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The Inlärning to Talk Show: Episode 17

November 30, 2011

Hej again! I hope everybody’s holidays have been starting off well. As you can see in this video, Christmas time is in full swing in Europe. Join me as we take a brief stroll through the Christmas market, a traditional feature of German cities this time of year. But this is no ordinary Weihnachnachtsmarkt.  That’s right, The Lernen to Talk Show took to the streets of Stockholm, Sweden last weekend. Which came first, the Swedish or German Christmas market? I think I’ll let the two countries settle that for themselves. My guest seemed to find them rather resemblant… And she should know, she’s from Freiburg! A city known almost as well for its Weihnachtsmarkt as it is for its glowing Fourth Thing review.

Unlike previous episodes, this one was filmed on a Sunday. So yes, only six days elapsed between Episodes 16 and 17, which should explain what you may have noticed as a slight diminishing in the normally precipitous slope of my improvement from week to week.

Join me and Anneli for a stirring discussion of yuletide alcohol, southern German dialect, and whether or not I speak German with an accent.

0:51 – Prepositions are tough. There’s no exact translation for the word “at”, so usually I just guess anytime I need to say it. Here I go with “…in die Weihnachtsmarkt”, which Anneli corrects to be “auf dem Weihnachtsmarkt”. Turns out I not only had the preposition wrong, I also used the wrong case and the wrong gender for my noun.

1:01 – Gamla stan!

1:46 – Glühwein!

2:01 – I love how concerned she is by this.

2:28 – That was good hot chocolate.

2:44 – I heard a lot of Badisch while living in Radolfzell. One time I got lost searching for a gym, and the man I asked for directions nonsensically spoke to me in what I later learned was Badisch. Luckily, he was also kind enough to walk me in the direction I needed to go. Here’s a video in which Badisch is spoken. I wish I could understand it. I understand that it is supposed to be funny. And something about where the onions are supposed to go. And the punchline is that the other guy can’t speak Badisch.

2:45 – Her ability to speak English perfectly sneaks out here…

3:20 – I have reached a rather awkward aptitude with my German. I am able to get through any simple conversation without much trouble, because I have done it so many times: “Hi I’m Mickey, I’m from here, I’m in Germany becuase of this, I like doing these things…” But any time I want to say something that could maybe be interesting, words fail me and I end up blabbering the kind of nonsense you see here. What I wanted to say was, “Prounouncing Swedish words by corresponding the letters with German sounds does not work. Although Swedish words are often similar to their German counterparts, the actual sounds you make in Swedish are rarely heard in German.”

3:39 – I believe I was struggling to find the words for “that’s the best compliment I’ve ever received” before she…

3:44 – …reevaluated my German…

3:47 – …more accurately.

3:52 – I’ve done this time and time again. It should be “keine Zeit mehr,” NOT “kein mehr zeit.”

3:59 – No German would ever say this. A better choice would have been “Lass uns mal den Weihnachtsmarkt anschauen.” – “Let’s look at the Christmas market.”

4:15 – Seriously. This video was shot at 1pm. Not really. But pretty much.

4:23 – I swear it’s there.

4:28 – Still I tend to jump the gun with my verb usage. Typically if there are two verbs present in a German sentence, the second verb occupies the very last position in the sentence. Though I haven’t noticed any Germans making the equivalent mistake in English, Sherlock Holmes did once to ascertain the source of a mysterious letter in A Scandal in Bohemia. “A Frenchman or a Russian could not have written that. It is the German who is so uncourteous to his verbs.”

The Christmas Market, as photographed during Stockholm’s 84 minutes of sunlight.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. November 30, 2011 14:09


  2. Priya permalink
    December 2, 2011 05:19

    Do Europeans serve Gluehwein at all holiday markets? I’ve never been to a Weihnachtsmarkt, but I did drink Gluehwein at an Easter market in Prague!

  3. December 21, 2011 16:35

    I love Glühwein! Kept me warm in Germany 3 years ago 🙂


  1. The Lernen to Talk Show: Episode 40 – Badisch auf der Höri! « Fourth Thing

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