By now, I’m feeling that I know a lot of words and I’m quite pleased with myself. But I’d been struggling with how I would string all these words together to create decent conversation. Duolingo had taught me quite a few short sentences or statements but unfortunately you can’t have a two-way chat with an app, so I felt I was missing out on learning responses to the statements I had learned. For example, I could sit in a restaurant and ask “Entschuldigung, wo ist die Kellnerin?” (Excuse me, where is the waitress?) but if the reply was “Oh, she’s busy with another table but she’ll be back in a moment”, I would have no idea what was being said to me. Maybe I’m jumping too far ahead, but to me it would make sense to at least be able to pick out enough words to work out what is being said to me. I don’t want to start a conversation I can’t finish!
I needed to start consolidating what I had learnt so far. I also needed some encouragement to think about my pronunciation, my spelling and being conscious of applying the correct rules in the right places. Without this, I would only get so far.
Enter Cathy, our Translation Director, who is going to teach me a lesson or two (to clarify, she’s a teacher, not a gangster) and I honestly feel that these lessons have come along at just the right time – my list of WHYs was getting too long and I knew that as soon as I had these explained to me, things would start clicking into place and I’d start to “get it” more. Due to Covid, we agreed to have lessons remotely on Zoom and after an initial chat about what my goals were (we decided on a mix of general and business German) – we got started.
We focused on regular and irregular verbs – what they are and how a word is adapted depending on who you are speaking about:
“Ich Liebe” – I love / “Wir Lieben” – We love / “Du Liebst” – You love
“Ich habe” – I have / “Ich bin” – I am
“Du hast” – You have / “Du bist” – You are
So simple – but so important. We practised a lot with different examples and after the lesson I admit I had a bit of brain melt but it was really helping – breaking things down and explaining the WHY.
And just when I thought we were done, she gave me homework! And a test!
After how many odd years of lazy Sunday evenings, I now have something to do. To be honest, I don’t mind, and I’ll do it willingly. As an adult, I want to get this right and I know the more time I invest the more I will be rewarded.
Plus, I don’t have a dog to eat it.
Are you ready to learn a new language, just like Ann-Marie, but are unsure of the pros and cons of using a language translation app? Read our blog on Language Translation Apps – Pros and Cons to find out more.