What happens when an American gets up close and personal with the German language? In September 1996, David Bergmann voluntarily moved from Chicago to Germany (the country of his 32 great-great-great-grandparents) for a year abroad to go back-to-the-root - both physically and linguistically.
Since then, he has come to terms (almost) with the past-tense, cute yet tough "umlauts", powerful prefixes, "Doinglisch", idiosyncratical idioms, and the twelve (or was that thirteen?) possible plural-forms. Furthermore, he has tackled the eternal questions posed by English native-speakers of How do you ‚du'?", "Where's my Fahrvergnügen?", and "Der, die, WAS?".
Through it all, he has both confused and amused the natives. But most importantly, he discovers that German is not at all an awful language - as Mark Twain once wrote mistakenly - but rather an awfully cool one!
Recorded Tuesday, September 22, 2009 at Goethe-Institut Chicago.