Sunday, March 20, 2005

the aweful german language (according to twain)...

every noun has a gender, and there is no sense or system in the distribution; so the gender of each must be learned separately and by heart. there is no other way. to do this one has to have a memory like a memorandum-book. in german, a lady has no sex, while a turnip has. think what overwrought reverence that shows for the turnip, and what callous disrespect for the girl. see how it looks in print-- i translate this from a conversation in one of the best of the german sunday-school books:

"gretchen: willhelm, where is the turnip?"
"wilhelm: she has gone to the kitchen."
"gretchen: where is the accomplished and beautiful english maiden?"
"willhelm: it has gone to the opera."...
--mark twain

i had basic german in school. i've been trying to improve. it goes something like this:

der der der der der. der? der! gah! gaaaaah! die die die die die!

spanish is much easier in respect to gender. occasional hiccups like la mano. i'm okay with it.


Blogger bro said...

what the meaning of aweful german?! :)

das hei├čt: der, die, das!

der mann (the man), die frau (the woman) und das flugzeug (the airplane)

where are you learning german?

12:27 PM  
Blogger dishpantheism said...

oooooohhhh. i'm in trouble now. ;)

i'm not learning german currently. i had german in school, but that was quite a while ago. i primarily studied spanish at school (and a little french). i took about 4-5 months of german so that i could help my sister practice her german skills. we both gave up. we're very bad german students. :)

4:50 PM  
Blogger dishpantheism said...

oops. i forgot to explain. i'm using my old textbook and other papery resources to help me regain what grasp of german i had (which is very little). but i'm not taking lessons.

8:33 PM  

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