Sprechen Sie Deutsch?

Bloganuary: What language do you wish you could speak?

Sigh. I wish I could speak the ones I’ve actually studied.

Over the years, I’ve studied German, Russian (my college major), a smattering of French (high school), and even a little Swedish.

But studying languages does not mean they can come out of my mouth. While stationed in Germany, I even took a beginning Russian class taught at the German equivalent of a community center.

Fortunately, the instructor also spoke English, which was handy for when I got stuck, which I invariably did. Two foreign languages at once? I don’t think my brain has hurt so much before or since.

I never had any issues with reading in a foreign language. My listening comprehension was adequate. Ask me to talk?

Then, it’s all over.

I visited Russia near the end of my tour overseas. When I returned to Germany, every time I attempted German, it came out as a strange mishmash of Russian and German. It was so bad that the locals looked alarmed every time I spoke.

Even ordering dinner was fraught.

So there you have it. I would dearly love to speak a foreign language.

1 Comment

Filed under bloganuary

One response to “Sprechen Sie Deutsch?

  1. What a lot of languages! And what a great story! I suspect, though, that you were able to express yourself better than you claim here. And if you made it through all those Russian cases, wow. Just wow.

    BTW, if you get lonely for a little German study, Deutsch Perfekt and DeutscheWelle are fun places to hang around…

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