A good friend of mine wanted to make a concerted effort this year to learn German (we shall call my friend 'D' as he's a bit Internet-shy, bless him - temptation almost makes me want to refer to him as 'Cynthia', but I am simply not that cruel). As it is often better for one's scholarly devotion to be accompanied by a fellow student, I said I'd join him in his venture.
Some people have asked me why I want to learn German and, to be honest, I don't really have a perfectly good reason; but why the hell not, eh?
After all, I do like German cinema, bratwurst, stollen and Moritz Bleibtreu... and although Hitler was an absolute ****, I cannot help but develop crushes on tall, blonde blue-eyed men.
So, armed with our Hugo CDs and guides, we promised each other (D and I) that we would do some 'homework' over the weekend and meet up this week to go through the first chapter together.
Why on Earth does the man on the CD sound slightly Indian?
I thought that I should make an effort for our first night's lesson, so I decided to cook something German for dinner. Gute Idee!
Thank heaven for Google!
I initially searched for German recipes online and came across many mouth-watering delights, but I was very conscious of my own personal "battle of the bulge", so I started again and typed in the three words HEALTHY GERMAN RECIPES.
Well! You can imagine my shock when I found what no-one else on Earth has ever found before... the END of the Internet!
There were no search results, just the following message...
With deep fear of falling off the edge of the Internet, I retraced my steps and played it safe.
I ended up making a German potato salad with onions, bacon & cider vinegar which I served warm alongside some pork schnitzels with a seasoned sour cream sauce over the top. A delicious way to begin the evening, don't you think?
Note that alongside the German guides, there is also a German edition of Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None, a gift from my friend Chris. I hope "D" didn't think there was a hidden message in this...
The meal went down well, much to my relief, and then the learning could begin.
We sat listening to the first lesson on the CD trying to repeat the various sounds and practised saying the German alphabet over and over.
I think the evening was a great success. We both got the hang of the German alphabet really quickly (so much so, that I found myself reciting it in the old familiar 'Alphabet song' - UK version) and we both get quite a grasp on the different vowel sounds. Admittedly, my ear is not quite as sharp as others, so some sounded the same, but I will learn over time.
If I didn't have someone to do this with, I doubt I would have the discipline to do it on my own. We'll see how the course progresses.
I doubt I will be able to come up with a delicious German meal every week to accompany our endeavours, but I certainly look forward to grasping the language to a point that I can watch Das Experiment with the subtitles off.
* 'Talk To Me' in German! Clever, eh? (Well, only if you CARE about me using songs by Beverley Craven as blog titles...