as i walked into a store to buy a newspaper the other day, a man popped up from under the seemingly empty counter. i was a bit surprised. pretending like this man did not almost give me a heart attack, i picked up zitty and die welt kompakt. when i got to the counter, the guy rang me up and then asked a pretty normal question: want anything else? haben Sie noch ein Wunsch?
moments like that one make me think my german needs help. i’ve taken german classes here and there. i try to read a lot. speak more. listen to radio/TV. it’s just not the same as methodically studying a language from elementary school through university, like i did with french. without dumb, repetitive fake conversations between mireille/hildegard and jacques/uwe or grammar rules drilled into my head, i tend to take an imaginative approach to the language. throw context out the window and make up my own version of what i didn’t understand. at that moment in the newspaper store, i looked at the man behind the cashier and said huh? i really thought he said do you have another wish? in my imagination, he was popping out of a genie bottle, similar to his appearance behind the counter. except with smoke and a flute playing in the background.
do you want anything else? is that all you want? the image bubble popped and i realized in that context no i just wanted zitty and die welt kompakt. maybe next time i’ll wish for some free german lessons.