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However, you will not be required to know any of these less common phrases for any problems or tests. The more formal phrases are guten Morgen , guten Tag , and auf Wiedersehen. The others are somewhat neutral on the formal-informal scale. In German, Herr and Frau are used instead of Mr. Schwarz — Herr Schwarz. Frau is used for married and unmarried women. Literally, der Herr means the gentleman and die Frau means the woman. If you use these words without a last name after them, you have to use an article before them; e. This is actually just like in English.
Note also that the German translation of the man is der Mann and the lady should be translated to die Dame. Thus, without last names you would rather use these pairs:. The test consists of three parts: pronunciation, vocabulary, and translation. As always, you should write down your answers before you check them. Writing the German words is in fact a great way to practice the spelling of German words. The vocabulary and translation problems are all from English to German because this is what you have to learn if you want to communicate in German.
Once you are able to translate an English word to the corresponding German word, it won't be any problem to translate the German word back to English. Literally, Freizeit means free time , i. In this dialogue, Franz and Greta are familiarizing each other with their sports activities. All three verbs that you were introduced to in Lesson 2 are irregular in some way; however, most verbs are regular verbs.
Unfortunately, there are more endings in German. The following two tables show the endings for the two regular verbs spielen to play and machen to do; to make :. As you see, the endings are the same for corresponding forms of spielen and machen. In fact, they are the same for all regular verbs. Thus, you can always just remove the -en from the infinitive of a regular German verb to form the stem e. Here is a table with these endings:. Note that in English one plays sport, while in German one does sport. You can also use the question words from Lesson 3 to form more combinations:. Both German and English have compound sentences; the applications of these are enormous.
They can be used in lists and also in compound sentences. For example,. The new word, also — auch is very important. The one grammar rule about auch is that it always comes after the verb. Schauen , schreiben and schwimmen are all regular verbs; i. To conjugate them, you first remove the -en from the infinitive to form the stem i.smatfecderihip.gq/3116-rumana-busca.php
From Japan Back to Germany - Major Reverse Culture Shock
Here is an example:. Arbeiten is an irregular verb; however, it has a simple change. Whenever the ending starts with a consonant, an -e- is added before it. For example, du arbeit e st not du arbeitst. Lesen is also an irregular verb. For the second and third person singular the form is liest , i. Sehen is the last irregular verb. There are two common verb forms in English that just don't exist in German: the ing-form or: present progressive ; e.
The simple rule is: these constructions don't exist in German. Thus, you should translate I am playing to ich spiele. Similarly, I do play is also translated to ich spiele. Anything else ich mache spielen or ich bin spielen is either not possible in German or has a different meaning. The phrase I do not play should be translated to ich spiele nicht literally: I play not since nicht not comes usually after the verb.
This may sound like Early Modern English in a play by Shakespeare, and this is no coincidence since German and English are both West Germanic languages. In German, there are several ways to express likes and dislikes; this is just one of them. You can also add other verbs for other activities, e. To express preference, you can use lieber instead of gern. For example, I prefer to play basketball. To express favorite activities, you can use am liebsten meaning most of all instead of lieber or gern. For example, Most of all, I like to play chess.
To express dislikes, you can use nicht gern instead of gern , for example I don't like to swim. Numbers are among the most important and most useful words: we need them to talk about time, amounts, money, etc. Even if you are "just" a tourist, you often cannot avoid numbers. Learning numbers can be a bit of a pain; thus, here is some advice: whenever you have time, count something in German; e.
Notice the pattern: -teen translates to -zehn , and -ty to -zig. There is one big problem with the numbers: in German the unit position comes before the tens and is connected by und and. One exception is eins which becomes ein- in 21, 31, 41, etc. German is not the only language with this "reverse" order of numbers: Danish another Germanic language and Arabic do it the same way. To go straight to the lesson test, go here.
