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Wednesday, 3 October 2012

image for A Beginner's Guide to German You can burn that German dictionary once you've finished this course

German is an language spoken by over 80 million people. There have been many great people throughout history who have spoken it.

Learning German can allow you to understand anyone from Wankel to Seimens, from Kahn to Kant. From Bach to the Fuhrer.

It is an elegant but guttural language, which is intended to be shouted angrily in a shrill voice.

One important thing to remember is that all the verbs come at the end of a sentence, just like Yoda. For example, if you wanted to say "This sauerkraut has not been prepared efficiently", you would actually say "This sauerkraut efficiently has not been prepared".

Or in German,

DIESE SAUERKRAUT EFFIZIENT NICHT BEREIT!!

Shout it yourself and see how it sounds.

We are now ready to begin the lesson. The possessive in German is given by MEIN, meaning "my". The most common sentence in the whole language uses this.

MEIN HANDTUCH DEUTLICH ICH HIER ERSTE ZEIGT WAR!

Or in English: my towel clearly indicates that I was here first.

Please note that the word WAR at the end of the sentence doesn't actually mean "war" in English. It means "was" and is the past tense of IST.

The word for war is KRIEG, as in the following example:

ICH DIE DEN KRIEG ÜBER WEIß NICHT SPRECHEN

I hope you are remembering to shout it out loud. Translation: I don't know which war you are talking about.

That last example contains the letter ß, which is pronounced like a 'b' but pronounced from the back of the throat like a violent cough. Try this now.

Finally, we come to questions. Questions are unique in German because the verbs at the end of the sentence must be shouted twice. The second shout should be significantly louder than the first.

Try this one:

SIE DER NEUE HASSELHOFF RAP-ALBUM HABEN GEHÖRT? HABEN GEHÖRT!!!

By now you should be able to translate it by yourself, so I will leave out the English.

Congratulations! You can now speak fluent German. Please be warned though, as speaking German can lead to mindless aggression, bad taste and a fondness for facial hair.

AUF WEIDERSEHEN!!!

The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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