December 2010


It is hereby resolved that…

Ah, it’s the end of the year – time for housekeeping, of sorts.

Maybe a resolution, or two.

I guess there are two resolutions that I’m making for 2011.

First, I will continue to go to the gym, every other day, when practically possible.

Although I’ve been planning on starting the gym thing since last spring, I didn’t want to start it in Weimar since the gyms there were expensive and because I knew that I would be moving to Berlin. And then once I got to Berlin I wasn’t in a permanent home, and then I continued to be broke. But I can afford it now and I am actively forcing myself to make it a habit.

A few friends have asked me if I’ve noticed any differences yet, and the answer is, yes and no. I’m able to finish the shoulder presses that I couldn’t finish before. After doing an hour of cardio, I’m now able to walk up three-quarters of the way to my 3rd (American 4th) floor apartment before feeling completely exhausted. And, most happily of all, I perceive some clothing to be less tight than before—although I’m not sure how realistic it is to expect significant trimming of my figure in less than two months.

I don’t view the gym as a social activity: I’m there to get in shape and so although I now recognize people, I tend to keep my headphones in and tune out the other people as much as possible. That’s not to say, though, that I am blind: I do recognize eye-candy when it wanders before me and I have picked the next machine based on what I would be able to look at during the rest between sets.

Secondly, I am going to try to blog once a week in German.

Even though it’s not quite 2011, I started this one yesterday with “Das Fitnessstudio und ich: Ich liebe das Fitnessstudio”, or “The Gym and I: I love the gym” – I should probably post a translation of what (I think) I said, but there’s nothing in the first German language post that I haven’t already said in English over the previous few weeks.

Already two different people have used the word “courageous” to describe the fact that I am writing in German and posting it to my blog. I could take that to mean that I am being courageous, or I could take it to mean that I must have made some glorious mistake in German that has rendered the entire thing a “Witz”. I’ll assume it’s the former because nobody has suggested any corrections to what I’ve written.

This resolution is going to be extremely difficult to keep – in part because my blogging has become much more irregular since moving to Berlin (more things to do in the big city = less time to blog) and in part because I find the effort required to read and write in German to be great: what takes me 5 minutes to read or write in English takes me at least 20 minutes in German. Further since my German vocabulary is really limited, I have to look up a lot of words and my ability to express ideas is quite limited.

However I will do my best to keep this resolution as keeping it can only serve to improve my existent German and will, I hope, expand my knowledge.

7 comments to It is hereby resolved that…

  • I wasn’t aware that you were looking for corrections to your German post. Should I have Christopher go over it with a red pen for you?

    Seriously, improving my written German is also on my to-do list for 2011. I’ve decided to take the “Besser Deutsch” correspondence course at the Goethe Institut, and convinced my employer (er, my wife) to support me. She even got the course approved as an official “Weiterbildung” and got an EU grant for 90% of the fees!

    PS: I’m pretty sure that “über den letzten ein und halb Monaten bist du ins Fitnessstudio gegangen”. 🙂

  • I like the fact that you’re making an effort to learn the native language where you are living. There are TOO many native speakers of languages other then English around here not lifting a finger to do anything to assimilate to their new language surroundings.

    Some of them are getting down right rude about it.

    I’m not anti-immigrant, but I am against expecting the government to accommodate an immigrants native language when they made a conscious choice to move into and area where they don’t speak the main language.

    I think government funds spent on printing brochures and government documents in languages other than the native language for an area is counterproductive. Instead those funds should be placed in education efforts to teach the newcomers the dominant/native language.

  • PS: I’m pretty sure that “über den letzten ein und halb Monaten bist du ins Fitnessstudio gegangen”.

    …and I would have bet that über takes an accusative object in this context, and therefore über die letzten ein und halb Monaten.

    What say the native readers?

  • Scott & Cliff1976: My colleague at work recommends:

    Seit ein und ein halb Monaten gehe ich ins Fitnessstudio.

    Cynical Queer – I will have to completely disagree with you. One of the fundamental strengths of the United States is its multicultural society, which includes multiple languages. There are plenty of areas in the United States where secondary languages are important, like Spanish or French, or even the Native American languages. There’s nothing in the US Constitution that dictates English, rather it dictates adherence to a set of values — and as long as the immigrants agree to follow the values set out then they are, in my opinion, welcome to speak whatever language they want. And, provided a minimum number of people speak it, the government should provide services in that language.

  • Reko

    Adamo, mein Freund!
    Ich halte es für ausgezeichnet, dass du jetzt vorhast, mindestens einmal in der Woche auf Deutsch zu bloggen und generell deine deutschen Sprachkenntnisse zu erweitern. Ich wünsche dir dabei großen Erfolg!
    P.S. Ich würde vorschlagen: “Seit anderthalb Monaten…”

  • koko

    I love that you’re blogging in German! It will make me work on my reading skills. My speaking skills are far superior to my reading and writing. 🙂 HOOORAY!