Just how grim can it get up north? (Actually, it's quite nice.) One woman's not-so-lonely journey into the Northern heartlands.
Monday, April 30, 2007
Living and learning
Had another German lesson today. I like my German lessons. They make me feel as if I am 12 again. I am tempted to plait my hair so tightly my head hurts and swing to and fro, balancing on the two back legs of my chair. I can now order beer. "Ein Glas Bier, bitte." I do not drink beer; I had better not go to Germany this week. Next week, I will learn how to order coffee and white wine. Then I can go.
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Mariella Frostrup has just being doing a programme about married couples who live in separate houses on Radio 4 - I didn't hear Mariella talking to either you or Rilly..
Was this just an accidental oversight?
I went to Germany as a teenager, only knowing the one phrase: "ganz im Gegenteil" which means something like "not a bit of it" or "on the contrary" (no doubt some linguistics pedant will have my arse for this).
Its amazing how long you can converse with someone, with just this one phrase. At the time, I felt it made me sound really enigmatic.
Donner und Blitzen!
German - such an ugly language for you; you who use the English language with such skill and poetry....
The way words are joined together to make one humungously long word is inelegant and reminds me of American (English) in which '-isation' is added to every word.
And how about the word order - reminds me of speaking Latin, if that's not too complimentary.
But, I hope you're enjoying - look forward to some future gutteral scripts.
If you don't drink beer, then when in Germany, best ask for "Eine Tasse Tee bitte." One snag: the Germans don't know how to make proper tea.
One tip: take a box of Tetley's tea bags with you. You'll find the ex-pat Brits crawling out of the woodwork.
Actually that last piece of advice applies for ANYWHERE in mainland Europe!
We ex-pat Brits do not crawl out of the woodwork-we shimmy elegantly.
You can't possibly go to any foreign country until you have mastered the absolutely necessary phrases - apart from being able to order food and drink (obviously), its imperative to know "how much is this (pair of shoes, piece of jewellery, fantastic scarf.....etc.) please" or "just looking, thankyou" when you discover you don't like anything in the shop but may want to go back later for a more serious look. That usually covers all eventualities!
My husband, who rather fancies himself as a bit of a linguist, is always saying what sounds like "allus in ordnang" - Allus, Allus, who the **** is Allus you may ask and why is she in "ordnang"? This is of course phonetically spelt, but he assures me that it means "everything is alright" which is a nice reassuring phrase to know in any event.
"Der Tee is gut aber die Tasse ist zu klein" first phrase in the Assimil Learn German textbook.
"My tailor is rich" in the English one and "Roma non fu fatta in un giorno" in the Italian one (not sure about the spelling on that one). Fascinating, I think.
Oh dear Norman, for goodness sake don't encourage wifey to take Tetley's to Germany, she'll need a real brew after all she's trying to "blend" in and become a northerner - only Ringtons will do. But wifey, you'll have to catch the little chap in his van next time he's zooming along your lane.
Rosierainbow, I would also highly recommend the Rington's ginger snaps. Heaven...
Oh Norman, for God's sake,relax and drink whatever the Germans drink when in Germany,you're like one of the "Steak and chips with ketchup" brigade in Spain!
Asking for a glass of bitter in German would seem fraught with problems...
Is it true that a deal has been signed to convert 'Wife in the North' into a film ? There is a rumour that Rupert Everett has been approached to play the role of your husband, and he has cleared his diary for the autumn for when the screenplay has 'adapted' and filming is due to commence.
STEAK and chips????
I'm a vegetarian.
Wifey when you get to classifcation of insects, I really would like to know if 'Papahinckelschtien' is Daddy Long Legs in German.
I have knowlingly and confidently told my children this fact in their tender years, now I doubt myself.
A bit like when my Mother told me she was 21, of course, I beleived her and a girl at school called me the biggest liar - which of course I was - unknowingly.
If it's true that WITN is going to be made into a film, who will play the parts of the various "anonymuses" (anonymi?).
If one is an "anonymous(e)", I would guess the plural might be "anonymice"!mklhtu
Have you learnt: "I love Angela," yet?
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