Monday, September 14, 2009

Und Part - 4

Things are going smoothly, I'm getting used to the weather and all such

minor things which become a major problem if you try and fright it! so

I'm officially "with the flow" now. Things are quite 'European' with me

too. I spend like crazy and spend like crazy for food and travel! Bought

a lot of healthy stuff. Being a leaf-eater is kinda frowned upon here

(up yours! Europeans!). Finally cleaned my room on Saturday, don't even

try to imagine how much of my own stuff i had to sweep out, then moped

it with dettol and had it smelling like a hospital for a few hours. Now

things are getting back no normal! some dirt is unavoidable though.

Had bought some chocolates in the flea market (no, not second hand

chocolates, they sell them first hand at cheap price, 1 EUR for each bar

of Lindt & Sprungli). So I'd bought a bar each of milk+choco, 85% coca,

99% coca, pure milk and caramel and a bag of small dark chocolates. I

finished the milk+choco, and opened teh 99% coca and man was it

something! you can't eat more than 1 square at a time! it's the espresso

equivalent of chocolate! but anyway, I'm not giving it away or anything,

even if i have to eat it for two years!

Finally made my first few bowls of rice this week. Have to say, it's not

that easy as my folks had scared me back home, as long as you're hungry

enough to be prepared to eat anything which comes out of the vessel at

the end of half an hour of being on the stove, you'll be be the best

cook in the world! simple! But, that said, it wasn't awful either. I'm

surely short of all the spices, and having to cook anything i want in

just one vessel! but then, I've never been starved of food here. I have

been starved of time and so have had to make some compromises on my

afternoon lunch on most days! (BTW peaches taste yum, and i don't mean

the girls!)

The German class is going on quite ok too, German is a confusing

language, much like Sanskrit, they have a very strange similarity with

each other, in the terms of addressing people formally (with respect)

and informally, and singular, double and plural of nouns. and also the

way some pronouns are used when referring to some objects which are

classified as masculine (dog, book pencil, stool) or feminine (watch,

lamp, spectacles, plug-socket) (plug is masculine) (those two were the

only ones i could guess why!) and so depending on the gender of the

noun, the possessive pronouns (like mine, yours, his, hers, it's, ours,

theirs) and the articles (like a, an, and the) also change. This is

kinda difficult to catch and I'm guessing, comes only with practice and

experience. There's one more aspect which adds to the confusion. The

forms of the verbs, derived from the infinitives, are sometimes the

same, as the infinitive itself, depending on where it's used! in

English, at least that is easy cause the infinitive is "to live" and the

different forms will be "live" "lived" "is living" "was living" "has

lived" "had lived" "has been living" and "had been living" (present,

past, present continuous, past continuous, present perfect, past

perfect, present continuous progressive and past continuous progressive

respectively) (please correct me if I'm wrong) (if you thought the last

line was confusing, then German is not your cup of tea, try chamomile

:P) and then the corresponding infinitive in German is all confusing

(at least to me) cause just the present form of the infinitive "to live"

in German "Wohnen" becomes

I live "ich Wohne"

you live "du Wohnst"

You live (with respect) "Sie Wohnen"

He/she/it lives "er/sie/es wohnt"

we live "wir Whonen"

he lives (with respect) "ihr Wohnt"

they live "sie Wohnen"

(i think i got this right, but corrections always welcome, I'll have to

write a test in any case!)

Maybe i find it confusing because i try to correlate everything to

English and then learn German by English (that's cause i don't get a

Kannada-Deutsch/Deutsch-Kannada dictionary)! Some people say it's wrong,

but then, I'd like to invite them to learn Kannada or Sanskrit, and I'll

have their head on my wall the minute they open a

English-Sanskrit/Sanskrti-English Dictionary!

(Deutsch-Sanskrit/Sanskrit-Deutsch too).

I now feel like I'm in 6th and 7th Standard again and it's all coming

back to me, the exercises i used to solve in McMillan English -2 books!

the scoldings of Mrs. Sudha Rao and Mrs. Geeta Venkatesh and Mrs.

Lalitha Jagadish for using bad English is all coming back to me! Today,

if i know some English, then it's because of the foundations that

they've laid in me and my fellow classmates, of the 1996-97 batch!

But sadly, nobody has time here to teach us in such a systematic manner,

it's a crash course, and they're expected to drill and cram and we're

expected to get drilled and get stuffed with German down our throats, so

nobody uses a word of English, it's all taught purely in German, and

very soon you begin to recognize the phrases and words and will be able

to compose some broken German sentences yourself (with quite a lot of

help from the dictionary). So i guess things are not that bad. Later if

I'm interested, i can always read up on my own and learn more German.

Right now there's no problem as such, but a general discomfort, but,

also, some confidence seeing the smiles on the face of the Chinese and

the Middle-Easterners (the can't speak jack of english, forget German!)

I spend most of the morning doing homework (we're given a lot). And this

weekend i spent fiddling with the new blackberry that i bought, the

BlackBerry Bold 9000 (number attached to my signature), an awesome piece

of machine (sometimes requiring a battery-pull). It was a pretty lazy

weekend, compared to the week which vanished away so quickly! Monday is

here again, and my half-british/half-German teacher will be breathing

down my neck by noon tomorrow! Well, that's about it, expecting a huge

shipment of stuff from back home! i hope it all arrives in one piece and

hope I'll have enough space to keep all in my room! else I'll be in big

trouble (will have to stuff all the kitchen shelves with my stuff!).

Well, I'll get some more sleep and will see how the week goes! Till

then! Auf wiedersehen!

1 comment:

  1. Yo gecko,

    My experience with language learning says drop the dictionary..

    When you don't understand a word, ask the teacher to make more sentences with the word.. Learn the context, not the exact word, Because as soon as you start with exact meanings, you are translating and that wont get you very far off.. You'll shine in the beginers course, coz you'll get stuff really fast by translating but not in long term memory mate..