GERMAN PERFECTIONISM

 

Thare isnt much to do with D, it just disappears in the word ‘sandwich’. But many things happen with the letter E. Silent E’s without a function ar droppd: ar, hav, hartless. Quite a few E’s could be seen as silent, but also as being pronounced as a shwa, the obscure vowel as the E in ‘vowel’. In these cases they remain in the word, exept befor R when it makes a consonant duplication unnecessary: genral, seprate, difrent insted of genneral, sepparate, different.

The rule for stressd short vowels is: they must be followd by 2 or mor consonants, and if this is not the case, we double it, exept befor the endings -ic, -ity and -ogy. Example: The fettid flattulence was a calamity for the lunatic iddiot. Consonant duplication has almost only that function, and if it doesnt fulfill that function it is simplified: Sometimes the rifraf gets an anoying diarea and atacks the Hel’s Angels.

The rule for stressd long vowels: long vowels ar followd by one consonant and a vowel, and if thare is no long vowel, we insert the magic E, as in ‘late, bite, cute’. The magic-E is a bizarr way to show the length of a vowel, seprated by a consonant, but it is the usual way english does it, and thats the genral way to do it in the House Stile: wate, mite, bote, fule. The ending -le/ly is considderd as a single vowel, which means that we double after a short vowel: We struggle and we tussle for a giggling future.

The long E is not made with magic-E, it is made with EE: The theef had a feer of getting diabeetis, tharefor he had a pane in the reer.

Short E is spelld with E. But words like ‘any’ and ‘many’ hav to wait for the letter N, then we can spell ‘enny’ and ‘menny’. We hav to wait with thees rules in many cases, for example to spell ‘wate’ for ‘wait’ and ‘weight’ we hav to wait for the letter I, thare we can drop the I.

Altogether: when we drop a letter, the most likely way to pronounce the resulting word has to be the way the word is pronounced. If two words with the same pronunciation ar spelld the same way, it is not a problem, but a word cant be changed if the new form is alreddy occupied by another word with a different pronunciation, so we cant spell ‘own’ as ‘one’, becaus that has a different pronunciation and thare is no W-rule in HS to change ‘one’ to ‘wun’ (or ‘won’).

Normally this is a seeries about countries, but sometimes i talk about other subjects. At the moment i giv german lessons for refugees, and i write about it for the german newspaper Berliner Zeitung. So i’ll post some of thees articles heer. At the beginning the communication with the students was quite difficult, and we wer only able to talk to eech other in a “train station german”, as germans call it: very basic, with no grammar. In english you’d say BSE, bad simple english. In this case very bad and very simple. But the spelling is HS.

 

My Shazza – liv together many yeers – say me too long too much front computer my little office, this is cocoon, me should go out – why dont teech german to refugees? Thare is many! OK, OK, then me teech german for big charity in refugee center, at leest do something useful. But befor beginning classes we hav refugee barbecue party. Hopefuly thare is enough refugee left to teech when class beginn. Month later get 2 presence list plus 1 absence list – but usually me can see if somebody absent in presence list also? Anyway me share class with teecher from Eest Europe. She say she heer that thare is only women in class, lets see.

Charity office say thare is 3 inmatriculation. 3 student, 2 teecher, too little student for so many teecher. Maybe announcement in german and nobody understand? In one refugee center caretaker did so: 3 page house rules in deepest burocratic german, eritrean mechanician – one month heer – should reed and sign plees.

Before course i herd i must teech by school book. But then i need schoolbook! OK, i can get schoolbook in office. Ah, i herd thare is beemer, ware beemer? Still must organize beemer, also problem security – but soon. I go course, start 4 student. Want to ask office woman becaus registration – some hav registration, others nothing, and in form german bureaucratic words like ‘Aufenthaltsstatus’, this is leegal status of foreigner – must do all this? If must do, must fill forms all day insted german class. But office woman in meeting. I begin: My name Zé do Rock, what your name? I come from Brazil, you come from ware? What is your job in your country? Mor 2 student come. Make pronoun: me butiful, you ugly. Make greeting and polite forms: good morning, good afternoon, hi, hello, how you do, thank you, plees, plees i hav no money! Mor student come. I make numbers. Come mor 2 student. All agen: My name Zé, what your name? Ali Al-Turimi? OK, call you Turimi – 4 Ali in class too many Ali. Ware you come from? Syria, Syria, but also other arab and african countries. Also chinese – why come chinese, is China not wonderful democracy? And not only women in course, actually mor men than women. Profession? You name it: mechanic, acountant, technician, truk driver. And you, Zayid? Lawyer in Syria. And you, Zabar? Poleeceman in Iraq? Oh! Plees wait, i go toilet! And i go to door as if fleeing. Zayid say: “No problem! He poleeceman, me lawyer!” 

3 mor student come. What is name, ware come from, one mor time and one mor time, ai ai ai! Make lot gesticulation, but sometimes difficult: how can make gesture for word ‘how’? Or word ‘can’? Then prefer say in english french italian arabic somalian chinese. Unfortunatly my chinese not so good, somalian eeven worse. Syrians mostly speek bit english, but some student speek nothing exept own language. Me look dictionary and say to chinese girl: huòzhe. Girl laugh. I show word to her, she say: aaahh, huòzhe! But that was what i sed! End of class, over dozen peeple. Then come woman from office and want know who payd. Some maybe payd not, others maybe dont understand – we still had not verb ‘pay’. And me? I filld one list – must fill other 2 also? No no, i will get new list. Charity own rules, building administration other rules, city administration other rules, country administration other rules, still hav to coordinate, but difficult cleering shelf when flood – of peeple. Important is that refugees understand that evrything perfect in Germany, must adapt!