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funny things have happened since I started German #2

Ever since I've gotten a general understanding of the German language I've noticed myself do things I didn't do before...

a) Pronunciation Problem

When I'm reading that little voice in my head sometimes pronounces "v"s like "f"s and "w"s like "v"s

b) I forget how to sing the Alphabet Song

In German there's no rest between "s" and "t" so they can make room for "y" (upsilon) and so when I sing it in English my rhythm gets thrown off.

c) I want to say short phrases in German

I catch myself asking "was ist das?" or "wie geht's?" or if I fall down skiing and someone asks me if I'm okay, I want to respond "alles gut!" but I have to stop myself:)

d) Dreams

Always the dreams, whether it's a bad dream because I'm stuck in a German speaking country and my German's no good, or if it's a good dream because I can understand what people are saying, I dream in German a lot.

e) Sometimes when I forget a word in English the first one that comes to mind is the German word for it. Once in Geography I just couldn't remember how to say "Switzerland"

f) Almost always when I say a simple sentence in English I repeat it in my head in German.

This is a continuation of my last post here

February 24, 2016



The thing I've noticed most lately is that with English word games (like Boggle or Scrabble) I keep wanting to use German words, and then I get stuck in the mindset of German for a second until I consciously make an effort to steer myself back. It's strange.

Also, not as much anymore, but still ocassionally, I'll get random German words or phrases stuck in my head. Like I'll just be saying "Kuhlschrank" to myself over and over for like an hour, lol. It's actually somewhat annoying.

And yeah, I dream in German sometimes too. Usually it's me speaking with a native speaker, and I can come up with how to express myself more easily than in real life for some reason. Granted the native speaker and I are both only as good as my current German abilities... but it's always very exhilarating when this happens.


Ha! For me it's Frushtuck (sorry can't do umlauts on this keyboard) and Flugzeug. Something about those words turn them into earworms for me.


Ohrwurm oh holy crap as soon as I read it that's what I thought


A native German friend of mine that has been in the US for the past decade told me that when he was learning English(almost spelled that Englisch..argh) he realized that he had the language down when he started to dream in English. It sounds like you have made it to that stage in your studies, congratulations!!


I also do things like that all the time. It is annoying sometimes, but mostly fun since I like to play around with words, compare words, rhyme and all that. What annoys me the most at the moment is that I am learning German from English - and I come from Sweden. Those are good conditions for mixing some stuff up! ^^

The worst of this was when I learned French and Spanish at the same time. I had the same teacher in these languages too, and I kept on mixing the two languages. I had a test once, and was really stressed. I finished it and turned it in. One week lather my teacher shows up, laughing - I had gotten it all right but in the wrong language...


oh that's hilarious! such a polyglot thing to do!


Very common. You get used to it. :)


I'm experiencing that with Spanish and Irish too :/


Sometimes my German interferes with my Spanish when I'm trying to find a Spanish word. It seems that English, my first language, would jump it. Enjoy.


I think the alphabet song pause/non-pause is for the rhyme - "pe" (P) rhymes with "we" (W) but in English "pee" (P) rhymes with "vee" (V).

If you paused the same way in German as in English, you'd have "....el em en o pe; ku er es, te u vau" and would by rhyming "pe" and "vau", which... don't rhyme.


For the alphabet song, I was taught in school to sing/chant it to the tune of those "I don't know, but I've been told" type American military chants (I'm not American though - no idea if this is a standard German alphabet tune or just my teacher doing that to make it easier differentiate between alphabets) XYZ still doesn't really work though! Does make it easier having the alphabet to a different tune than the "Twinkle, twinkle little star" one used for English.

I haven't started to dream in German yet, but I keep misspelling English words with German style spellings (sh = sch, c = k etc), so hopefully I'm not too far off! :P


The standard German alphabet song is, as far as I know, sung to "Twinkle, twinkle, little star" / "Ah, vous dirai-je maman".


I say gute nacht more than I say good night now.


I keep saying Das ist Kalt when I drink something cold or when I'm outside. I once kept wondering why when I was updating my Facebook status on my phone, why it was auto correcting "is" for the longest until I realized it was the German keyboard. Also I mix my languages sometimes in one sentence. Once I somehow managed to mash English, Italian and German in one sentence. While trying to describe my family in my beginner Italian class I mixed German in cuz I could not remember some words. Made my Italian professor laugh her head off. Also now I think spelling "Hello" this way is wrong.


Very cool. I lived in Germany for a little over a year, and I had similar problems, as I began to learn the language a bit. The dreams about being stuck somewhere and no one understood me, or repeating things in my head in German were common.

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