There are so many cool things to experience and share here in Austria that I was wondering about what would be the topic of this second post. Then I realized that to understand any lifestyle it is necessary to understand a little bit about the language of the place.
For those who don’t know, in Austria, people speak German (I say this without any irony because until recently I did not think much about this country, least of all about its language). To speak German correctly, you have to think about a lot of details and MANY MANY rules (article, dative, accusative, adjective declension, verbs with prefixes that are separated …). I need to completely change my way of thinking to speak a sentence correctly. One example is that the verb must always be in the second position of the sentence. You can not say “today I have class”, you have to say “I have class today ” or “ today have I class” and this second option is the most used here. Of course, there are rules that break this rule such as the use of because “weil“ in the sentence, but I better stop here. The thing that scares me less these days are those giant words, which are nothing more than several words written
together without space.
Learn German for me is a huge challenge and a persistence
test. Although I already knew how to speak English and Italian, you can not really compare German with these languages. I studied two semesters at the Germanic Cultural Institute, in Brazil, which gave me a light notion of the language. When I moved to Graz, I had three hours classes per day, four times a week at the Vorstudienlehrgang, a preparatory course for the university. This rhythm was very intense, the whole class was in German (because there were students from all over the world in the class) and in the beginning, I understood practically nothing! At the moment I left class I wanted distance from
this language! This last year I have had a love-hate relationship with German, but finally, I think love is winning ❤
Besides the hard grammar and complicated phonetic (Speak
the “R” at the beginning of a word is almost drain phlegm), there are also dialects. In class, I learned Hochdeutsch, the formal
German, but the sounds heard in the streets are very different. Words are united, and letters have completely different sounds. Here in Graz people exchange the sound of A for O, which is really cute. But a fascinating aspect of the language, for me, are words that do not exist in Portuguese but are full of feelings, such as “Vorfreude” which is the anticipated happiness for something that is yet to come. Or “Schadenfreude” which is the joy in others’misfortune. My favorite is “Wanderlust”, which describes a strong desire to travel, to go anywhere on a walk that would lead to the unknown, to something new. I feel “Wanderlust” every day!
I think the fact that a word has so much to say and the grammatical structure is so full of rules interfere with people’s personalities. Here it doesn’t exist the “Brazilian way”, and nobody goes around to say or ask something. People are fairly straightforward and usually, follow the rules. There is a cliché that says that Germans and Austrians are very similar, but the people from Österreich are more relaxed than the ones from Deutschland. Well, here practically no one crosses the street with the red light for pedestrians on, whether it’s midnight and there is
no sign of cars. What is good and makes things work but I feel several times like talking to the bus driver: “Hey Pilot, can you open the door for me here, please?” Hahaha That will never happen here, NEVER EVER!
Well, if someone wants to learn German, read this post and just got unmotivated, please, don’t be! I cannot explain the feeling of getting the C1 certificate in this language or also talk to a native speaker and receive compliments on your skills.
To finish this post, I will tell a German saying that I love: “Alles hat ein Ende nur die Wurst hat zwei” which in English would be “everything has an end, only a sausage has two” (sayings in German have to have sausages).