Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Ich Liebe Dick?

First day of School

Today was my first day of German lessons since I arrived in Zurich. I'm doing A1.2 in a one month intensive course, 5 half-days a week. I only enrolled yesterday so unfortunately I missed the first day, no matter.

I have a Stift. No it's not what you think!

I arrived to my class today full of wide eyed enthusiasm and ready to learn this mother of a language. German I'm gonna make you my bitch. Alas it was not to be however as it was clear when class had started that I had missed quite a bit yesterday. I was struggling. Thing was I could understand what was being said for the most part but when I tried to throw together a sentence the words wouldn't come out and in the end it was only English I could mumble. Fail.

Then my German teacher (who is lovely by the way as he never made me feel bad for my inability find the correct word in German) thought wouldn't it be a great way to introduce me to the group by writing a small text about my little life. Seemed innocent enough.

Started with the usual, where you lived etc. but as he looked for more clarity my basic German was not letting me say what I wanted to and as such more English ended up coming out. I was starting to feel mortified at my uselessness. I knew the question was coming up about what I did for a living and I was thinking how was I to explain this in German? Unemployed but looking for work, part time blogger, unpaid intern? Nope the girl closest to me said earlier that she was a 'Hausfrau'; a housewife, I decided I'll just say the masculine of that. So when the question came finally this is how it played out.

GBM: 'Ich bin Fraumann'

German Teacher: 'Was?'

He looked confused, I was thinking, I know it's weird that a man is the homemaker but come on guy this is the 21st century, jeez. I reiterated.

GBM: 'Ich bin Fraumann. Ich bin Fraumann.'

Suddenly I realise that the whole class is laughing at me and I was thinking, what is with these people? There is nothing wrong with me being a male homemaker in this day and age, get with the program German class. Then the penny dropped, I may have thought I was saying 'I'm a Homemaker' when in fact I was actually saying 'I'm a Woman-Man' 'I'm a Woman-Man' over and over. Oh well, I've never been known to make a good first impression.

I didn't have time to be that embarrassed as the next question that was thrown my way was if I moved over with my partner.

GBM: 'Ja, mit mein Partner'

But my German Teacher interjected

GT: 'Mit ein Partner oder Partnerin'

I think he assumed I'd used the wrong gender for the word and was trying to correct me (Partnerin means female partner).

GBM: 'Mit mein Partner, he's a man'

Great in the first half an hour of my german course I've managed to tell everyone that I am a Woman-Man and a homosexual. I would've told them eventually (the gay thing not the woman-man thing) but you know casually drop it into one on one conversations not have it announced to the class.

I feel foreboding for this course's future and mine.



  1. He was actually correcting your gender and case. (I'm a former German teacher.) :-)

    Gender has to be specified in German. And "mit" takes the dative case. So:

    Mit meinem Partner


    Mit meiner Partnerin

    1. Let's both agree that my German is not good and I'll continue to work at it eh. Thanks for the tips Sean

  2. Maybe you'll end up being the most popular and beloved kid in class after this. If I were in class, I would think you were cool. :-D

    1. You know what, today was an awful lot better then yesterday. Think I might be turning it around, awesome.

  3. Ahh german class, I have the same book as you here, even though I started on the green one a level below you. Which school are you in? and watch out for those over charged "materials" fees. I had a bit of a rant about it here


  4. You had me laughing so hard I was in tears! Best of luck to you tomorrow.

    1. Laura it was a lot better today. I think I've managed to get into the swing of it now. Thanks a mill