The test will have four parts to it: Grammar 79 points , Translating 95 points , Reading Comprehension 20 points , Vocabulary 20 points , and Previous Topics 10 points in that order. The Grammar section will test your ability to know the verbs from this lesson and its various versions, to know articles - the genders of them and the correct usage of them, and correct word order. The Translating section is worth the most points, and it too has three sections. You must know the translations for sentences and phrases going from English to German, and be able to take a German dialogue and translate it back into English.
Also you must know the translation from Numbers to German. The third section, Reading Comprehension, is Comprehension Questions you must know how to read the conversion and after reading you will be asked question on the previous conversion. The fourth section is a vocabulary section. You get 20 English words on the left and 20 German words on the right, and be asked to match them. To study for that, check out the flashcards related to this lesson at FlashcardExchange. The last section, Previous Topics, is a quick review on Lesson 1 to get ready for this section, just look at some past notes or go to Lesson 1 and study.
That is the whole test. Take it! As you know from the introduction , in German, there are four cases. Three are used often. The first, Nominative Case , you learned in Lesson 1. It covers the subject , and the predicate noun in "He is noun. The second, the Accusative Case , you will learn now. It covers the direct object and the object of several prepositions. The third, the Dative Case will be taught later on. It covers the indirect object and the object of many other prepositions.
The object of a sentence will be in accusative case. In, "You hurt me. However related words, such as possessives and the kein- words that you will learn later this lesson, will end in eine for plurals. Therefore above, der Hamburger goes to den Hamburger and ein Hamburger goes to einen Hamburger when the hamburger is the direct object, such as in "Er hat einen Hamburger. If you are getting confused, it's fine.
This topic is one of the hardest for English speakers to grasp. Here are some solutions:. To find out the case of something, first find the verb. The verb rules the sentence. Everything revolves around it. Next you find the subject of the sentence. The subject is always in the Nominative Case , so it takes on the der, die, das, die, or ein, eine, ein.
Now you look back at the verb. If it is a being verb am, are, is, etc. An easy way to figure this out is to write an equation. If it can't be replaced by an equals sign, refer to the next paragraph. The predicate noun is also always in the Nominative Case , so the same rules apply to it. If the verb of the sentence is an action verb playing, throwing, making, eating , find what the subject is doing the verb to. For example, if the verb is "makes" macht , you look for what is being made. That is the direct object. The direct object is always in the Accusative Case , so it takes on the den, die, das, die, or einen, eine, ein.
A Journal of Travel, Migration, and Multiculturalism in the German-speaking World
The indefinite articles, when you just look at their endings, select e, -, e for nominative case, and en, e, -, e for accusative. Remember, between nominative and accusative, the only third-person change is in the masculine form. The pronouns experience a much bigger change than the articles. This is also true in English, as the articles a, an, the do not change ever, but I goes to me , we goes to us , etc. Not everything is the same, though. While me is mich and us is uns , the second and third persons undergo different changes.
In third person, as in the articles, the only change is in masculine singular. Following the "der goes to den" rule, er goes to ihn when in the accusative case.
The second person in English never changes. In German, du goes to dich and ihr goes to euch. Sie , the formal version of either, stays the same. Remember, Sie 2nd person formal and sie 3rd person plural only differ in their meanings and the fact that the former is capitalized and the latter is not.
This stays true throughout German grammar. Note: This is just a quick lesson in English grammar applied into German. If you already know all about antecedents in English, skip the first paragraph. When using a pronoun, you have to know what it is for it to work. There are some rare exceptions, such as in mysteries or drama, but otherwise this is always true. Sometimes in dialogue this is taken care of by pointing or making some other gesture, but most of the time, the pronoun modifies something already mentioned.
In German this is very useful. You can't simply say 'it' any more. Many food words are masculine and feminine, and when you turn them into pronouns, they turn into 'he', 'she', 'him', and 'her', not always 'it'. For example, the sentence "The cheeseburger tastes good. It's very crunchy. He's very crunchy. Why is it "he"? This is where the antecedent comes in.
