Tag Archives: languages

#if we were having coffee 25 April 2017. My week of confusion, business and FFFFfrustration

I haven’t posted anything for a while..far too long in fact. 

The reasons for this are many and varied, but generally revolve around one constant..a lack of time. 

I am sitting on a train travelling home from London, and having a rare bit of idle time on my hands I stumbled across an idea on WordPress called ‘if we were having coffee’.

I like the idea and in fact I like it so much it prompted me to write again, which I enjoy but neglect too often. 

So, if we were having coffee I’d tell you about my week, frustrations and all. (Although it is only Tuesday I have enough frustrations to fill a week ordinarily!)

I have an ongoing self inflicted torturous ambition to learn German, and this ambition is frustrating to the extent that it is almost beating me into submission. 

I worked in Germany for a couple of years not long ago and was constant impressed and amazed at how many German people I met could speak very very good English. 

Before I arrived in Germany I literally only knew three or four words of German and naturally I felt woefully inadequate. 

This wasn’t helped by the fact that the project I was working on (it was an offshore wind farm) had a variety of people from various countries involved, but the project langauge was English, meaning that I could actually fly out to Hamburg on a Monday, stay the week there and fly back on a Friday without needing to speak a word of German.  THAT’S how good they were!

In an effort to show some manners and try and broaden my knowledge, I enrolled on a language course. 

This entailed me going to night school two evenings a week after work, and my German colleagues were REALLY impressed with this. After all, why would an Englishman want to learn German when the whole world speaks English …their words not mine. 

I enjoyed my classes immensely although to say I found it difficult would be a massive understatement. 

Being back home now for a couple of years, I figured it would have been a complete waste of time and money were I to not try and continue my langauge learning. 

So I use apps, videos, Skype lessons, books, dictionaries and as many other methods I can find…but still the struggle goes on. 

Tandem exchanges are good, I was told..but invariably I find that my ‘partner’ speaks more English than I do German, and so the exchange soon morphs into us having English only discussions, which is great for them of course but piles on the frustration for me. 

However…or übrigens as I like to say in German (!) I will not give up, and although this week has seen my studying take a backwards step due to an even more frustrating week in work (yes, I know..it’s only Tuesday, which should give you an idea of just HOW frustrating it has been grrr) I am determined that I will prevail and put this down to a bad week and move on.

So, let’s enjoy our coffee and if you want another I will order in German and smile inwardly as I tell myself that I couldn’t even do that not very long ago.