Saturday, January 14, 2012

Language School - Day 1

Yesterday, Friday the 13th, was my first day of language school. I'm sure lots of you are wondering what language school is like, especially in a foreign country, so I thought I would do a post on it.

There are 8 of us and the teacher (or Lehrer in Deutsch). I am the youngest by about a decade and the only English speaker. The teacher, Tilman Kromer, only speaks in German during the class and told us he knows a little French (Französisch in Detusch). There is a guy from Bulgaria (who speaks Bulgarisch und Französisch), a married couple from Ekuador (Ecuador), a man and two women from Turkey (or Türkei as it is called in Deutsch), and a woman from Morrokko (Morocco). Her native language is Berberisch (Berber Languages. Here is the wikipedia link in case you are interested. Felix and I had no idea what it was.

Are you confused yet? Then welcome to the first hour of my language class. The names are also unusual. We have Anatoli, Edwin, Deyci, Arife, Sedretin, Nuriket, and a name that was illegible on the chalkboard, but I deciphered it to be Ghizlane.

We worked on asking and answering questions about our names, where we are from, our nationality, and what languages we speak.

What is your name?
Where are you from?
What language do you speak?
Which nationality are you?

The sentences below are two ways of asking each of the questions above, the first is formal (what you use with your boss or strangers who are adults until they tell you not to) and the second is the informal (what you use with family and friends).

Wie heißen Sie? Wie heißt Du?
Woher kommen Sie? Woher kommst Du?
Welche Sprache sprechen Sie? Welche Sprechst Du?
Welche Nationalität haben Sie? Welche Nationalität hast Du?

Below are my responses to these questions.

Ich heiße Jewli. Ich komme aus Florence in Amerkia. Ich spreche Englisch und ein bischen Deutsch und Spanisch. Ich bin Amerikanerin.

A few bits of info from class that might interest you:
  1. When telling someone you are from Turkey/Türkei, you cannot just say “Ich komme aus Türkei.”
    For some reason, Turkey is one of the few countries that you have to use “der” with.
    Someone in the class tried to ask the teacher why, but it seems to be one of those “German things” that is just a rule you have to know, but no one is sure why it is that way.

    Incorrect- “Ich komme aus Türkei.”
    Correct- “Ich komme aus der Türkei.”
  1. There are two forms of nationality: male and female.
    Because I am female, Ich bin Amerikanerin. However, a male from the US would say, “Ich bin Amerikaner.” For Germans, women are “Deutsche” while men are “Deutscher.” Turkish women are “Türkin” while men are “Türke.” Most of the time it seems that “-erin” endings designate the female. For example, male teachers are “Lehrer” and female teachers are “Lehrerin.”

    Male- “Ich bin Amerikaner.”
    Female- “Ich bin Amerikanerin.”
We also went over greetings:

Guten Tag.- Kind of the formal greeting for most times of the day.
Guten Morgen.- Appropriate until noon.
Guten Mittag.- Good afternoon. Appropriate from noon until about 6pm.
Guten Abend.- Good evening. Appropriate from 6pm or when the sun is gone and the sky is dark until about 10pm.
Gute Nacht.- Good night. Appropriate from about 10pm, but mostly a term used when you are headed to bed.

We also went over the German alphabet and had to spell our names aloud. Most of the letters are the same as the English alphabet and pronounced similarly, but Y is called an Ypsilon, the V is called a Vau, but pronounced like Fau if you are an English speaker. W is pronounced Vee, like the English V. E's sound like I's. And I still am not sure how to pronounce A versus Ä, U versus Ü, and O versus Ö. So don't ask me that one. Ha, ha. :)

We played some Hangman with German city names, people, or any of the words from the 3 worksheets we completed. A couple of times we had to introduce someone else in the room and then ourselves as practice speaking. There were listening exercises where we had to answer questions about the audio. We have 1 textbook/workbook. Felix ordered the A1 book for this class as well as the A2 for the next section of the language school from Amazon yesterday and they arrived today. There are 4 language levels: A1, A2, B1, B2. My current visa will only allow me to complete through B1, if my 3 weeks of visitors and my trip home in March don't interrupt my progress.

Well I think that is it for now. If you have any other questions about the class or the language, feel free to ask them in the comments and I will see if I can answer them. :) I hope everyone is doing well!

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