Deutsch Lernen

So I gave up eight months of weekends to learn basic German. That was from January through August 2006, with a brief two-weekend break in the middle. The tragedy was that the exam for the second “semester” was scheduled for precisely the weekend we were leaving for Ladakh. Faced with a choice of Himalayas or German exam, the choice (if one can call it that) was obvious.

It was possible to take the exam scheduled for the next semester, I was informed, but I was doubtful whether this would really work out. Four months later, would I remember ANYTHING? Would I even remember that exam time was coming up and that I needed to enroll? Would I even want to?

But I did and I did and I did.

Not that the “anything” I remembered amounted to much, but when I woke up to the fact that enrollment time was rolling around, there were still a good three weeks to go before the exam. So I opened up my textbooks and notebook and though I found I did remember, I was still at first quite doubtful whether I remembered “enough”. Nevertheless, I plodded my way through it, making a proper plan and schedule and failing completely to stick to any part of it the way one does. I had scheduled days for writing sentences, practising adjectives, writing letters (10 marks!) and so on, and 90% of all this never happened. I did get carried away and download a couple of fairy tales from the Internet in German. Hansel and Gretel and Rumpfelstiltzchen (Rumpelstiltskin, I think, in English) – what horrible, sordid, depressing, morbid, grotesque, ghoulish tales! Who on earth ever thought they were fit content for little children?

Anyway, the most difficult part of this exam, as I had found in the first semester, is not the reading, understanding, or writing. It’s the hearing and the speaking. So, I practised diligently, by listening to the audio CDs provided with the course material, and by speaking to myself whenever I could.

And finally, yesterday and today, I went and gave the exam. In the last few days, I had realized that I would pass – even though pass marks were 60% – I would most likely even pass the spoken, provided sheer nervousness didn’t make a mess of me.

I think it all went off ok. There were a few hitches and glitches, here and there, but that’s only to be expected. For someone who’d completely lost touch over four months, I think I did “passably” well.

But I still don’t know. Not only do I not know the result, I don’t even know when I will know the result. Sigh. Life is full of suspense.


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