Friday, July 05, 2013

The joys of der, die, das

I had my first German lesson this evening and spent the walk home just positively thrilling to the feeling of learning again. Well, obviously it wasn't my very first German lesson. That was more like twenty-five years ago (hang on, twenty-five years? Aaagh, feel old now.)

I'll probably do three double-lessons altogether and then go back for more later in the year if I feel I need extra help with the German aspect of the translator course. I feel like all of that simple stuff that I didn't quite get or was too lazy to learn when I first started out is finally just within reach of finally being permanently lodged in my brain. Need to try and spend 30 minutes a day now, doing drills and reading proper books, stopping to actually pay attention to the grammar in the sentences and that kind of thing.

Of course I have gotten carried away with enthusiasm for having found someone who could give me lessons and sort of forgot to time the lessons to a month when I actually have money to pay for them. D'oh! Here's hoping my tax refund comes through very quickly and in the meantime I'll just have to juggle as best I can. It's 35 per teaching hour and I did bring 70 euro with me today to pay. Completing forgetting about the VAT. D'oh again! So next week I'll have to pay the 13.30 I missed today plus the 83.30 due after that lesson. That's nearly 100 euro I had not budgeted for so I'll be doing my best to make sure to spend as little as possible otherwise. I'll try to push the final lesson into August then. And I'll try really hard to implement what I did today into stuff at work immediately so that I could potentially convince my boss to cover some or all of the cost. She was amenable to the idea when I broached the topic of the translator exam (they won't pay for the course because officially it's an English course and as a native speaker, I'm not deemed to need one of them but she said she would approve the exam fees for me) but when I mentioned last week that I had found somewhere to have lessons, she didn't say anything. So it's just going to be one of those situations where I'll have to suck it up and just ask outright. The worst that will happen is that she'll say no, I suppose.

So today I also finally learned that Tee, Kaffee and Kakao are all masculine nouns. I learned last year that all  types of alcohol except beer are also masculine. It's amazing what a difference that kind of small trick can make in my thinking. I probably get it right 95% of the time anyway simply because I've gotten used to how things should sound but it's so great to just know for sure. I also now have severe dictionary envy and think I'll need to save up to get one of these sooner rather than later. Mind you, I should buy an equivalent in English, too - my only proper English dictionary is a very old Collins one that's about three inches tall - to say it's not entirely complete would be an understatement.

In other news, it was quarter-end and therefore billing time at work this week, which meant long hours and not really managing to keep to my meal plan for this week. Had some small successes but really need to get back into the swing of things now. Have done a meal plan for this week, trying to do a better job of taking account of various things planned (no point planning on cooking a dinner on a night I won't be home until after nine and that kind of thing). I even checked the weather forecast to try and plan accordingly.

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