26 January, 2005


My class is pretty interesting.  There are a lot of cool people in it.  Some from Bulgaria, Turkey, Latvia, Finland, Russia, Canada, et al. and then me, from the US.  We're always translating for each other, which is great because almost no one has the same first language.

My teacher is originally from Tajikistan, speaks about 5 different languages, and has lived in Deutschland for 17 years.  This information was all imparted to us in German, so I could have gotten it all wrong.  For all i know, she may actually be from Ohio, speaks to only 5 of her dogs, and stores 17 wedges of cheese in her closet. 

Somehow, none of the students in my class know any of the languages the teacher speaks.  I think she knows some Bulgarian words though, because she will be explaining a word to us, then she will produce a noise that will make me think she is having an aneurysm.  As I'm getting up to administer CPR, all the Bulgarian students say "Ach so!" and write what they have learned in their notebooks and the teacher appears to regain her health.

Similarly, when any of the Turkish students don't understand something that is said to them in German, another one will look at the first one, become seemingly possessed while saying something, and the first will become enlightened.  It seems to Molly and I that it must be by some act of God that what was said could possibly make more sense than German.

On the other side of the coin, my teacher will sometimes ask me for the English equivalent of a word.  And sometimes I even know it.  Once, the teacher asked me for the English word for Erbsen.  "Peas," I said.  She looked at me with a blank expression.  "Peas," I repeated.  After convincing herself that I was in fact not possessed, nor having an aneurysm, she ignored whatever horrible noise it was she thought I made and continued teaching the lesson.  I'm sure she thought it was by an act of God that the word could possibly make more sense to the other English speaking students than Erbsen. 

Not only does my teacher speak only in German, but she speaks only in FAST German.  I like to think of this as a good thing, because no German speaks slowly, and this helps train us to listen to "real" German people.  It's like a "blessing in disguise."  You know, like if you're on your way to class and you get shot.  Wait--that's not good at all.

1 comment:

  1. You make me laugh. Wait why is this post from 2005 and just entering my inbox?