Some years ago I was paralysed by the German language and all of it’s rules. Then I wondered how Tarzan would have spoken German. So here’s what I came up with…
I wanted it to be incredibly easy (for English speakers anyway). We are told that English came from German. We know they’re related, but sometimes it’s hard to see it. The tricky parts of German are the der, das, die stuff and the word order (verbs jump around). So, if we just ignore that what happens?
- Forget about noun genders. If you want to say ‘the’ say ‘die’. If you want to say a/an, then say ‘eine’.
- Position the verbs the same as you would in English (so put them together instead of distributing them in the sentence)
So then what happens? Consider these simple sentences.
The boys behind the house are playing too loud.
Die Junge hinter die Haus sind spielen zu laut.
A girl and a dog were walking in the park.
Eine Mädchen und eine Hund waren gehen in die Park.
The man gave a ball to the woman.
Die Mann hat gegeben die Frau die Ball.
The child plays with the box
Die Kind spielt mit die Box.
It’s not right, but it’s kind of cool. Where to from here? It depends, I mean Tarzan was happy enough. Then when he went to Hollywood, he probably got better over time, don’t you think?
Of course, you might not be satisfied with Tarzan German. You can learn how to do this properly at this free CASE workshop held regularly in Berlin. Here’s the link https://www.meetup.com/German-for-Programmers/ (It says it’s for programmers — but you don’t need to be a programmer. It’s actually for pattern hunters.
You can read more about alternative ways to learn German here languagegym.net
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