I had a funny conversation with a German friend last week.
D speaks very good English - albeit sprinkled with Americanisms, due to spending 5 years living in Canada (she says sidewalk for pavement and pants when I'm quite sure she means trousers and not knickers - but I don't comment, afterall if my German were as good and fluent as her English I'd be a very happy bunny)
We meet up once or twice a month (it used to be once a week but the crazy cow has gone back to work!) and go for a longish walk with Logan and then drink coffee and eat cake - it's a hard, hard life being a hausfrau.
So last Friday we were walking and talking (in English - that's one reason she likes to walk with me, it's not just the exercise or the friendship - I'm free English practice) I said how Ben was growing taller and taller by the day (or so it seems, I swear I'm going to stop feeding him soon, he's an inch short of me and boy will I know it when he can finally look me straight in the eye, before I know it he'll be towering over me, my little boy...) anyway I commented that he'll very soon be a teenager. His birthday is in May and he'll be 13.
D expressed surprise, surely he was already a teenager?
No, I said, he's 12, he'll be 13 in May, then he'll be a teenager.
Still a kind of confused look on D's face.
So I took pity and explained in s.i.m.p.l.e terms the word TEENager and the idea that you're a TEENager between the ages of thirTEEN and nineTEEN, that's why you have the word TEENager...
The penny dropped, I could literally see the lightbulb go on in her head - DING!
Germans, these mad, crazy people, seem to use the word teenager to describe someone from the age of maybe 11 upwards...but no, as I told D, they might act like a teenager but they're not actually teenagers, for that privilege they've got to wait till their thirteenth birthday, in my book anyway.
These Germans are bonkers!