No (brain) pain, no gain :|
Last night’s German lesson took me straight back to 1993 – that year I arrived in the States with plenty of English in my brain but not enough speaking experience to actually get it out in coherent sentences.
The mental strain in the first few months actually made me physically exhausted (as well as frazzled my brain so much that I couldn’t even speak Estonian when I met an old Estonian lady a few months into my 1st year :|).
Speaking to my German tutor last night felt exactly the same – I was absolutely shattered and headachy after the 1.5 hour lesson. I had forgotten just how much effort it is to speak a language that you’re not fluent in.
I figure though that the brain is just like any other muscle – you need to exercise it and feel the pain in order for it to get stronger. The process is not nice and hurts a lot, but if one day I can speak German even a little bit easier than at the moment then I will be deliriously happy :)
Some of my lovely Twitter ‘friends’ have told me about satellite dishes that pick up German TV channels (I cannot wait to investigate so I can watch GZSZ again!) and pointed me towards funny sites like this to remind me of the importance of correct capitalisation in German, e.g.:
Die Spinnen! = The spiders!
Die spinnen! = They are crazy!
Er hatte liebe Genossen. = He had kind companions.
Er hatte Liebe genossen. = He had enjoyed love.
Helft den armen Vögeln. = Help the poor birds.
Helft den Armen vögeln. = Help poor people with sex.
That’s your German lesson for the day. You’re welcome :)