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The Lernen to Talk Show: Episode 33 – The Voice of Roche & Böhmermann

May 30, 2012

You should listen to this man.

Thirty-three weeks. Thirty-three weeks! I would say I’m surprised by how fast it’s gone, but that would be an understatement. Because I’ve actually been in Germany for forty-three weeks. (Incidentally, long enough to mistakenly type “fourty” before correcting it to read “forty”.) I’m simply ten weeks behind in uploading episodes. I’ll try to be all caught up before I leave this country in July, but until then bitte ich euch um etwas Geduld, and thanks for watching!

Week 33’s episode is another in the series of Roche & Böhmermann-related material. Bonus features, if you will. If you’ve ever wondered just who is that dashing man who introduces every guest on R&B, well, here’s your chance to see him with his tie off. William Cohn proved to be just as loquacious in person as he is on TV. He verbosely encourages me on my quest to learn German, and he tells a pretty hilarious joke. I’m glad he took time out of his busy schedule to sit down with me. Now I just need to figure out how to make my voice as deep as his. Enjoy!

0:41 – His gratitude renders me speechless.

0:52 – I was trying to use a noun meaning “thanks”, but instead I said Gedank, which means “thought”. My dictionary is telling me that the word Dank can mean “thank”. But I’ve never heard it. This was a weird thing to attempt to say anyway…

0:59 – I stutter a lot in this episode. Get used to it! The pains of article agreement. What can I say, I was starstruck!

1:01 – During the whole video I say Aussprach when I meant to say Aussprache, meaning “pronunciation”.

1:12 – I’m misplacing verbs like nobody’s business. I apologize!

1:42 – Not sure where he’s getting these numbers… Which 500 million people does he think should learn English? Europe? Maybe this “schöner Spruch” is a little dated…

1:56 – This is my favorite part. I was struggling so hard to understand what he was saying… I just understood from the cadence of his voice that he was telling a joke…

2:02 – …and then I thought he was just telling me what the word “bilingual” means…

2:08 – …and then I try to defend myself for thinking it was a joke…

2:19 – …and then it hits me! It was a joke the whole time!

2:21 – Classic!

2:50 – I think I would like to hear myself talk if I was him.

2:52 – Who’s Henry Higgins?

3:09 – I believe the look on my face here is the blankest stare recorded in Lernen to Talk Show history.

3:21 – We’ll see about that!

3:55 – This is something I’ve often wondered about. I personally believe that correct pronunciation both the most important and most undervalued aspect of language learning. But even so, pronouncing a word technically correctly doesn’t necessarily mean it is being pronounced completely devoid of nuance of whatever mother tongue the speaker has. But I digress. Perhaps in a later post…

4:43 – My goal? What is my goal? I think my goal is simply to always be improving. I have accepted that my German won’t ever be perfect. How could it? Why should it? But as long as I’m always learning, that’s all I can really strive for.

4:57 – Würfel is German for “dice”. And würfeln is a verb specifically reserved for dice, meaning “roll” (See that “n” at the end?). But of course in this video I again mispronounce the words that I’m trying to explain that I once mispronounced. So what you see here is what I would call a second order mistake. Mistakenly recounting a story about a mistake. Bear with me, folks.

5:07 – My point is, “ü”s are hard to pronounce. And German kids don’t realize this, and they don’t cut you any slack.

6:16 – 6:16!

6:30 – Just in case you didn’t listen to my suggestion two episodes ago. Here’s a link again!

6:43 – Should’ve said, “Es hat mich gefreut…”

4 Comments leave one →
  1. May 30, 2012 00:46

    Hi my dear, great to see that. I enjoyed both, the making and the watching!
    Please allow me two tiny corrections: first: the correct quoting about the english is: “why should fifty million english learn a foreign language if they can make five hundred people learn english”. Its from “How to be an alien in Britain” by George Mikes:
    And I guess, the emphasis there is more on “make … learn english” then on the correct amount of people… 😉 as the number of people they made learn english has by now vastly increased…
    The other is: Henry Higgins:
    a character from “My fair lady” the famous phoneticist. Thats why I mentioned him.
    I am sorry, I seem to be a little outdated myself.
    Warm greetings and good luck to you my dear, William

    • May 30, 2012 08:39

      Awesome, thanks for the info, William! I always end up misinterpreting things and making mistakes with my subtitles… but again that’s part of the learning process! I will be sure to check that book out, and to see My Fair Lady when I get the chance!

  2. Avital permalink
    May 30, 2012 01:17

    What a cool guy. I love that he calls you “my dear.” 🙂

    And Henry Higgins from My Fair Lady!! We clearly should have seen that instead of Billy Elliot.

    • May 30, 2012 08:38

      Dear Mickey,
      please let me add one thing: From learning and teaching languages I learned, that the greatest obstacle to learning a language is the need to do everything correctly. Pronunciation, grammar etc. create a blockage to the student, which is really hard to overcome.
      Thats why I loved the way you tackled your task by just doing it. The less you care about mistakes and the more self confident you are, the easier and better you will learn any language.
      As soon as you “own” the language e. g. by dreaming in this language, you may start to grind and later to polish your use of the language you are learning.
      Warm greetings

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