8 months in Hamburg!

Well, 8 months is not really an anniversary people tend to celebrate, but this one is worth mentioning.

Anyone who’s tried to learn German knows it is NOT an easy language. It’s even pretty hard, I think most would agree with me. My relationship with German started when I was 10 and started to learn it at school. I was quite enthusiastic and I carried on until I got my baccalauréat at 17. After 7 years, I could barely speak it properly, let alone write it, ignoring the numerous grammar rules that did not make any sense to me.

I quite happily chose German as an optional language to focus on English once in college and eventually completely quit it once I moved to Ireland. How naive I was to think I would not be using ever again. Three years later, upon resuming college, I was denied the access to the German-English translation class due to lack of knowledge and practice of Goethe’s language. That is, officially, I actually did attend the classes, which only stressed how bad I was compared to my fellow students.

The good side to it is that it convinced me to move to Germany, for at least 6 months – that was my original target – to finally be able to claim I can speak German.

And during the last few weeks, I realised that at long last I am comfortable with the language. Not quite to the level of fluency, but good enough to express myself on most topics and understand written and spoken German without frowning too much. After 15 years, I made it.

Better late than never.


About John Barré

English & German into French translator. Interested in languages, literature, video games, localisation & translation - among many other topics.
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