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.
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

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...