Once upon a time when I was a camp counselor, I had the opportunity to work with a variety of counselors from around the globe. The one counselor who really suck with me was Mia who was from Croatia, and it was her 1st time on American soil. She spoke English better than most Americans and it wasn’t textbook English – it was conversational English. She knew and used all the colloquialisms – without a trace of her native country’s accent.
I wanted to know what her secret was. Where did she learn such Americanisms? “TV, ” she replied. Apparently in Croatia she was able to access American television and picked up the language merely from exposure. “It’s how I learned German, too,” she added. “MTV was broadcasted in German, so I just picked it up.” Wow.
As I’m learning German, I remembered what Mia had said and how most people pick up a language: complete submersion. It’s near impossible here in Wilmington. I keep telling The General that Germany is going to default with the whole Euro mess and maybe America will have a wave of German immigrants. Then we would get to the point of where signs will be in German, German radio stations (oompa bands?), and German television; much like what has gone on with the wave of Mexicans in our country. The house across the street from us just sold. I secretly hope it’s new owners are German. The General thinks I’m nuts.
So I signed onto RTL, a German broadcast company, much like NBC here. They have a lot of the same shows we have here: “Ich bin ein Star, holt mich heir raus!” – I’m A Celebrity, Get me Out of Here! and “Deutschland sucht den SuperStar” – American Idol. I figured it out because they use the same logo. And “Der Bachelor.” I know, quality programming. They have everything online, so as I excitedly clicked on the series a window popped up with a German blurb I couldn’t translate. My app basically said that it couldn’t be accessed because the law prohibits them from being viewed outside of the German viewing area i.e. America. Bah. I can access clips, but not the whole show.
And so the reading with my limited vocabulary continues.