Friday, September 5, 2008

How many books does it take...?

We first visited Germany together back in March and before we came, Aaron picked up a pocket-sized German phrase book. It has already proved invaluable when we're "on the spot" in a restaurant or store. When Aaron started private lessons in early June, our teacher loaned us two large hardback dictionary volumes- one is German-English and the other is English-German. Wonderful, but bulky! I had picked up a smaller dictionary at a used bookstore and that too is helpful because you can actually carry it around with you. We each have a set of books for our lessons- a reading book and a workbook. Phrase book, complete dictionaries, pocket dictionary, lesson books- that's six books! And we're not done!

How many of you recall your English grammar lessons from elementary school? Direct and indirect objects, predicate nouns, adverbial prepositions, relative pronouns- starting to ring a bell? No, me neither! So, we had to have a book of English grammar because if you don't know the rules of your own language you're hopeless for learning a second language!

Then, we started to tackle verb conjugations. In English this is not so complicated as in many other languages. There is a different form of a verb for "I" "you" "he/she/it" "we" "they" and the plural form of "you" (which we don't have but use "you guys," or "y'all.") And that is true for every tense of the verb- present , past , perfect , subjunctive, future. So, we needed The Big Yellow Book of German Verbs, featuring 555 fully conjugated verbs with a cross-referenced index of 4,200 verbs (see photo)! Could it possibly get any better than this?

Yes! There's more! We are moving beyond basics, starting to build sentences and asking a lot of questions about sentence structure, use of prepositions, etc. We found that we needed a reference book for German grammar. So, after extensive research on, I located Hammer's German Grammar and Usage, 4th Edition. I am waiting for the post man to ring the doorbell any minute to bring this latest treasure, which will bring our total number of books on German language to NINE!

Oh, and don't be fooled by the picture! I hardly ever look so cheerful when I'm studying!


linda said...

Oh mein Gott!

linda said...

Or is is..."Oh meine Gute"??