Language is funny, isn’t it? I remember when I was a teenager, fighting my way through puberty with the help of a whole host of wonderously creative expletives that (I thought) only my friends and I understood. I was reminded of one of them a few months ago on a trip back to my hometown when I heard a young person shout “That’s shan, that is!”
It could mean anything, couldn’t it, but I know for a fact that ‘shan’ means (or at least meant, in my time) something equating to the adult use of the term ‘bollocks’ or ‘bullshit’. The origin of the term fails me- who knows where youth pick up this crap from? Lush, mint, ace, minging (and variations thereof): You’ve got to love the vivid colours of the slang used by the youth of Britain (innit?)
This is a preview of The Fun Side of German: Dead Trousers and Chest Warts.
Sarah of workingberlinmum is an expat from the UK who has made Berlin her home. She blogs regularly about what it’s like to raise children abroad and away from family, raising bilingual children, single parenthood, kids crafts and fashions, and more. Today she’s joining us on Young Germany to talk about her experiences raising bilingual children and what that can be like for grandparents who only speak one of the child’s languages. Welcome Sarah!
As the title of this post says, it must be tough being a grandparent to a bilingual child. It of course depends on whether the grandparent speaks the child’s dominant language or not, but if they don’t, they face a lot of challenges communicating with their grandchild.
This is a preview of Grandparenting Bilingual Children in Germany.
Do you know what the German phrase “blaumachen” means?
Well, tell us and enter to win one of ten copies of the book “Easy German”!
“Easy German”, written in English, full of great little easy-to-follow German lessons. This book features grammar and everyday phrases, using language and building up the reader’s knowledge in simple stages.
Music can be a boon to language learning. Photo copyright picture alliance / Maximilian Schönherr
During my first year in Germany, German music became very important to me. Though I never could get into bands like Kraftwerk or Rammstein, other artists who sang in German were staples in my DIY, trial-by-fire, at-home German lessons. I had almost a decade of German study behind me, but it still took me hours to translate a song. Once I understood what was being said, however, that vocabulary, those turns of phrase, and their definitions were in my brain for good.
This is a preview of Learning German: Foreign Language Learning With Music.
It turns out that bilingualism does not influence when children begin to speak. Photo (cc) flickr user deanwissing
If you are planning on raising bilingual children, you will hear it from friends and find it on the pages of books: bilingual children start speaking later than monolingual children. But it turns out this is a myth with no basis in scientific fact.
This is a preview of Expat Parenting: Myths About Bilingual Children.
Nothing can complicate a conversation like a foreign language. Photo (cc) flickr user julien ‘
“Are we using du or Sie?” A woman leaned over to me to ask this question this morning in an exercise class. “Du,” I answered. There was nothing remarkable about the exchange, and afterwards that woman used the information to address the teacher. But still, every time it happens, every time the concept of du vs Sie gets brought up in conversation here I am reminded that I live in Germany. It’s one of those little differences that has not faded into the background of my life.
This is a preview of Learning German: Minding Your Dus and Sies.
Reason to improve your German skills #1 – Not mistaking a clothing store (Passion for Fashion) for a sex shop.
So, you think you want to keep on learning German? Well then you’ve progressed a lot further than many expats living in Germany (I won’t tell you how much…or how little German I’ve studied the past few weeks…) Yes, it takes courage, determination, much intelligence, and some very very patient and slow speaking Germans to keep you going, but don’t give up. One day…..maybe thirty years from now, you will be able to order your meal using the right articles. Anything is possible.
This is a preview of Learning German: 15 More Fun Words and Expressions.