Hearty Welcomes & Salutations! Originally an action-packed travel blog from a globe-trotting Scotsman, An Ache for the Distance has, over the years, slowed down (I post less often), mellowed out (domestic life has found it's way way on here) and become more of an expat/photo blog. Take a look around, leave a comment and share the love if you like something.
Stuart Mathieson, Lübeck, Germany

Saturday, 11 September 2010

The Germans

Two years, three months and seventeen days amongst the Germans in Hamburg. In eleven days it's over... What have I learnt from our Germanic cousins? That in this country, a table has a penis.

Over the past couple of years I've made a linguistic fool of myself on numerous occasions, for example "are you feeling hot?" coming out as "are you horny?" But considering the complexities of Johnny German's language, it's easy to fuck up.

Germans, for example, aren't content with having only one word for the English "the." Instead they give inanimate objects genders and expect us to follow their logic, of which there is very little...

Penis to the Germans is masculine, der Penis. Vagina is feminine, die Vagina. Sounding OK until you reach the testicles, die Hoden???? Why are my balls feminine? German pedants may argue that all plurals have the feminine die but even those with a solitary, lonely, single testicle are given die Hode. A harder blow to the one-ball club I'd say...

Genitalia aside, the Germans are labelled, by the international cliches organisation, as an anal, humourless bunch. In my two years here, I have experienced events which could confirm this. I've been subjected to stand-up comedy that's made it to television and witnessed an auditorium worth of Germans guffawing at the lamest of jokes. I've sat in a cinema and heard people literally crying with laughter at something worth a small chuckle at the most. I've been screamed at for cycling on the wrong side of the cycle path. I've seen strangers bitching with each other for no real reason. And I've heard endless complaing and whinging.

Of course, cliches are cliches. I've met dozens of fantastic people who are kind, friendly and funny. But many would probably agree that Germany, and more specifically Hamburg, can be a bitch of a place to live!

On a more positive note, an exception to the German humourless cliche is Hape Kerkeling. He speaks enough English in this clip, Germans Abroad, to get the gist of what's going on. And even if you don't, take a moment to appreciate his language skills...

Enjoy.




1 comment:

Anji said...

Then pop to France and the table suddenly becomes feminine and so is a beard....
We still get episodes of the police series Derrick here in France, like watching a tap drip.