Because there are foods that are masculine and feminine in German, you can't assume the 'es'. You have to look back at the previous sentence, at the antecedent, der Cheeseburger. Of these five verbs, only trinken and bekommen are regular. Essen is irregular that's what the "I" means. Do you remember from the last lesson 'lesen' and 'sehen'? Well essen experiences the same change, except that it changes to 'i', not 'ie'. Also, it acts the same as 'lesen' in the du-form: You don't have three s's in a row. Isst sounds and looks a lot like ist. The minute difference happens to be in the way you pronounce the s.
When you mean eats it is sometimes an overstressed hissing i. In normal life Germans, too, can only tell which verb is meant from knowing the context. The last two verbs marked M are modals. They will be discussed in the next section. In the introduction , you learned that German has no helping verbs. Instead, they have modals , words that basically do the same thing.
Modals are conjugated very differently from normal verbs. Most modals experience a vowel change from singular to plural, and the rest is the same. Here is the complete conjugation:. However, will can also mean an intent or a document showing what one wants to happen. So it is not so different from 'to want' as possibly originally presumed. This is very important. When you need to use another verb with a modal such as expressing you would like or want to perform an action , the sentence's word order is somewhat different than it would be in English. In English, you would state the subject pronoun such as "I" , an English equivalent to the modal verb such as "want" , the action you want to perform such as "to eat" and then what the action will be performed on such as "hamburger" , making the sentence "I want to eat a hamburger.
In German, instead of saying, "I'm hungry. Here are the German translations of the corresponding nouns:. Like in English, these two words do not have a plural form. When using them, you don't need to worry about the 'der'; you can just say, "Ich habe Hunger" to say "I am hungry" and "Ich habe keinen Hunger" for "I am not hungry.
Somewhat archaic but still in use are the adjectives hungrig and durstig. In Lesson 1 , you learned how to talk formally, using phrases like "Guten Morgen! There are, however, a few words that are 'survival words' in Germany, specifically:. Twice you have been taught that the ending of the indefinite article for plurals would be eine for Nominative and Accusative cases , if there was an indefinite article for plurals. Now that lesson applies. The k ein-words have the same endings as the ein-words, and they mean the opposite: no, not any, none.
For example, "kein Cheeseburger" means "no cheeseburger". Notice the 'e' at the end of 'keine'. There are many restaurants you might find in Germany. Much like in English-speaking countries, you would more likely use the name of the restaurant than name what kind of restaurant. If you want to address the wish to eat a certain food, there are two ways:. There are few American restaurants, in Germany and they are mostly referred to as " American Diner", so it is not used like "zum Italiener".
You read at the beginning of this lesson that the Accusative Case covers the direct object and the objects of some prepositions. Here are those prepositions that always fall under Accusative Case. You learned um last lesson, and ohne earlier this lesson. Up until this point, you have only worried about the Accusative Case in third person. Here's an example:.
In German as in English there are several ways of telling how food tastes. You can do this with 'gut' and 'schlecht' from Lesson 1 to say:. But this is bland. Hopefully the food has more flavor than the description of it. You can use the following words to more colorfully describe how the cheeseburger tastes:. The first and second persons really shouldn't be used. No one is going to say, "You guys taste salty" or "I taste creamy. You can use 'schmeckt' and 'schmecken' or 'ist' and 'sind' to state how the food tastes.
Just use whichever one you would use in English and it'll usually be correct. Although the English meaning of schmecken is simply to taste , "Schmeckt der Cheeseburger? In other words, schmecken alone can mean to taste good. You could be talking about a cheeseburger that is not directly in front of you.
It just isn't clear. Now, if you said, " This cheeseburger tastes good. It changes forms in different situations: different genders and different cases. It can also mean 'these' when modifying a plural. Here are its forms:. As you can see, dieser is only appropriate for modifying masculine nouns in nominative case. But 'Cheeseburger', which is masculine, is the subject of the sentence, "Dieser Cheeseburger schmeckt gut. Jeder means 'every'. It acts exactly like 'dieser' in its endings, so it should be easy to remember. Here are the different forms:. Notice the absence of the plural form.
