German language and Backstreet Boys

A friend of mine sent me a note online the other day, reminding me I´ll be home in 5 weeks. Five weeks! That´s really soon…Miriam and I had a victorious moment about a week ago. We suddenly realized – somewhere along the line, we learned how to speak German! We aren´t sure when exactly it happened, or even how exactly, but we are now fully capable of carrying on (slow) conversations with (patient) Germans. Even with the Erasmus (exchange) students who speak good English, we´ve started talking in German more and more.Lack of vocabulary does make us say funny things, though. For example, not knowing the word for “semi truck” or even “truck,” but wanting to talk about truck drivers, lead to a sentence something like, “If one wants to drive a very big car, however, with perhaps 18 wheels…” or, while trying to explain a friend´s job, “If people are bad parents, someone will come and take the children away. The someone else comes and tries to teach them how to be good parents. If they can learn this, they will receive their children again.” Sometimes we just think about the things we´re saying, and figure we must be great entertainment to Germans.It´s interesting talking to Germans about learning German, though. EVERYONE tells us, “Deutsche Sprache, schwer Sprache,” meaning “German language, tough language,” and insists that it is MUCH harder than English. I can´t help wondering if this is actually true, or if it just seems this way to them because everyone learns English, so it´s not a big deal. At least people are always really nice about our terrible grammar and slow speaking. Last night we went to a party at someone´s house. There was one room where everyone was dancing. At some point they played 4 Backstreet Boys songs in a row. It was great hearing so many German accents sing along to American music, and I NEVER thought I would be in a room with 20 men belting out Backstreet Boys at the top of their lungs at once. At one point a bunch of the guys actually got into a big circle with their arms around each other, while singing “I Want it That Way.” As a side note, in general the whole frat boy thing seems to be mostly absent here, but last night I think we found about 20 of the equivalents at this party. They had the clothes, the hair, the attitude…it was interesting.