Undress, with or without help

Okay, I’m starting to struggle with the German lessons.  There are so many words that are almost the same, but so different.

Here’s today’s fuck up.  I read this sentence on the board.  It was in regards to what a newly married woman did over the weekend.

In Deutsch:  Letze Woche Sonntag sind Freunde von mir umgezogen.  Leider haben nur 4 Personen geholfen.

What I thought it meant:  Last weekend Sunday, friends of mine undressed. Unfortunately, only four people helped.

That damn umgezogen.  The infinitive form is umziehen.

I looked around and NO ONE was reacting like one would when hearing about undressing with help.  In my world, undressing with help is still an oohlala thing. She looked like a very nice catholic woman from Ecuador. Did Happnight.de sponsor the class or did I misunderstand Aaaagain?

It’s a good thing I left my pride back in San Francisco because I’m effing up all over that school.  


22 thoughts on “Undress, with or without help

  1. When I came to your translation of “umgezogen” I laughed out loud! That is so funny! It’s so easy to make that kind of mistake.

    Here’s my favorite English vs German anecdote that happened to the mother of a friend of mine.

    (Hunting dinner) Anglophone new bride to her neighbor: Haben Sie dieses Jahr sehr viel geschissen?

    [she means, “geschossen.”]

    Neighbor, with perfect sangfroid: Nicht mehr als letztes Jahr!

  2. Yep, those silly verbs are VERY difficult.

    Putting my teacher hat on: Here you were confusing a non-reflexive verb – “umziehen” – to move house, with a reflexive one “sich umziehen” – to change one’s clothes. Just like “ausziehen” can mean to move out, or pull out, and “sich ausziehen” – to undress yourself.

    Taking my teacher hat off again: Big giant hugs for stupid German grammar. You’re doing fine – don’t worry about it. And I’m serious about helping you with your homework!

  3. I just wanted to say good bye. This is my last visit. This toxic-waste-radiation-green background is driving me crazy. it´s a constant excruciating pain in my eyes.
    nevertheless, keep on the good work!

    p.s.: a big asskick for your colorblind husband.

  4. I am beginning to get seriously worried about the language thing … I hope the natives are forgiving … Does context count for anything? I am certain to do a massive amount of grammer-slamming!

  5. hehehehhe
    no worries, that happens to many people, all the time. I have a friend in vienna (originating from an eastern-european country) who spells words they way they pronounce them in austrian-german. so her days are “beschiessen” (to shoot at) instead of beschissen (sh*tty). I find it so cute I never correct her.

  6. Richard – yes, context does count for something. But only sometimes.

    Besides umziehen and ausziehen, there’s also anziehen, abziehen, zuziehen, nachziehen, hinziehen, unterziehen, überziehen, wegziehen and about a million others designed to make your brain smoke.

  7. Official poll among visitors of this Blog:

    Should the background color be changed?
    Or do you like the “toxic green” which I prefer to call grass green?

    – Sparky

  8. hey jen/sparky,

    I like the background color. I think it’s fresh and a nice change compared to the grey sky outside these days!
    My eyes don’t hurt reading the posts.
    In my eyes (hehe) toxic green is much brighter and as you mixed several green colors the whole green looks much softer!
    So…good job! 🙂

  9. Err I misunderstood Sparky’s request so I emailed him instead.

    but here ya go:

    Hey 🙂
    Well the text is actually on a softened version of the background anyway so it reads clearly- the only thing for me (and it could just be my monitor because it’s slowly going bonkers) is her “blog description” text:

    Heisse Scheisse translates to hot shit. One would think that with a rhyming like that, more people would say it. But no.

    #description {
    margin:0 0 1.75em;
    color:#996;< ----- change that part in the style declaration to #7a6a5d

    I got that colour from the masthead graphic (specifically from the goat :-\ ). It’s a little darker and it should make her blog description easier to read.

    Ok hope that helps!

  10. I like the grass green background, but it might help if you lighten darken the text and lighten the fields the text is in.

  11. Jen and Sparky,

    I like the green grass color… it’s not too bright and reminds me of spring when the color’s just starting to come back, and there’s a nice brisk breeze blowing.

  12. and that’s precisely why i can understand more than i can speak. when you read/listen, at elast you can take it from context, somehow. but if i have to choose which form of which verb to use… arrrrrggggh!!!!

    and so goes for your color theme, too 😉 didn’t want to say anything as it was clearly a labor of love, but a softer green might just help me put off botox treatments for a while 😉

    of course, YOUR opinion matters most as this is YOUR blog 🙂

  13. I’m ok with the green thing. Looks good to me, but I can understand why others prefer a more subdued hue.

  14. I LOVE the green. Green is the color of money and I LOVE money.
    Actually, truly, I think it’s really nice. I hear green is a soothing color that they often use in asylums to calm the nutcases. I think that’s fitting here. And I agree that it it clearly grassy.
    Keep on grassin’, but I’d lay off the jiggling post-its… 🙂

  15. I love the grassy green!! I have pretty sensitive eyes but this colour doesn’t bug me at all and I can read the posts clearly.

  16. I just happened by your site and felt compelled to warn you about one of countless other confusions: kosten (Darf ich mal kosten?) and kotzen (Ich muss mal kotzen!). Speaking from personal experience, Darf ich mal kotzen? is not acceptable in most restaurants.

    The green is perhaps a bit loud for me, but I’m colorblind, so what do I know?

  17. i like the green i have to say. i never notice backgrounds on blogs all that much, but i certainly noticed this one. though it is bright, it is still very soft and cozy. and, most importantly, the goat has a place to continue his journey. you wouldn’t want him to fall off the dang cliff there.

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