German – what a logical language. No really, it is. It is straightforward and once you get the hang of it, you think to yourself, “Wow, that is just so damn logical.”
As you embark on the journey to learn German, people will try to tell you that it’s super flexible and fun to use, but they’re lying.
No it’s not.
I don’t know about other non-native German speakers, but learning German is NOT an easy task! Let me break it down for you.
What they teach in schools and German classes is called “Hochdeutsch” or High German. Think of it as learning British English. So you spend a lot of time trying to figure out the super proper stuff. If you go to Germany, you’re bound to get along fine at this point, because in Deutschland (that’s Germany) they tend to speak the proper stuff.
And then there’s Austria.
I don’t think anyone really speaks the proper stuff unless they’re in some sort of public office. Even then, not as much as you’d like to think. Or hope.
There are DOZENS of different dialects. And each dialect has a certain sound,
gargle, ring and tone, and different words and ways to say the same thing. And it sounds as far removed from Hochdeutsch as possible. Germans themselves say they don’t understand Austrians. So how the hell are we, the timid learners of this weird language??
Think of learning British English and then deciding to test it out in the southern US where you have a super heavy southern accent. Like Louisiana or Alabama. That’s kind of the equivalent here.
For example, my man is from the region known as Burgenland, therefore he speaks “Burgenlandisch”. My friends here in Vienna speak “Viennese” or “Wienerisch”. No, they don’t always use the same slang. And all the “German” sounds different. When I have friends over (all Austrian) it is like having a guest each from New York, Yorkshire, Australia and Georgia.
But does it stop with regions?! Oh nooo! There are regional dialects, and then each city in each district of Austria can and does have its own variation on the regional dialect. Dialects can even get as tight-nit as a group of friends.
To say, “No problem.” in German, one would say, “Kein Problem.”
This often gets shortened to, “Ka’ Problem.”
Then in my man’s group of friends this gets further shortened into, “Ka-blem.”
BUT if you say this last phrase to anyone outside of the group of friends, they miiiight understand you, but they’re gonna look at you a little funny. Or maybe that’s just me. Maybe both. Either way, do you see where I am going with this?
All in all, German is hard, but highly logical. And then once you learn it, you can throw it all into your mouth at once and gargle and then get along fine in Austria. Or pretend you’re under water when you’re listening to Austrians speak and then figure out how it’s German that way. This method has proved highly effective for me so far.
If you’re super into this, here is a video that shows some different words, Austrian vs. German
Or if you speak/understand German fairly well already, then check out this link: