The title should have sent you the message that this post is about German, the language which i have started learning (sorry fighting with) since a week’s time.First let me take up a few sentence to tell about our lecturer.Before I joined the German class I was told that the class was being handled by a retired IIT lecturer/professor. This was probably one of the main reasons that inspired me to join the class.I imagined him to be gigantic, commanding and openly aggressive to knowledge (both providing and teaching).I was eagerly awaiting his arrival in the 1st class and to my surprise there came an extremely simple, elderly,deadly opposite to aggression and highly polite person with some notebooks.My imagination shattered and reality struck.I cannot explain his simplicity in words actually.He seems to be a high believer in God and a person with keen interest in Sanskrit.Though I cannot get his real depth of knowledge I assumed that he is highly knowledgeable and modest enough to keep his content a secret, which may or may not be true.

German language has exactly the same 26 letters of English alphabet with extra 4 letters.But the accent differs from that of English.The complexity of the language lies in the use of articles.Unlike other languages, here everything is divided in terms of gender and not by living or non-living.So different article has to be used based on gender.So a non living thing may be of masculine or feminine or neutral gender and for those, appropriate articles have to be used.This proves that the language can be fully mastered only with full practice of day to day activities and it cannot be easily memorized.Also, plural version of the nouns are also extracted from the use of the articles and the context.

Having had that intro of the language, it is unnecessary to say the kind of difficulty I am facing.Our first exercise was to spell our own names in German.Our tongue got twisted and tightened.For me its ok. But my friends with long names made us to laugh out loud.The other exercises were to fill in the blanks and translate the sentences we read, into English.This made us to constantly refer our notes.I admit that I had never ever taken notes and (most importantly) referred it as I did it here.

Ah.. I forgot to say about the number system.Instead of saying ‘twenty one’, here we will say it as ‘one and twenty’.Literally I fought with words, when he asked us to say those numbers loudly.This fight will continue for another 30 classes and forever, if  I happened to be constantly in touch with it,which I hope so.

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05 March 2010

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