Monday, February 13, 2006

Language partner

I met with my German conversation partner for the first time yesterday. It was strange at first because what were we really supposed to talk about? But we chatted about what we are each doing in Berlin and then the conversation seemed to move along just fine in a mix of German and English. He smokes like a chimney but is otherwise very interesting. Originally from a town near the Danish border, he moved to Berlin last year from Cologne when he changed his major to Sociology.

I think meeting each week will be a really good thing for both of us. It quickly became clear that I am a pro at small talk but when it comes to higher-level conversation things quickly fall apart! He said he reads a lot in English for his university classes but doesn't speak it very often.

We decided we will switch between English and German meeting to meeting, but try not to speak both in one meeting.

We'll see!


At 8:09 AM, Anonymous The Exit said...

You didn't take a picture?

At 8:26 AM, Blogger Erin said...

I can see a few questions being raised if I had started the first converstation... "nice to meet you, can I take your picture to put on the internet?"
Perhaps Hauptstadt blog should write an article about sprachpartners in Berlin and come and take a picture;-)

At 11:15 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is this a common thing to have a speech partner in Berlin? How do you find one?


At 1:03 PM, Blogger Erin said...

I know of German-English, German-Japanese and Arabic-English language partners so to me it is pretty common. I met my dude through one of the Russian fellows, but I think most people find a speech partner through bulletin boards set up for this purpose at universities. I actually think I remember the German dept. at GW having a bulletin board like that. (Perhaps if I have a language partner in college and did my homework more than 10 minutes before the start of class I wouldn't need help now!:-0)

At 4:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Russian fellow ??? oooooh-la-la

--Signed, you know who ;)

At 3:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just to clarify: ooooh-la-la was not me.

At 3:37 PM, Blogger Erin said...

I know exactly who Ms "Oooh La La" is! And I am sure she could find a Russian exchange student at Penn who needs help with his English;-) Ms. Oooh La La would actually not get along with some of the Russian fellows I know. They have unabashedly said that women should stay home, cook and have babies.

At 11:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Careful, Erin. That's how I met my boyfriend 3+ years ago, you know. -Mango

At 2:16 AM, Blogger Erin said...

Is it really, I don't think I ever heard that story!? I am sure there are a few jokes that could be made at this point, but I will resist;-)
In any case, my language partner is just a language partner. Strickly professional. (Besides, he has a girlfriend who lives in Cologne.)

At 12:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was actually at Wharton the other day at a conference and I have decided that I need to be spending more time on the other side of the river :) Penn's got some cutie-patooties :)

Ms. Oooh-la-la


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