Thursday, August 16, 2007


"Er hat nicht alle Tassen im Schrank!"

Usually I carry a little notepad with me to jot down random thoughts and ideas. It's particularly handy the evenings I spend on our patio drinking wine with my neighbor, Manuella. Whenever she spits out an interesting German saying, I have her repeat it a couple of times so I get it right. The German saying shown above translates to "He doesn't have all the cups in his cupboard" which is similar to the English idiom ,"....a few fries short of a happy meal"

Learning to speak German has proven to be an uphill struggle, one where staying at the bottom will just have to suffice. I only know words, but putting them in a sentence, forget it. I bet I sound like I don't have all my cups in the cupboard.

German idioms often contain a picture which has no direct connection to the English meaning. I am sure this is not strictly unique. When I think of the all the many English sayings, especially from the South, I am glad that English is my native tongue.

In a way, I feel like a failure for not learning to speak German while living here. I just have such a hard time seeing the forest for the trees and it would probably be easier if I wasn't running around like a chicken with my head cut off.
Right now I need to put my cups in the cupboard because I don't have a dishwasher and they're just waiting for me on the draining board.

1 comment:

Lawrence Quigley said...

Here's a trick that I'm going to try (honest!):

Pick up a Harry Potter book (one where you saw the movie) in the language you want to learn.