couple actually.

    Will give you a shout soon – we got our place – now just trying to instill something called urgency into people who are better known for sitting on the fence than Bertie.

Leave a Reply