Looking for Words

For those who may not know, I’m beginning the summer in Waldkirch, Germany with the GAPP students from ROHS.  Like them I am staying with a host family.  My German goes back to high school, so I understand it somewhat well,  but I have had very little experience with speaking it for the past thirty years.  For the past week, though, I’ve noticed some funny things happening with the way I think and speak.  My hosts and most of the people I deal with speak English well.  When I need to be understood or if we’re having a conversation that is moving quickly,  English seems to work fine.  At the same time, however, I am constantly thinking of how to say things in a way that will be clear to them, so I’m not exactly speaking the way I would normally.  I am also at the same time constantly surrounded by people speaking German.  On goal I had for this trip was to improve my own German, so I’m also always trying to think of how to say what I’m saying in German.  I find myself switching between languages between sentences, or between words, or translating myself while I speak in ways that I don’t expect. When I start to think and talk,  I’m never quite sure what will come out.  This is probably how we normally go through the day, but between two languages I’m very conscious of this uncontrollable tossed word salad of my thoughts.  Yesterday I was at a music concert and it was about a minute before I realized I could understand what the musician on stage was saying because he was speaking English.  Anyhow,  keep blogging and check out these AP Lang sites from last year under the tab at the top of this page.  Comment on them.

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