Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Don’t Learn German

Living in Germany is great, and I would recommend it to anyone. Speaking German, on the other hand, is terrible and it should be avoided at all costs. In fact, Mark Twain warned us way back in 1880 in his essay
The Awful German Language not to bother with this language. There are countless reasons not to learn German, so let’s discuss a few:

The German language is, in fact, impossible to learn
unless you begin learning it as a baby. Starting to learn this language is impossible if you start later, because your brain will lack the capacity to learn so many senseless details, such as the different forms of the word "the".
  • You probably know in German there are three different genders der, die, and das. So for every single noun out there, you need to memorize a gender as well (the are some rules for determining gender, but for every rule there are just as many exceptions as examples that fit, so you still have to memorize every single one individually). But you also need to change the article, based on the case that you are using the noun in. Let’s see what this looks like in German:
  • Do you really want to learn a language that has 16 ways to say the word "the"? And it doesn’t stop there, you need to learn 16 ways to say "a" (in English 2), and 32 ways to change adjective endings (in English we have 0). And you want to try to do this in real-time in your head while trying to carry one a conversation… forget about it. 
  • In English, when something is plural we just add "s" to the end. In German you add an "s", an "e", a couple of dots somewhere in the middle, an "er", an "en", or just do nothing at all and the word becomes plural. Also be careful what case you are talking in, because that changes the plural form again, should you use the dative case.
  • For every verb you learn, you must learn to conjugate it for I, you, You, they, he, she, it, and ya’ll. You’ll also need to learn them in present tense, past tense, perfect past tense, and subjunctive. Oh, and having one subjunctive case isn’t good enough for Germans. Germans need two subjunctive cases, because they deem it necessary to designate hearsay grammatically.You will never learn all this, so don’t bother trying.

No matter how good your German gets, most Germans will speak English much better than you can speak German
Let them do the work in learning your language, since they have to do it anyway to talk with the rest of the world. The British have figured out you can live in Germany with no problems without speaking a word of German, so just follow their lead.

Use your lack of German speaking abilities to your advantage in the workforce

For every professional job in Germany, English is a required skill. So by default, any professional working in Germany who doesn’t speak English fluently either lied to get the job and/or is incompetent. Forcing these people to speak in English gives you an unfair edge in order to dominate negotiations. Try negotiating in German and you have the exact opposite situation… don’t set yourself up for a weaker position by learning enough German to get you into trouble.

It makes business meetings more entertaining, because when you show up to the meeting and say you can’t speak German, the meeting has to be conducted in English to accommodate you

This will slow down the pace of the meeting considerably, because you are forcing the majority of the people to speak a foreign language, but Germans love to discuss things so much, that they will take up all the allotted time for the meeting either way. You might as well do this to make it more fun, because it’s really entertaining to watch people who agree with each other fight each other. Since the Germans in the meeting will be so busy trying to figure out how to say what they want to say next in English, they won’t have any chance to pay attention to what the other person is saying, so a heated argument will always ensue, even when the participants completely agree with each other. Sit back, drink some excellent European coffee, eat some Keks and enjoy, cause you wouldn’t be going home soon anyway.

You will never learn how to say / pronounce ö or ü

Germans will change their spelling system as soon as you learn it

By the time you learn the difference between das and daß, daß doesn’t exist anymore, and in its place you have words like Schifffffahrt.

Tokio Hotel records English versions of their songs, so you have that angle covered as well

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