I am taking a German correspondence course at the Volkshochshule (VHS) in order to improve my writing. There is an entire verb tense that is only used in written German -almost never in spoken, so you can see why this is very important.
But weeks into the course, my writing is not getting better. Or at least each writing assignment I have turned in comes back with as many marks as the last. This is really frustrating for me because I love to write. Germans are really good at understanding non-native speakers despite their grammatical errors, but writing has many rules which cannot be broken, including writing-reform rules from 2006 that were supposed to standardize things and greatly reduce the use of the “ß.”
Still, I really like the class, the teacher and my classmates. We are all women for some reason – three Italians, one Chilean by way of Spain, one Azerbaijani by way of Norway, one Brazilian, one Japanese and one German -why she is there I don’t know, but perhaps it’s a good indication of how hard it is to write correctly in the language.