When you think about this, it's the same in English: no one says 'every books'. However, because the general subject has to be specified, welcher must be inflected before use: "Welcher Hamburger ist seine? You might want to say 'every day', 'this week', 'every morning', or 'which Tuesday night? But to do this, not only do you need to know the jeder-forms, but also the genders of the times and the cases.
The second one is easy: Whenever you do something at a certain time, that time is put into Accusative Case. Last lesson, you learned the gender of one time: der Tag. So now you know everything to say 'diesen Tag', 'jeden Tag', and 'welchen Tag? Here are the cases of all the times in Lesson 2 :. When extending to 'which Tuesday night? Likewise, you can say 'every June' the same as 'every month': 'jeden Juni'. Look at the second sentence of each of these German dialogues. What's missing? That's right, instead of "Der Cheeseburger schmeckt sehr gut.
We're left with just the articles, only in this case, they aren't articles. They're demonstrative pronouns. Demonstrative pronouns aren't scary. They're just the same as the normal pronouns, only they give more oomph to the sentence. They can be translated as either 'this' or 'that' "I'd like a cheeseburger. That tastes very good. These I like. Demonstrative pronouns are exactly the same as the definite articles well, there is one change in dative, but that will be covered in Lesson 7. If you are not sure of the gender meaning in context, the speaker doesn't know, not that you've forgotten that it's 'der Cheeseburger' , use 'das', like in "Was ist das?
One Euro is worth Cents. If you say "Ich habe vier Euros. Because the backsides of euro coins look different in each country, many people in Europe have started collecting foreign euro coins. In this case you can say "Ich habe irische Euros.
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There is not yet a rule whether or not the word "Cent" has a different plural form. The majority of Germans are using the word "Cent" as a plural form, but when they don't it is simply "Cents". For "Cent" there are two pronunciations: you can either pronounce it as in English or you say "tzent". The latter version seems to be preferred by older people.
You can also say, " Herr Ober , die Rechnung bitte! The term "der Ober" is the waiter, but this sounds very old fashioned and is hardly ever used today. To address the waiter you would probably say "Entschuldigen Sie, The test will be located here , but the test for this lesson is not yet completed. In fact, almost all words with the ending -chen are neuter. In every Lesson from 7 - 15 there is going to be a featured German-Speaking city, which will be the theme of the lesson. For 7 - 8 it is Berlin. Also in each lesson there will be facts, so if you ever travel to a German-Speaking country, it'll be like you are a native!
That means that they are 6 hours ahead of E. If it's pm in New York City, it's pm or locally. Please note that Germany changes to and from daylight-saving time a few weeks before the U. In contrast to many other countries where waiters sometime 'live on the tips' in German-speaking countries service personnel always receive a regular wage usually per hour and the tip is always an extra for good service. Not to give a tip will probably give the waiter the impression that either service or product were not that good and you are too polite to admit this, but not tipping is not considered 'rude'.
Also, tipping is only expected when you get served, i. Only when having a large party, like celebrating your birthday in a restaurant, you do extra tipping. In many restaurants it is normal the tip is shared with the kitchen personnel. Paying with credit card or debit card makes tipping difficult, because there is no line on the bill to fill in the tip.
Always tip when paying, don't leave money on the table. There are two major shopping locations. It continues eastwards for about three hundred yards where you can visit KaDeWe , the biggest department store in Europe. Shops are generally open 9am-8pm Monday through Saturday. In the outskirts most shops close at 4pm on Saturdays.
There is a lot to say about shopping, places to shop at, money and items to buy. In this lesson we will cover most of it. There are two big shopping locations in Berlin. Another shopping location is das KaDeWe, an upscale department store in Germany. It has six floors, and Is also called "The department store of the west" Kaufhaus des Westens because it is the largest and most magnificent department store on continental Europe. Since we already have most of the general shopping phrases and vocabulary down, we are going to get into more detail in the next few sections.
First is electronics: it might seem a little sparse, but electronics and much other stuff will be featured in Lesson If you look at the word order of this sentence, you will see that you've already learned everything you need to make these sentences, and you, yourself can customize these sentences if you want. The bedding section is also quite bare, but that is because it will be discussed further in Lesson Currently 1 EUR is 1.
Even though in the vocabulary we list the 1, 2, 5, 10, Euro there are more Euro notes. The twenty, fifty, two hundred, and five hundred Euro notes are the ones we didn't list, also there are cent coins. In written German, a comma is used e. The reverse is also true. Where as English uses a comma to split up large numbers, German uses a dot.
Now if you try something on or you're looking for a soft shirt with a tight fit, you find it, feel it, try it on, but it's fairly expensive you might say this In English: The shirt looks great! The shirt feels soft, fits tight. The shirt is very comfortable. How much does it cost? Oh no! The shirt is expensive! In German: Das Hemd sieht prima aus!
Das Hemd ist sehr bequem. Wieviel kostet es? Oh nein! Das Hemd ist teuer! Now, the bold words are verbs that are one part in describing how the shirt is. The other half of describing it is the adjectives like soft, tight, great, etc. And as you can see the verb "looks" is separable, but we will get into that later. And now getting into verbs - here are some of the verbs, and also some of these are Separable-Prefix Verbs, like aussehen, anprobieren, and anhaben. But we will study those in more detail later. Also we will be learning about "tragen". Many German verbs change their meaning by adding prefixs, which are often preposition such as ab-, an-, auf-, aus-, bei-, ein-, mit-, vor-, or zu-.
The verbs anhaben to wear and aussehen to look are both verbs with separable trennbar prefixes.
German-Chinese Bureau of Economic Research (GCB) | China Economic Bulletin
That is, when used next to the subject pronoun, the prefix is separated from the verb and put at the end of the sentence or clause. Or, better put, In the present tense and imperative, the prefix is separated from the infinitive stem. However, when the separable-prefix verb is put at the end of the sentence, such as when used with a modal verb, the verb in question and its prefix are not separated. Instead of "anhaben" the verb "tragen" is often used. The sentences from above would then be:.
The verb "tragen" has two meanings: "to wear" and "to carry". So if someone says "Ich trage Schuhe" only the context will tell you whether the person is carrying the shoes in his hands or actually wearing them. Tragen is a different kind of irregular verb -- one that not only changes at the end of the word, but also changes internally.
Other verbs with similar conjugation patterns include fahren, graben, schaffen, and waschen. Color are also another great way to describe clothes like Das rote Hemd passt gut. Wir fahren in den Schwarzwald. Die Reise war lang. There are many banks of all kinds throughout the country. Banks are open Mon-Fri 9ampm and pm.
On Thursdays, they are open until or 6pm. Changing money is best done at a bank because their rates will be better than exchange services located at a Bureau de Change. Major post office branches and travel agents also offer currency exchange. Germany is one of 15 European countries that have replaced their national currencies with the Euro, which is stronger to the U.
Dollar, but weaker than the British Pound. Home is where the heart is, they say. And what is in the home? It'll give all vocabulary for the family, and later in a different section, you'll learn how to describe your brothers and sisters or any person! And now to get started lets do some vocabulary Now even though many of these are common phrases you and I would say in everyday life, some of these are rather used when you are on a visit to grandmother's, or things your mother would say.
Maybe you notice some of these in the dialogue. Now you might be asking "How am I going to speak fluent German, if I just learn phrases? Okay let's get started on these common phrases Some very conservative families might still use Sie with grandparents or even parents! This is sometimes practiced in families of nobility or exterritorial cultural islands in which older German customs have survived.
However, using "Sie" feels very outdated to the vast majority of people. In practically every family all members use du with each other. I can't describe in words how important this section of the lesson is. Even though you have already learned to describe to some degree, here we will introduce a new aspect of describing, and we will review. But how could we describe if we didn't have vocabulary? Here it is The verb used most often for describing is " to be " which we learned in the first lesson. Some examples are: He is wet, This is stupid, I am lazy.
