Saturday, October 18, 2008

Let's Learn German Together - Lesson 1

learning german
All books on German that I have come across, teach German slightly different from how we would speak. This caused me lot of frustration because I could not begin to speak soon enough.

You see, the books first address the present tense completely and then move on to the past tense and final to the 'future' tense. Unfortunately that is not how we speak.

When we speak we mix past and present. See below ...

The scene continues from where we left it last (see last lesson).

She: "Wie war die Reise? How was the journey?" (V vaar dee Ryesa? )
You: "Nicht schlecht. Not bad." (Neesht shlesht)

As you can see, even in the first conversation we mix up the past and the present. It is a necessary part of any conversation. A delayed learning of the past tense prevents yu from useful conversation.

She: "Bist du müde? Are you tired?" (bisst doo myuda)
You (male ego in place): "Nein! No!" (nine - 9)


You must have noticed that Reise is written with a capital 'R'. All nouns irrespective of where they occur in a sentence start with a capital letter.

The two small dots on top of 'u' is called umlaut. Umlauts change pronunciation.
'u' is pronounced "oo" like the 'u' in 'ullu'.
'ü' is pronounced (almost) like a 'yu' (you could try to pucker your lips to make it sound authentic).

Exercise:

Try to make the following sentence:

1) Are you bad? (doesn't matter if the sentence doesn't make sense)
2) No, the journey was not bad. (all words required for making this sentence is in the lesson)

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2 comments:

Madhu said...

Bist du schlecht?
Nein, die reise war nicht schlecht.

Amitabh Mukherjee said...

Madhu,

Good!
Just a small correction. You see 'reise' is noun, so it needs to start with capital.
Hence 'Reise'.

Cheers,
Amitabh

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