Tag Archives: Communication

Goethe Institut Probe

Starbucks

Had my placement test for my intensive German class beginning on Monday.  After 2.5 hours of trying to convince the assessors I had some knowledge of German I ended up here.  Merde!

PS “Probe” being German for “Test”

Chivalry is in Germany

I promise to get onto the more serious topic of singing soon, but the first thing that has struck me about being in Germany is that they speak German!  

Seems obvious – but after 7 years living overseas I thought I was used to being in a foreign land with a foreign culture.  It seems, however, that England is really just Australia with a different hue.

(Suggestions for which hue or colour it may be are welcomed!)

Naive as I am I thought, after years of singing in German and a whole 6 months at the Goethe Institut in London, that I spoke German.  However, my vocabulary is not so useful being restricted to topics such as Liebe, Tod, Das dunkle Feld und der dunkle Wald, der Vöglein süße and die rote Blumen.  These words are probably inappropriate in the first conversation.  Additionally one cannot really sustain conversation by plagerising swathes of Mahler and Brahms.

Being unable to communicate except in wide-eyed nods, smiles and giggles seems to be bringing out a different personality in me – with surprisingly good results. 

So far the serious bike shop man has kindly gone through his entire catalogue of wasser dicht (water proof) bike bags and ordered the prettiest one into his serious adventure biking shop for me – Haben Sie eine Taschen mit blute rosen für meine Fahrrad? Dunke schön.

note the shoes - would not want you to think I have gone all sporty - yet...

note the shoes - would not want you to think I have gone all sporty - yet...

After this exchange and many nods and smiles the other (younger)  bike man came outside to where I was about to pump up my tyres:

“Do you know how to do it?” he said in clipped and curt English

 “I think so”  I replied and before I could add “I’m an Aussie girl so of course I can pump up a tire”  

He takes my bike, smiles and says “Let me show you” in a German accent that sounds like he might be offering to show me more than how to fill a tyre with air.  

He then man-handles my bike and without being asked and proceeds to adjust the seat about 10 inches higher (much more comfortable!).

Nice to know chivalry is not dead.

Maybe talking is where I have been going wrong?