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Johannes Holmberg

UI developer & designer

Phew. German grammar is hard. For almost a week I’ve tried to come to grips with it, and it comes, but it’s a slow process. The huge difference compared to languages I know previously (Swedish and English) is that German has genders for inanimate nouns. So, a lamp or a door or a shirt can either be a he or she or it. And there is no real way for me to figure out what gender a noun belongs to. Bummer.

And so much is at stake depending on what gender the noun has. The verbs changes, the adjectives changes, basically everything around it changes. That is complete new territory for me. With all these things to figure out, no wonder I have had such a hard time starting to speak.

Another thing that’s very different from the languages I know is the bending (conjugating) of the verbs depending on who or what they’re referring to. And German also has a formal variant of their language which adds to the complexity. A short example:

  • ich gehe — I go
  • du gehst — you go (informal, singular)
  • er/sie/es geht — he/she/it goes
  • wir gehen — we go
  • ihr geht — you go (informal, plural)
  • sie gehen — they go
  • Sie gehen — you (formal, singular and plural) go

See. How complicated is that? The verb gehen - to go - changes all the time depending on who is doing it (and there can be so many doing it...) All this variaton is all just in the present tense, we haven’t even started with how it is for past and future. Since this doesn’t happen in either Swedish or English I’m a bit overwhelmed at the moment. I have to take some time and let it sink in.

Other than that, reading goes very well and I’m almost half into Südlich der Grenze, Westlich der Sonne by now. Laura’s German GrammarPod is still very helpful and I also started a new podcast Deutsch – Warum nicht? where you can follow along in a story. It’s pretty basic so I jumped directly to season 2. Pretty good so far.

Unfortunately the course I applied for was postponed so I won’t start it until the end of the month. Well, I see my own hardcore learning now as a preparation for that next step. Then I will be even better prepared to make full use of the course.