I feel redeemed in my inability to learn German, or at least my lack of motivation.
Before you read further, you should probably read this article. If you are lazy like me, however, you won’t click on that link so here is the super-duper-condensed version: Language affects the way we think.
I’m reading the article and I’m thinking to myself, yes, yes, YES! My PROBLEM, is actually NOT a problem. I simply don’t want a German soul.
Admittedly, I do like to borrow a bit of German in times of chaos and when disciplining. Like, if my kids are running away from me and I need them the listen to me and to STOP, I will scream HALT!!!! The funny thing is, they haven’t responded to my repeated screams of “stop!”. “HALT!!” always works. Max dog was the same way. If I told him to get down or stop in English he never listened to me. I tell him “AUS!” and he sits at attention immediately. And really, try screaming a squeaky English “get out!” at your kids. Then go for the German “RRRRRRAUS!”. It’s incredibly satisfying.
You can really get behind your words in German. I find that I simply cannot pronounce anything correctly unless I bring my voice down an octave and yell. Talk like that for a while and you really do get visions of grandeur and world domination. Suddenly I understand the Germans’ need for telling everyone around them what to do and how to do it. It’s FUN in the German language. It’s down-right necessary to yell at other people if you’re yelling anyway.
And as much as I’m THRILLED that words like “Schadenfreude” exist (and I’m not being sarcastic… it’s pretty much my mission to find a way to use it in everyday conversation), I am sort-of glad it’s not an English word.