German language heaven but hell for Mark Twain

To all German language learners – do not despair. Shared misery is half the misery. Even Mark Twain suffered through his part…

“Dreamed all bad foreigners went to German heaven, couldn’t speak the language, and wished they’d gone to the other place.” (Mark Twain’s Notebook)

This quotation was too good to pass up! If you would like to read more quotations by Mark Twain, then visit My thoughts are free.

Mark Twain’s thoughts about the German language

The other day, while we were on the Azores for our summer holiday, I ran across a funny quote by Mark Twain and I am sure it will lighten up some German learners’ hearts.

“Life is too short to learn German.”

I am sure this is what some of my students of German think at times. This is more in reference to adults as they become more impatient with their progress than regular younger school students. Some adults are under pressure to study German to obtain the necessary German proficiency certificate for their professional career, others just get frustrated with their pace of learning German. Nevertheless, if you can imbed a sense of humor into your language learning, like Mark Twain did, it will turn out fine.

Mark Twain himself studied German for a long time starting with his governess in the United States and at one point he ended up in Heidelberg/Germany for nine months studying more German. There is a little pamphlet, written by him in German, about the awful German language and it is hilarious!! Most native German speakers would not even understand the grammar points he is refering to in his ridicule of the language. It takes a real linguist, or a learner of German, to understand his irony when he writes about Die Schreckliche Deutsche Sprache.

He makes fun of the infamous Dativ case and everything else concerning the peculiar pitfalls in learning the  German language. This pamphlet is only for advanced German speakers and even then, it will be a real test of your reading comprehension, general grammar knowledge and sense of humor coupled with irony.

Zitat auf Deutsch

Tatsachen muß man kennen, bevor man sie verdrehen kann.

Mark Twain (1835 – 1910) US-Schriftsteller

Quote of the day

When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished at how much he had learned in seven years.

— Mark Twain —

Diese Webseite verwendet Cookies. Wenn Sie auf der Seite weitersurfen, stimmen Sie der Cookie-Nutzung zu. Mehr Informationen

Diese Webseite verwendet so genannte Cookies. Sie dienen dazu, unser Angebot nutzerfreundlicher, effektiver und sicherer zu machen. Cookies sind kleine Textdateien, die auf Ihrem Rechner abgelegt werden und die Ihr Browser speichert. Die meisten der von uns verwendeten Cookies sind so genannte "Session-Cookies". Sie werden nach Ende Ihres Besuchs automatisch gelöscht. Cookies richten auf Ihrem Rechner keinen Schaden an und enthalten keine Viren. Weitere Informationen finden Sie auf der Seite “Datenschutzerklärung”.