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Sunday, April 7, 2013

I Have Proof That I Pronounce German Very Well... All Five Phrases

So I'm going to brag today about how well I pronounce German.  But before I do let me clarify that I know about 2.5 German phrases.  I mean, they're all the important ones...

"Do you have a menu in English?"
"Where is the child changing room?"
"Do you have two high chairs?"

Um.  And that's pretty much it.  The changing room and high chairs aren't even that relevant anymore because we don't really need them as much.  (MAN my girls are growing up fast!)  Oh wait I also know how to tell the cute little old Germans who always stop to ogle at the girls that they are 2 and 3 years old, yes they are sisters, no they aren't twins. Etc.  And I have my girls trained to say "hallo"(hello) and "tschüss"(bye) like pros, which earn me major points with the locals.  American preschoolers dishing out German words = I am now the coolest American Momma on my street.  At least according to all the old ladies ;o)  Anyways, moving on the what I CAN say.

Boy do I rock the "Do you have a menu in English" phrase.  To the point where I have had two really awkward/funny experiences in restaurants in recent months.  I don't even know if I say it correctly!  But apparently I pronounce it so well and with such confidence that this happens...

Funny night #1: out for my birthday with Kirsten.

Me: (in German) Do you have a menu in English?
German waitress: (in German) Sure do you want one or two?
Me: (deer in headlights while I try to process what she just said cause I don't really speak German) Uh...
German waitress: (switches to English) OH! I thought you spoke German! You speak very well!
Me: (nervous laughter) (also switching to English because I am out of all my relevant German phrases) Yes, two English menus please!

Funny night #2: at Trier for dinner with Mattea.

Me: Do you have a menu in English?  (Maybe this is my problem!  I should probably start asking for TWO menus in English!)
German waitress: (Brings me a German menu and brings Mattea an English menu) Asks me (in German) what I want to drink.
Me: (I kind of understood her and I know my German beer enough to order in German... but I knew something was up when she left and I looked at my menu and couldn't read it.  Crap!)  (I shared with Mattea)
German waitress: (in German) asking if we're ready to order.
Me: (in English, because as previously stated I never learned any other helpful restaurant phrases!) Ordering my meal.
Waitress: (obviously confused at this point, as she's switching from German to English and back)
Me: (let's just clear things up for her and start talking straight up English to reveal that yes, I am an uneducated American who speaks JUST ONE phrase of German really well.  You can have this dang German menu back cause I can't read it!)

PS that was the best goulash I've ever had!  

Okay so you can see the confusion.  Maybe I should just stop trying to show off by spouting off my menu phrase and just throw myself right under the bus by asking IN ENGLISH if they have an English menu.  Cause let's be honest folks, if they don't have an English menu I'm just going to have to guess anyways!  We're talking, restaurant-Russian-roulette.  And Jesse and I have TOTALLY been there... where we each randomly pick a menu item.  In that instance, I was happy and Jesse was not.  Poor guy.

Anyways this brings me to the confession that I do still regret sometimes that I didn't try harder at good old Rosetta Stone or take an intro German class when I got over here.  But alas, when one is potty training two children at the same time and still cooking from scratch and learning photography and trying to make time to read and skype home and oh yeah, blogging... oy veh.  Not much time for learning a second language.  

Sorry Germany.  I do love you.  Really I do.  But "haben sie einen speisekarte in englisch?"

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