The local funky barista with dreadlocks and a killer smile told me a while back that he’s planning to move soon to Germany to be with his girlfriend.
But there was one minor obstacle he needed to overcome – pass a German language exam.
Being the accommodating kinda customer that I am, I would occasionally entertain him with my limited high school German.
It was coffee that I would shower with compliments like, “Das ist sehr lecker!” “Alles Gut!”
Then, bid farewell with the German equivalent for “See ya later!” (“Tsüss!”)
Frau Kratochvil would’ve been so damn proud.
I found myself dredging up high school memories of a classroom full of awkward, hormonally charged, raucous teenagers surrounding one, frustrated German lady. Profusely banging her hand on the table, demanding silence and yelling, “Bitte! Bitte! BITTE!!!”
Getting past all that, a sudden surge of useless Germans phrases (only entertaining at drunken dinner parties and selective cafes) hit my brain.
Wir haben Hunger = We are hungry.
(Part of an actual song we had to learn about being hungry and thirsty)
Wo bleibt die Kässe = Where is the cheese?
(Second verse of said song)
Ich bin fleissig. Du bist faul = “I an industrious/hardworking. You are lazy”
(Need I say more?)
Ich weiss das nicht = I don’t know
(Used a LOT in class)
Die Geschischte vom Suppen Kasper = The poem of Kasper Soup
(A nursery rhyme we had to memorize, it was about a little boy, Kasper who kept refusing to eat his soup. Such was the stubbornness of Kasper he became so thin that he eventually dies. Of starvation. Did I mention it was a nursery rhyme?
Grabbing my daily coffee the other morning other morning I asked the funky barista when he was leaving our shores.
“Well, I need to go to Indonesia first,” he explains.
Now, I’m curious.
“I’m Indonesian,” he replies.
“Get outta here! Me too!”
So we start babbling in Indo.
And all that time there were 2 Indos speaking in English and rusty German.
Danke, Frau Kratochvil!
Did you learn a language in high school? Is it as rusty as my German? Do you have a favourite foreign language phrase? Teach me!
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