As previously discussed, I bet my German counterparts at work that I could become conversational by the next time I saw them, which at the time would give me two months. 60 days to learn the *prettiest language of all, after being here three years and being able to order a beer, poorly at that.
And so I brought all of my books and workbooks and games with me on vacation and in fairness, I took them out three times, mostly in airports when bored. In case you’re wondering, not only are my numbers and colors taken care of, but I can, if you give me one more day, have a conversation that starts with, “I like you”, then asks you if you want to sleep with me, then we can have a brief discussion about AIDS and then I can toss in a few lines if someone gets too grabby and I don’t like it.
I’m not making this up. Why would I choose to memorize that set of phrases, say, as opposed to, uhhh, how are you and would you like to go to dinner and what time is our meeting in the morning?, all of which would be far more useful in my daily life.
Well, my friend’s twelve year old daughter brought this one phrase book over from Ireland, the AA Essential German phrase book from the UK (published 1997), and gleefully showed me page 32 while smirking and being delighted that she found something dirty to learn while visiting Germany. This phrase book decided to feature a section they call, Chatting Someone Up. First of all, I’d like to note that unless you have great German skills, are good friends with a German, or feel like risking your life on any given day, you don’t just walk up to any old German and start chatting them up. The phrase “chatting them up” probably annoys them.
Honestly. Ich liebe mein freunds von das Valterland, but there is a formality in the area I live in that I despise, though I suppose it might have to do with my complete disregard for formality in any circumstance. Really, though, I can barely say hello and ask how any of the older women are in my town without getting hissed at. Or they just ignore me, which is fine because I don’t like most of them either. And also, I DO NOT LIKE TO BE HISSED AT. Just noting.
So, here is the entire progression of a CHATTING UP conversation that this book feels you might need in your travels or daily life in Germany. I will even add the German translation for you so I can practice. Just ignore me when I don’t have the fancy, squiggly S letter or any of the fancy dots. My laptop is American, obviously, and figuring out something on that level would make my head explode.
Here we go. Pretend you’re meeting someone at a bar and the following happens:
I like being with you. Ich bin gern mit dir zusammen.
I’ve missed you so much. Ich habe disch so vermisst.
I dreamt about you. Ich habe von dir getraumt.
I think about you all day. Ich muss den ganzen Tag an dich denken.
You have such a sweet smile. Du lachelst so suss.
You have such beautiful eyes. Du hast so shone Augen.
I’m in love with you. Ich habe mich in dich verleibt
I’m in love with you too. Ich mich auch in dich.
I love you. Ich liebe dich.
I love you too. Ich dich auch.
I don’t feel as strong about you. Ich empfinde nicht dasselbe fur dich.
I already have a boyfriend. Ich habe schon enen freund.
I’m not ready for that. Ich bin noch nichtso weit.
This is going too fast for me. Es geht mir biel zu schnell.
Take your hands off me. Ruhr mich nicht an
Okay, no problem. Ok, kein problem.
Will you stay with me tonight? Bleibst du heute nacht bei mir?
I’d like to go to bed with you. Ich mostemit dir schlafen.
Only if we use a condom. Nur mit Praservativ.
We have to be careful about AIDS. Wir mussen vorsichtig sein wegen AIDS
That’s what they all say. Das segen alle.
We shouldn’t take any risks. Wir wollen lieber kein risko eingehen.
Do you have a condom? Hast du ein Praservativ?
No? In that case, we don’t do it. Nein? Dann machen wir’s nicht.
Few thoughts about this quaint little conversation that delights me to no end.
First, these people are aggressive. They are also a bunch of wackjobs, going from loving each other to get your hands off me to that’s what they all say about AIDS to forget it, I’m not sleeping with you. Umm, THAT’S WHAT THEY ALL SAY? Haahaha. I love that line. Das segen alle is how I’m going to respond to everyone that talks to me now.
Second, I have eaten many preservatives in my life but none and I do mean none, were in the form of a condom. Condom is a preservative in Germany? Consider it my new favorite word.
And wow. I swear, if anyone has carried on such conversation during happy hour, please send me a message immediately so I can congratulate you on moving swiftly and bluntly through all the stages of an emotional and sexual conversation in one swoop.
Chatting up Germans, indeed.