I have been teaching him and his wife Gill in his office in Warminster and he very kindly agreed to answer my questions.
I began learning German about three and a half years ago, I think.
Every few years I study something new. It’s something I advise tutors that I teach and mentor, to do, to keep us in touch with what it’s like to learn from scratch. There were other reasons too: being able to try to speak someone else’s language is courteous; it is also something my wife and I can study together. She already had some German from school, so is ahead of me.
The language is elegant; it is helpful that pronunciation is consistent and that words are often creative – larger words made from smaller ones, so it is possible to guess the meaning of new vocabulary based on shorter words already known.
Some of the grammar and variations of small words and word endings seems hard to learn and retain.
Finding a decent accent is tricky for me: I’m a musician but have never had much of an ear for language.
I try! But I fail too often. Work gets in the way.
I’d like another day in the week, just for German!
Fun and relaxing – lustig und entspannend!
Thank you very much, Al, for taking the time to answer my questions.
I’d love to know how you would have answered the last question? Care to answer?
Edit: 8 years on Al and Gill are still enjoying learning German and using it when on holidays in Austria!