I’m just curious about what German learners find annoying about the German language. The articles, grammar rules or the ponounciations. Please share your thoughts with us. :)
I love Twains's essay! :D
About what Katarina said,
"I have to have the whole sentence in my head before I even start saying anything, which requires careful planning."
I've heard that before and I keep wondering about that. If I speak English, it's not like I forget what object I was going to use when I reach the end of a long sentence. I'm not saying I don't understand the problem, I'm just curious about this. Maybe when you're still learning, you're too unfamiliar with the sentence patterns to choose one blindly?
Because, when I personally speak German, I just don't care what verb I'm going to use when I start the sentence, actually. I set the objects in the casus that seems right for what I want to say (Okay, so "the squirrel" is doing whatever a thing with "the tree"). Then, only when I reach the end, I see if I have a verb for my sentence. Now and then, I even find none. Happens.
I'd say sentence construction. The most important part goes to the end, so I have to have the whole sentence in my head before I even start saying anything, which requires careful planning. I just can't get used to it. And if a sentence is a bit longer, I just can't keep track of it, and I forget the beginning by the time I get to the end.
And articles wouldn't be a problem at all if I could ever remember which word has which gender. Having a gender system is not a problem in itself. My native language, Serbian, has three genders as well. I've learned other languages that have a gender system and it was never a problem. But in all of these languages, you just have to look at the last letter and you'll know which gender it is. Not so with German.
Have you ever read Mark Twain's classic essay The Awful German Language? It's quite hilarious.
About words like "Generalstaatsverordnetenversammlungen", he says "These things are not words. They are alphabetic processions!"
(If you YouTube the essay's title you can find it in audio form, if you prefer)
The most annoying experience I've had with the German language was when holidaying in Sweden, at a marina, we were approaching in a sailing yacht and a guy on the jetty (?) insisted on "helping" with the what's it called now... the mooring line. He somehow jerked the line in a way so I fell into the water between the quay and the boat. It cost me a 30 cm bruise that lasted 6 months, until X-mas, and an almost broken finger. The German only spoke German, it proved, so it had been quite impossible to communicate. I've since met other German tourists in the archipelago, they always want to help, but I brusquely ignore them to the point they find me impolite and get angry at me, but I'd rather not have a similar mishap. My lacking of being able to actually speak in German has really become an obstacle when holidaying along the Swedish coastline. I've considered taking classes but never got around to actually doing that.