37 more hours:

il_570xN_216363172_largeThe amount of time that has yet to elapse before I will arrive home. This time has to include the following activities: packing, travelling to the airport, waiting at the airport, a short flight from Nuremberg to Frankfurt, an hour and a half wait in Frankfurt and a slightly longer flight to Dublin. It also has to include today’s work, tomorrow’s work, eating, sleeping and last minute panicking/excitement overloading. When you think about it, that’s actually not that much time to do everything. But if it kills me I will get everything done and I will get home with a smile on my face and a suitcase (probably overpacked) by my side.

It’s not as easy as just going home though. You see, I am surprising my brother for his 18th birthday and so he does not know that I will be home in 37 hours (hence the surprise). This means that I must pretend I am still in Nuremberg and doing mundane Friday evening activities, when instead I am actually amidst a whirl of planes, trains and airports. This also means that I must have a story in place. Normally my family and I Skype one another in the evenings, over dinner if possible, so it feels like we’re still all together. Seeing as I will be en route to the airport tomorrow evening, I will be unable to Skype home. Do you see the pickle I am in? My brother will wonder why we are not Skpying unless there is a reason for it, and the reason is this: my internet will not be working tomorrow evening.

I know what you’re thinking- but Claire, you said in your last post that your internet isn’t working any of the time: true (and well done for reading my last post). The internet situation is as follows: there should be internet in my apartment; there is not. I am currently using the wi-fi of another inhabitant in my building, who lives two floors beneath me (don’t worry, he knows about it; he gave me the password- it’s not illegal, I swear). I have complained numerous times to my landlord, but he has chosen to ignore my complaints. As of late he is rarely present in the building, in fact he could have died and I would be unaware. Therefore I cannot throw a hissy-fit in front of him like I had planned to do. This makes me sad and angry simultaneously.

Anyway, I’m getting sidetracked here. The point is, my internet connection is rather fickle as a result of the fact that I am using wi-fi from two floors beneath me. Therefore, it has happened before (and it will happen again tomorrow, mwahaha) that my internet has lost its signal and will not let me connect again for several hours. That is le plan to cover the fact that I will not be Skyping tomorrow evening. Now we must move on to my mother’s cover story.
My mum is going to collect me from the airport and I genuinely cannot wait for that. I will literally run to her like they do in the movies where people are reunited once again and dash to meet one another in a warm embrace. I will strive for this, but more than likely I will see her, start to run towards her, then promptly trip on my suitcase/big poofy coat and end up smack bam on the ground, my teeth rattling around in my head. I’m ever so graceful.

So mum is driving two hours up to Dublin to collect me and will then have to drive us two hours back. She will be gone ca. four hours (excellent maths right there). She has decided she will tell my brother she is going to a table quiz on the eve of his birthday to try and win him his present (she’s hilarious like that), he will roll his eyes, mumble something along the lines of “Ok, whatever, I’m going to play x-box” and thus the conundrum will be solved.

In less than 37 hours normality will be restored (well, as normal as my family can do). In less than 37 hours, I will be home.

