Mechanical

Lesson 5

I've barely started on the German lessons and it's killing my throat. French is much easier.

Möchten Sie etwas trinken? (Would you like something to drink?)

That first word is a pain to pronounce and I still can't quite get it. However, coradee tried to get me to pronounce Eichhörnchen (squirrel). Möchten is a piece of cake compared to that tongue-twister. No wonder the Germans are famous for being so humorlous. They're pissed about the language they had foisted off on them.
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My friends who don't speak German always tell me it sounds like I'm getting ready to spit up a hairball when I converse in German... if you ever want someone else to practice with, I'm game =)
I didn't know you speak German. Frankly, it's going to be a while before I'm ready to open up my mouth in public.

How did you wind up learning the language?
I took it in high school and college. I wanted to take Latin (I'd taken first year Latin in NY before we moved to OR) but it wasn't offered at my high school, so I chose German instead. I was an education major for a while at Oregon State, and I was going to teach languages ... but I ended up switching majors.

My German isn't great either, so it won't bug me if you flub things. =)
If you want to practice, I'm down. My spoken German needs some practice but I used to damn near fluent.

I don't know if you've encountered this yet but look out for the German way of making words. They like to string many already existing words together to create a new one!
I find it ingenious but obnoxious at times. Especially when the word is really long and takes approx 2 pages to write :)
Oh. Humorlous. Of course. Your brain is 1940 France all over again.

Do you know how you say "French" in German? Französisch, that's how.

I took a class in Western Civ that was taught by a French professor. When discussing Luther's nailing of the 95 Theses to the church door, he comically said there were 95 because he was a German and therefore a blowhard. If he had been French, he would've captured the idea in 7 or 8.

in case you don't know, Google has a handy little translator
Jaaaaa, das schmeckt gut!!! Ich freue mich für dich, dass du Deutsch studierst !

One very good resource:

LEO English-German-English online dictionary
http://dict.leo.org/?lang=en&lp=ende&search=

LEO provides lots of info about words, such as all the inflections of various verbs (which can be a prodigious assortment), as well as a detailed definition of a word. Zum Beispiel, clicking the small "G" icon to the right of this entry for "suchen" will show you all the inflections of that verb. A "D" icon gives additional (German) information about the word and a little sound icon will give a WAV file of a word. These pronunciations seem to be electronically generated, and just may provide endless hours of entertainment.

Viel Glück!
Eichhörnchen is my favorite German word. :)

Regarding ö: They gave you the tip to shape your mouth like you're going to make the O sound but make the E sound instead, ja?
No. No such tip, but it's helpful. Thanks (and I can't believe how many people I know who speak German).

Mind if I add you?
Well, "speak" is debatable. ;) I'm lucky that I have a linguist friend to help me out with this stuff.

Add away. :)
Sehr interressant. Humorless, he? Ich zeig Dir meinen Humor wenn ich Dich bei unserem naechsten Treffen ueber's Knie lege.
And be assured: I'll correct your mistakes, errors, and mispronunciations as thoroughly as you have corrected mine the other evening...