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.

Here is my first homework assignment, a one page description of my first day in Berlin. I tried to write as simply as possible, but I still made a ton of mistakes.Mein erste Tag-1

  1. Ha! I love the use of “sauvoll”… 🙂

    • Yeah, I am not so good at differentiating what is “ugs” and what is appropriate for the written word!

  2. howhuang said:

    the thing that struck me is that you were graded with a blue pen.
    so blue is the the color of bad/no in germany?
    the other thing i’m concluding is that the baby hasn’t yet arrived.

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