So you might have noticed that the subtitle of this blog states that it is a “Deitsch Culture, Language, and Spirituality blog”. That second term, language, hasn’t been getting a lot of love around here, and that’s because it hasn’t been getting enough attention in my day to day life.
Since the undertaking of learning the language all at once, the way I wanted to do it, is impossible, I’ve decided instead to *gasp* cut it up into reasonably-sized chunks. How small are these chunks? I’ve taken the advice of self-help inspiration SARK and created a “micromovement” for my language learning: that is, a step so small, it can be accomplished in 5 minutes or less. The idea is to make a step that won’t intimidate you or push you to procrastinate.
For the last three days (yay progress!) I’ve been choosing a Deitsch word of the day. My first word was “Daag” which actually means “day”. My second word was die Familye–“the family”. My word for today is “die Grosseldere”–the Grandparents. This one in particular is hard for me to pronounce because in Deitsch you’re supposed to make your Rs roll around like a happy cat, and I really struggle to produce that particular sound. I’ll be listening to the recording of it over and over and trying my best, although in my school years of instruction in French, Spanish, and Italian, I still never managed to pick it up. But hope springs eternal! If nothing else, I will through sheer repetition force myself to remember that “die” is pronounced “dee” and not “dye”!
I’m going to be working my way through family related terms and then will probably choose a new category of related words to pick up next. Even if I do nothing else to work on my Deitsch, in one year, I will have learned 365 new Deitsch words. As it turns out, mastering 300 of the most commonly used words in a language will allow you to carry on many basic conversations. So this approach can actually produce quite meaningful progress when you add it all together–and it takes 5 minutes or less a day. Macht’s immer besser!