The hot summer has given way to the time of rain in Stuttgart. It's been really quite cool out and very wet. I miss the heat and sunshine. Maybe after the rains, we'll get a real summer again.
I had my last A2.2 class last Thursday. I would have gotten a completion certificate but for the fact I missed 7 classes. Oh well, can't do anything with these certificates anyway. We ended class early and went to have a beer together at the bar downstairs, Amadeus. It's been a fun and diverse group of students. Indian engineers, a Japanese businessesman, an Aussie housewife, an Italian English teacher, a Spanish architect. The thing that really ties them all together is their loneliness in Germany, which ranges from light tiredness and alienation to desperate longing for social contact.
Now that I'm on to the B levels of German, I have a few choices. I can either sign up for another round of the night course, I can sign up for an intensive course, or I can study on my own and use what I learn at the office where everyone speaks German to me anyway.
The intensive course is probably too time intensive to get approval from the office. Also, it's really expensive, $800+ for two months, classes every day, but it gets you really fluent really quickly.
I've been learning a bit about the history of the German language, and it's connection to English. English, Dutch and German came from the same root language, and really didn't split apart that long ago. In the middle ages, when modern "high German" evolved from the old German, there was a phenomenon called consonant shift. Starting in Switzerland, and slowly moving north, many of the sounds of consonants shifted.
For example, apple in English was aepple in old English, appel in Dutch, and apFel in German. Old German schip (ship) became schiFF in the high German.
T shifted to Z, and D shifted to T. It's revealing then when you look at a word like "Zeit" (time). Shift the consonants back and you get "Teid" (tide) which is another way of looking at time.