Tuesday, January 15, 2008

It's Dark Not dunkel

Ah, Emma. Her world is so fun and simple. She is so excited about things and it brings such joy to the heart to be with her. When she almost tackles me after I come in the door and screams "daddy, daddy, daddy" all the way to the door. That is truly amazing.

We went shopping yesterday and she helped me carry some of the groceries home. It was a very nice time. Her exuberance gushes over into all around her. On the way home at about 5:00 p.m., dusk was turning into a night sky and Emma noted that it was dark.

Without me saying anything, she started telling me, or herself, or anyone who might be around. "It's dark. not dunkel." Then she repeated the statement, with emphasis. "Dark. Not dunkel."

This is most cute because they are really just the same word in two different languages. Most of the time Emma just easily switches from English to German in her understanding, but every now and then a word just won't go in. The word dunkel is one of them. She refuses to assign this German word to the English word dark. Hard to say why that is, but it is very adorable to watch her learn.


Annie said...

I don't know you, so it's kind of weird to write this, but my husband and I have talked about moving to Germany for work and we enjoy hearing about your family's experiences. I've missed the podcast ... it's fun to read your updates online!

Gardner said...

Wow! Thanks for the nice words. Best of luck with your goal of working in Germany.

Tobie said...


I just stumbled upon your podcast and to your blog from there. I am a mom of a 3 year old boy. We live in Ohio. But I'm taking German in college and want to teach my son, Hans :) how to speak German. My husband is very proud of his German heritage, but he is lousy with foreign languages. I'm pretty good with learning languages...I was a linguist when I was in the military.

Anyway, as I was listening to your latest podcast today and heard the story about Emma not wanting you to speak German to her, I just had to share my story about trying to teach German to Hans. I try here and there to speak German and teach some words to Hans. I am just in German 102, so I don't have a huge vocabulary myself and limited grammar to say much. But even when I say, 'Was?" oder "Ja" oder "Nein", Hans will get upset at me and says "Don't say Ja!" "Don't say Was!". Then I say, "Ich sage "Ja" gern!", then he really gets mad! :)

I really admire that you packed up your family and moved to Germany! I wish we could do it, but my husband has his mother living near us and also his children from his prevous marriage living here in Ohio as well. We work for the government, so getting an assignment to Germany wouldn't be impossible.

March 2007