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But you do use other verbs like feel, look, etc. This lesson we will be sticking mostly with the verbs we've learned in the past. We will, however, learn one new verb. All sentences we will create will be in the nominative case. Okay, let's get started! In term of beauty, you can say four basic things. These aren't the all but these are the easiest and simplest ones. These two use the verb to be , and the next one will use the verb to look which would need something else in order to make sense. And in the last sentence it says "ausgesehen. So since you get the idea of describing, let's learn a new verb!
And the new verb is klingen which is to sound. As in "He sounds weird. There we go! And in their mind at least all Western-looking foreigners have to be from America and thus speak English, but surely no Japanese. Most of the time, they will treat you exactly like those tourists. And you, you get annoyed. They will clap their hands when they notice that you can use chopsticks or like to eat natto or goya.
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American, yes!!? Most of the time the foreigner actually WILL be American or at least form an English-speaking country, so the Japanese have their point in expecting that. However, being expected to be American becomes annoying after some time. Do you get what I mean? So what? The kind of faces you get to see, shocked, amazed, perplex etc. I live in Japan. Especially if you want to stay for a certain time or maybe forever. And it works well because their English level is usually very low and my Japanese — while far from being perfect — is always good enough. Many of those people are married or have at least a Japanese partner and plan to stay long-term.
I know some of those people very well. I experienced it every day with my previous co-workers, for example. Whenever I asked them something e. Foreign men. Lazy foreign men. They have a Japanese wife at home. For example, we stink, we are dangerous, we keep a gun or a knife with us all the time, we cannot eat with chopsticks, do not like Japanese food esp. Apartments are often not rented to foreigners.
Most of the time it will be the company you work for that has to rent it. It can be very difficult to get a proper credit card in Japan — even for people who have been here for more than 10 years. I could go on for much longer ……. Foreigners have parties, play video games and whatnot every night. They sit in the train and scream their conversations while having 2 or 3 cans of beer.
Exactly …. Those who actually sleep at night or at least are quiet , separate their garbage properly, pay their bills on time, cause no trouble at all. I could tell you stories ….!! There are many black sheep among them as well. They go berserk! Just like expected — and there their rant has started again. I mainly posted about the negative things of being a foreigner in Japan today. Of course there are some positive things as well. Feel free to discuss and share your opinion or experience! I have a Japanese friend who is much better at German than she is English we usually speak in Japanese but when she meets German people she whips it out and gets really excited to speak German because she has really fond memories from her time there.
Yes, they do. As you might know I lived in the boonies for 4 years. Even I hear all sorts of languages every time I visit big cities. In the countryside, they rarely meet any foreigners — so American is always the first that comes to their mind. Yes, I remember you mentioning that on Twitter to me, too. It seems you at least attempted to study Japanese seriously but then stopped for the mentioned reason.
Personally, though, I still think you always should learn the language of the country you decided to live in — no matter how difficult. I swear things get easier, too! Very good question! All the more NOT where I live. We were both female, the same age, she wanted to study German and I wanted to study Japanese. After her retunr to Japan, I visited her and her family once. I was invited to her wedding. Now she also has a little girl. I really miss her a lot. After my move to Japan things changed. She also lost her ability to speak German more and more. Nowadays we speak in Japanese only.
I have no idea how good her English is. We never even once spoke in English. However, many people I meet mainly through my traveling and also my conversation students are TRULY very interesting in German culture and language and are so happy when I share it with them. German used to be a major language for doctors in Japan until a few years ?! These lines express unease at the expectation that identity should reside firmly in one language and, furthermore, that this language should be accessible in dreams. It is thus implied that the individual can exist fully only in one language:.
Here Tawada works overtly with images of territory and language. It is not until a third party that a Dutch woman finally identifies the dream language as Afrikaans. While the protagonist welcomes this revelation, unfortunately it does not help her to negotiate better the dreaded question.
In fact, it seems to make matters far worse: she has neither visited Africa nor studied Afrikaans Ostensibly about supermarket client cards that offer consumer rewards in countries around the world while tracking customer purchases, the essay provides a number of insights regarding language, regional dialects, geography, and belonging. The situation calls to mind a similar episode in Boston:.
