Saturday, March 19, 2011

They make me laugh.

Germans that is. This week they are amusing me, however I'm sure they're not doing it on purpose...although maybe they are, afterall they do take everything seriously, so one shouldn't assume that accidental laughter production isn't planned with military precision.

- crowded. I was talking to a friend about her gym. The conversation was in German but when discussing the size of the gym (huge) she said it was never "crowded". I stopped her immediately (I do love pointing out to German speakers when they use a word that they've knicked from another language) and asked whether there wasn't a German word she could use instead...she thought about it and decided no, there was no word that worked descriptively like "crowded". Bizarre.

- pool. A friend asked me whether there was another word in English that we use instead of or as well as 'swimming pool'. I had a little think (you have to at least look as though you might have studied the language properly rather than just learning it at your mother's knee) and declared 'no'. Upon seeing her face (a mixture of doubt and sorrow were warring with confusion and disbelief) I hastily added that we usually say that we're "going swimming" without necessarily specifying where, although (just to confuse matters) I then added we do often call the swimming pool 'the baths' (at least where I come from* anyway.) She didn't like that as an alternative one jot and hastily asked another question, did we not have a word for a 'freibad'**? The only possible word, I said, would be 'lido', but there aren't many around, unlike here in 'sunny' Germany where every town/village seems to have one. That fact drew a gasp, no open air pools? How positively ungerman.

- grammar. I get on well with Ben's English teacher, I don't argue with her when she grades my son lower than someone else and she sometimes asks for my input on something that has caused confusion in an English class. She sent me an email asking for clarification, I had to read it several times before answering and telling her that maybe, just maybe she was being too German and analytical in her approach. This is what she wrote;

I said: 'Can you ask your mum if she has ever heard anybody saying clean your teeth' and Sarah corrected me it should be '...heard anyone say' = heard somebody say something.

Sometimes it's hard to know what is grammatically correct, I just know how to speak the damn language!

- Kylie. Last night we were at a Kylie concert. We had excellent seats, front row of the first bank of seating, the only way we could have been closer would have been to be in the pit. Now Kylie plays music to boogie on down to and yet pretty much everyone in the seated area stayed seated. Me and Ed didn't though (much to Jas's embarassment, "Mo-om!") and while the guys (the audience was quite male, althought possibly not in a hetero way) behind me didn't whine about having their view blocked, the guy behind Ed got really arsey. Asked him to sit down first of all and when Ed declined the guy got really grumpy and called Ed an "effing a******e". Like he's really going to sit down after that. But the silly thing is that in the programme for the concert it says across one double page spread "what's the point of living if you don't wanna dance?"

It's been an amusing week.

* the deepest, darkest Midlands
** freibad - open air swimming pool.

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