With the Tag der Deutschen Einheit (German Reunification Day) holiday on Monday, yesterday was my first day in the office speaking only German. The good news is that I survived it. The even better news is that it was nowhere near as difficult as I thought it was going to be. I thought I was going to be completely lost and unable to have even a basic conversation. Instead I was able to talk to my boss about our co-worker based in Sweden who had an allergic reaction to some hair growth product resulting in a trip to the doctor’s, what I did over the long weekend and other work related topics.
My German is nowhere near perfect. I know I’m making a lot of mistakes and that I probably sound like a three year old child. However, I also know that I will improve over time and that the most important thing at this point in time is that I can make myself understood and I can understand what is being said to me. On that point, I still can’t understand every word of what I’m being told, but I am getting the major gist of the conversation. This too will improve.
The downside of speaking German all day is how tired I am at the end of the day. I was exhausted yesterday evening. The 90 minute hardcore grammar session we had in my German class last night didn’t help nor did the two pages of grammar homework I had to plough through. It is incredible the amount of effort and concentration it takes to speak a foreign language. Hopefully this too will lessen as time goes on.
I’m really happy that I’ve decided to do this, to force myself to speak German on a daily basis. The first month or so is going to be really tough, but hopefully come month 3 I will find that my German has gotten to the point of being conversational.