Coming Home

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I have been waiting for the last almost seven weeks to get to see my family and my boyfriend again. Saying goodbye to them all that time ago was hard, very hard. I remember when mum and I arrived at the apartment that Sunday evening and it seemed as though everything was wrong (namely because everything was wrong). There was no internet (still isn’t), there were no shops open for us to buy any food for that evening or for breakfast the following day, there was no duvet or pillow for the ‘bed’, and basically everything else was wrong too. I remember becoming hysterical after Friedie had left. I couldn’t contain my sadness and my disappointment and every other emotion that was whirling around inside me. I was terrified to face this new place, where I knew no one and nothing, alone. Luckily the one person in the world who means the most to me was with there beside me to comfort me when I needed her the most. I broke down and cried uncontrollably, huge, wet tears running down my face and onto my clothes and into my hair. She let me wail into her shoulder until she too was covered with foundation and mascara. I could tell she was holding back her own tears. Of course, she did cry, but I knew she would have cried more had I not needed her so badly to be strong for me. She told me I had to stop crying, so I did, because she is my mother and I do what she tells me (some of the time). We had to go and get some fresh air. It seemed like we had been sitting inside for an eternity. It had started off with Paul driving us to the airport that morning. I say morning, but it was really more the middle of the night than anything. From there we waited in the airport. That was hard too, because every second I spent with Paul beside me, I knew I was getting closer to having to say goodbye to him. When I eventually did have to say goodbye, I started to cry. I found walking away from him seriously difficult to do, and the only reason I actually did it was because mum was there to console me when we got to the other side of the frosted glass. She was there the whole time-on the plane beside me as I slept, when we arrived at Munich airport and had to try and get train tickets to Nuremberg, on the train journey that seemed to last another eternity. I was so tired and sick of sitting down, but she was always there to my side to make small talk with. We both knew we were just trying to pretend like it wasn’t all really happening. Mum had been dreading that day for months, ever since she’d found out I would be going abroad for six months as part of my college course. I hadn’t really started to worry about it until the very end. Then, on that long train ride to my new place of abode, I began to fear like she had feared. That evening when we eventually arrived and during my sobbing session, I pleaded with her to bring me home with her. I know I wasn’t making it any easier for her; in fact I was probably breaking her heart with my desperate attempts to return home with her. I couldn’t face the thought of her leaving me the next day and me not seeing her again for what would seem like forever. The idea of her boarding a plane without me made me break down even more. That was when we went out and got food. She knew me so well. The food helped, but still didn’t change the fact that at that time I was truly miserable. The next morning would not be any easier. Waking up almost as early as the morning before, we arose to the tiny room that was, and still is, my living space. I think we had a granola and a Rice Krispies cereal bar for breakfast that day, luckily mum had brought them from home. I asked would I walk with her as far as the train station. She said no, she would go on her own. I don’t know was this so she could cry in peace, or so I could have another few minutes rest in bed after she left. Seeing her go was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to face. Closing the apartment door after the elevator had descended and taken my mother out of sight was so hard. Rushing to the window and opening it to the freezing cold air, so I could stick my head out and wait for her as she left the building was easy. I heard the front door open and saw my mother leaving. I waved frantically at her, and although she looked up towards me, she could not see me behind a part of the building that jutted out. I could not yell down to my mother, four floors beneath me, as it was still too early and I thought I would wake people up. Even if I had yelled down, I don’t know would she have heard me. There was a sharp breeze outside and my calls could have been carried away by the German wind. Or I could have opened my mouth to call out to her, and perhaps no words would have come; only a dry and course whispering sound. That was the last time I saw my mother in person. That was almost seven weeks ago. The time has passed, but slowly. I have not hugged my mother in almost seven weeks, and for me that has never happened before. Even at home if we have a flaming argument about something, chances are we’ll be back hugging one another again that same evening. It’s just how we are. She is my best friend in the whole world.

This weekend I go home for three days. It is a surprise for my brother’s 18th birthday. I have been waiting almost seven weeks for this one weekend. I’m coming home

Whaŧ’s diàcriticál abǒüt thåt?

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Sómǝthîng ŧhät thè €ngłish Ļanǧu@ge i$ clǝarlÿ mi§§ing iŝ ä løåd õf fūň điǟcritiçś!

Ok, I can’t summon the energy or the patience to do that for an entire post, so I’m going back to good ol’ basic English!
It is strange though how diacritics (the little marks added to letters to give them a specific phonetic value) are absent from the English language, considering that they are present in many other European languages; French, German, Swedish, Polish, Spanish, Croatian, Lithuanian, and my very own Irish, to name a few.
Part of me likes diacritics (the part that thinks they look cool; see the above diacritical sentence) and part of me thinks they’re just another way for languages to trick us by sounding different to how they look. Also, I do not like that each different diacritic has been given its own individual and complicated-to-remember name (acute, grave, breve, háček, tilde, macron… who can remember them all!). Therefore if I ever have to use a diacritic, I simply describe what it looks like; eg:

Ô = an O with a hat on it
à = an A with a squiggly line
Ů = a U with a pom-pom on top
Ş = an S with a comma

Easy peasy! If anyone knows why English doesn’t contain any diacritics then feel free to inform me below, I’d be interested to find out. Seeing as the purpose of a diacritic is to give stress to certain sounds, then maybe English’s lack thereof is indicative that there are no stresses in the language. Although I’m pretty sure that that’s not true, I’m now comparing what it would be like if instead of the word ‘fun’, we had ‘fün’, and it would be pronounced foon. Sorry, just the ramblings of my weary brain escaping there.
Anyway, that’s me finished for now. Get back to me with your best di@críticäl sentence and see if you can put mine to shame!

Diary of a Logophile

So true!

So true!

I’ll admit it, I love words. There, it’s out in the open.
I know I’ve kept it under wraps exceedingly well until now (says she writing a language blog!), but it’s time the truth came out.
I love words -nay- I lust them!