Ich verstand die Frage zuerst nicht, die Kassiererin wiederholte sie. The narrator considers how the names of such cards vary from place to place, and then ponders the lexical items that are indigenous to particular locations. She recalls, for instance, that in Switzerland there are approximately 75 variants of the word for ladybug When asked whether she has a bicycle Velo in Swiss German , she relates languages and documents:.
Haben Sie eine Zunge? Das ist eine wichtige Frage. Each question prompts a consideration of how the object in question legitimates presence in a particular place. The phonetic similarity between the Swiss German word Velo and the Japanese word for tongue reminds the narrator how a shared language creates a sense of belonging and community. The essay continues to mimic the structure of dream, interspersing realistic episodes with more surreal elements; for instance, characters appear unexpectedly or seem inexplicably changed, and the narrator has no firm sense of the passage of time or the relationship between events 87, 85, The fragmentary nature of the essay allows for disjointed reflections on everything from the sounds and structure of Afrikaans and Xhosa, a language the narrator encounters in a nearby township, to the history of South African apartheid.
Ich war also ins Japanische hineingeboren worden, wie man in einen Sack hineingeworfen wird. If languages create spaces of belonging, however, then concomitantly they also create barriers of exclusion. Language, she maintains, can indeed be adopted or internalized.
But this clearly makes some uncomfortable. If languages create boundaries, then to translate oneself into another idiom might be regarded as an act of transgression. Drawing a parallel to the German situation, the narrator points out that native German speakers may also have proprietory instincts about their native language:. Within such a framework, even switching linguistic allegiances might be regarded as suspicious. For some, translation constitutes treachery, a distortion of intended meaning. Tawada in Dittberner , Tawada thus casts doubt on the notion of a subject who can master the signs of language.
She points instead to the gulf that exists between perception and language, a space that she wishes to illuminate in her own writing. Later in this interview, she demonstrates how translations from one language to another can help render this space more clearly visible This brief text consists simply of German to Chinese translations, where both entries are rendered in German, but the Chinese translations are literally expressed.
The other entries, however, do not mirror each other in this way.
Each entry therefore shows a gap between the two languages. Factors such as gender, age, social status, and the relationship between speakers affect the choice between the many possibilities: boku , ore, atashi , watashi , atakushi , watakushi. The essay revolves around a childhood memory about a young girl who referred to herself as boku , a masculine pronoun.
This prompts reflection on the various subject positions available in Japanese, a problem that is non-existent in German:. Das Problem der Selbstbezeichnung verlor ich auch aus den Augen.
"Schlager" English translation
The image of the empty bottle offers a metaphor for the use of the German first-person pronoun, which is emptied of the many markers of age, gender, status, etc. Tawada thus reminds us how movement across geographical boundaries may involve the translation of the self into another linguistic medium. Here translation from Japanese to German offers a liberating space of altered subject positions where the self is freed of the numerous self-identifications required in Japanese.
Here translation from the spoken to the written word constitutes loss, as the voice is erased as it is represented in the signs of written language. Ultimately, though, all these essays consider the theme of the translated self, the multilingual subject who continually moves across linguistic borders.
Like the narrator, P lives between locations and languages. We learn nothing of her appearance, although a photo is taken at the outset of the narrative. The narrator can no longer remember where certain conversations with P took place Language transports her to another place and time in a way that visual memory cannot. Tawada reflects on travel and translation of various sorts: the geographic displacement of speaking subjects, the translation of lived experience and cognition into acts of speech and writing, the carrying over of significance from one language into another, and the translation of the subject into another cultural or linguistic medium.
Tawada thus suggests the fallacy of the notion of a world without borders: even as geographical borders may seem increasingly insignificant, linguistic boundaries may nevertheless remain intact. In fact, the crossing from one linguistic territory to another may prove a more radical change of environment than mere physical displacement. Certeau, Michel de.