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Day 4 of our Advent Calendar comes from George. Thank you, George!
My name is George and I live in Southwick in Wiltshire with my German wife and my half German daughter. I met my wife nine years ago and at first I thought she was French. I can speak a very small amount of French and thought that she might provide an excellent opportunity for me to hone my language skills in this direction. However, it soon transpired that she was German and I have been struggling to get to grips with her language ever since. After 8 frustrating years, it was time to call in professional help, so I turned to Angelika. When I first started learning German with my wife, I thought it sounded rather like English and would therefore be a pretty easy language to master. How wrong I was! There are some pretty fundamental differences between the two languages such as the use of grammar in German and also the assignation of gender to all nouns, living or otherwise, that conspire to make it a pretty difficult language to get along with at first. Further confusion, for me at least, comes with the seemingly many different meanings of sie and ihr. Still, I can’t complain I suppose, as my wife and Angelika point out, German is a far more logical language than English, it just doesn’t seem like it sometimes. Anyway, progress is now steady and I am beginning to be able to communicate with my in-laws in their mother tongue and also understand what my wife is saying about me to my daughter, which makes it all worthwhile. As I have realised, German can’t be learnt overnight, perseverence and professional help are very much needed, but the effort is definitely worth it. I’m going over to Germany at Christmas, so I’m hoping that I may be able, for the first time ever, to impress the natives with my language skills!