This post is going to celebrate and applaud the grandeur of words, synonyms and antonyms, anagrams, lexicon, grammar, syntax, word play and of course -my favourite- SPOONERISMS*!
*Spoonerisms, for those of you out there oblivious to the wonder of these phonetic transpositions, are when letters/syllables are swapped in words/phrases, usually as a slip of the tongue (or as a tip of the slung, teehe!) Sometimes these spoonerisms are harmless and merely result in you saying something odd-sounding like “I’ll be mare in a thinute” (I’ll be there in a minute), however they can also make sense when you swap the letters, for example, “go and shake a tower” (go and take a shower) and can even result in some hilarious moments; “she has tiny sh*tes” (she has shiny tights).
But i digress…

Back to business and on today’s agenda is being a logophile.
I reaslise how nerdy this makes me come off; I mean I’m literally (or is it figuratively) prouncing myself as a lover of languages. But I’m ok with that- in fact, I’m fervent about that! Or maybe I’m elated… curses on the thesaurus, it is both my rapture and my downfall!
Anyway, I’m just saying it’s not the worst thing to give a fook about languages and how we use them. People speak to express themselves, and if you can get your point across in a clear and concise manner then surely you should earn extra brownie points! No one wants to have a conversation with a babbling buffoon (well, I don’t anyway), so if you can use words wisely then you’re alright in my books 🙂
-Sidenote- using text talk, i.e. “Alri m8, u stil havn dat partE l8r?” is never allowed. I am very strict on this. If my own boyfriend texts me and there’s a spelling mistake in his message, you better believe he’s getting corrected- otherwise how will he learn the difference between ‘break’ and ‘brake’!

So, to sum up:
_Logophiles do not like spelling errors, unless they result in funny spoonerisms
_Logophiles are NOT averse to correcting your sentence structure while you’re still mid-sentence
_Logophiles (well, this logophile in particular) often prefer dictionaries to other humans
_Contrary to popular belief, logophiles are people too

A certain je na sais quoi

Eiffel Tower

What is it that attracts me to languages, words, different countries, cultures and people?
That’s exactly it, je na sais quoi!
There are a number of reasons why I (and I presume other people) love languages, words, countries, cultures and people.
I’ve listed some of my reasons below (feel free to add any of your own or even agree with mine) –

_Languages sound cool (try and deny it, but they do)

_People who speak different languages sound cool (mostly)

_Words allow us to say things (very helpful in everyday life)

_Words also allow us to sing things (either in the shower or in the company of others, depending on the level of talent)

_Countries are fun to visit and explore

_They provide lots of different (and colourful) flags to hang outside official buildings (or to sew together and make a cool new quilt)

_Different cultures mean different food (and you can’t say no to that)

_Experiencing a variety of cultures usually makes people more open-minded (usually)

_People (because maintaining a conversation with yourself can only last so long)

_Different people mean having a family, friends, a boyfriend/girlfriend, husband/wife, co-workers, bosses, etc. etc. to interact with (or to sing to, if you have the aforementioned talent)

It’s my time of the week

It's my time of the week

The fabulous Ms Perry sang it well 😉

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Accents / Akzente

English

Naturally I have an accent. I myself cannot hear this accent, but I have nevertheless been told it exists.

When people imitate me, they usually put on a high-pitched voice and talk very fast. I do not sound like this unless I am very excited or angry.

Ok so maybe I sound like this, but that’s not my accent, rather my voice.

Anyway, I’m getting off track!

What I wanted to talk about was whether or not accents are picked up when learning a foreign language.

I have a German friend who is going out with an Irish guy for over a year now. She now speaks English with a Cork accent (priceless to hear!).

I’m just wondering if I’ll speak German with a Bavarian accent when I return home. And if so, what does a Bavarian accent sound like? Hopefully less high-pitched!

Tell me about accents you’ve acquire over the years, and how long it took you to acquire them : )

* * * * *

Deutsch

Natürlich habe ich einen Akzent. Ich meinerseits kann dieser Akzent  nicht hören, aber trotzdem bin ich erzählt worden, dass es existiert.

Wenn Leute nach mich ahmen, normalerweise nehmen sie an eine schrille Stimme und sehr schnell reden. Ich klinge nicht so, außer wenn ich sehr aufgeregt oder verärgert bin.

Also vielleicht klinge ich so, jedoch ist das nicht mein Akzent sondern meine Stimme.

Jedenfalls, abschweife ich jetzt vom Thema!

Was ich wollte darüber zu sprechen war ob man sich an einem Akzent eignet oder nicht, wenn er eine Fremdsprache lernt.

Ich habe eine deutsche Freundin, die mit einem irischen Kerl mehr als ein Jahr geht. Jetzt spricht sie Englisch mit einem Cork Akzent (unschätzbar zu hören!).

Ich frage mich ob ich Deutsch mit einem bayerischen Akzent wenn ich nach Hause kehre spreche. Und wenn ja, wie klingt einen bayerischen Akzent? Hoffentlich weniger schrill!

Erzählt mir über Akzente, die ihr im Lauf der Jahre erworben habt und wie lange dauert es euch diese Akzente zu erwerben : )

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