What is the point of learning a new language when nobody understands each other? I thought I'd be able to express myself better, and to understand other people a little more if I added extra presets to my communications system.
Sprachenlernen macht Spaß! Oh, ja, es macht Spaß, UNLESS THAT LANGUAGE DEUTSCH IST! Grammatik? Was ist das!?
A sentence in German to the non-speaker is like one of those word-rearranging exercises in kindergarten, where as a kid, you see absolutely nothing wrong with sentences like "apple is like I to eat". Yet everything you think is right in German, is wrong, and the things you thought could have been wrong, are actually perfectly fine. When does the verb move to the end of a sentence? 🤷♀️
A lot of times, the only answer to "why" questions regarding language learning is the rather frustrating "because it just is like that!" While it is true that I can't blame the living for not knowing the truth that's been brought to the grave, I can blame them for not asking the dead when they were still alive and well. This reminds me of a story I heard somewhere, sometime ago while scrolling through my Newsfeed like an immobile imbecile. So it goes:
One day, a girl's mother was frying fish in the kitchen. Before putting the fish in the pan, her mother cut off the head and tail of the fish. Curious, she asked her mother: "why did you cut off the head and the tail?" and her mother replied, "well, I actually don't know. I do it because my mum used to do it!"
Unsatisfied with her mother's half-assed reply, the girl went and asked her grandmother instead. And again, her grandmother gave the same answer, that she doesn't know, that she did it because her mum used to do it!
The girl didn't just stop there.
After asking her grandmother, she went to her great-grandmother and asked the same thing: why did you cut off the head and tail of a fish before frying it?
Great-grandmother laughed and said "cause back then Darling, my frying pan wasn't big enough to fit the whole fish!"
If Grandmother and Mother had asked properly, then they'd know it makes no fucking difference whether they cut the head and tail or not, so long as the fish fits.
Language is more like an inheritance and a tradition, I suppose, where its heirs do not question it, but merely accept it, preserve it, and pass it on.
It has barely been a week since the new semester has started, and my angst is already overflowing. I wonder if it is possible to make it through this semester, when at its earliest, I've already given into despair.