Amy is currently studying abroad in Germany.
It is really strange for me to think that I am just about six full weeks into my 26 week experience. The first month was that weird combination of time flying by, yet at the same time feeling like I had been here forever. However, I feel the sixth week has really brought up my frustration with the German language. German is hard and dumb (well just kidding about the dumb part). German is listed as level three difficulty (1 = the language you learn as a child, 2 = romantic languages, 5 = Mandarin) and I am just so frustrated with verbs, conjunctive, gender, all that goodness that you really need a textbook for to truly say right.
I guess I am at the stage where I no longer feel overwhelmed. I have been here for long enough that I am comfortable with the friends I have made. I want to be able to discuss things and talk about stuff beyond what I have been learning the last six years. I feel like my language acquisition (or lack there of) is just taking too long. I guess I just thought it would always “just happen.” So many people said, yeah one day you’ll just realize that you get it.
Who has done this before? At what point does it click? My friends and co-workers say my German gets better every day and has drastically improved. But then again, they are some of the nicest people I have ever met so maybe they are just trying to be nice. Or maybe it is improving and it is just really hard for me to see myself. Maybe I am too critical and have been part of the “UVA you need perfection always” atmosphere for too long (although I feel like I have escaped that mentality for the most part).
I have started reading Harry Potter in German (specifically Happy Potter und der Feuerkelch… the best book) to help. I guess I am just impatient… and very worried about classes beginning on April 4th. For those who don’t know I am not doing a semester program like many American students do. I enrolled directly into a university as an exchange student. I will be there on my own. I will not be taking language classes, but rather comparative lit classes or history classes or whatever I choose.