What is the best way to start? A foreigner, who grew up bilingual, learned six other languages in the meantime and is now teaching German and Latin in Switzerland. Crazy, right?
Let’s take it step by step, since there are some key words that most probably need explaining.
Foreigner: well, yes. Since one is not born in Switzerland, one needs to assume this name. Growing up bilingual: that is how it all began, by having both German and Romanian as native languages. Moving to Switzerland: an advantage or a disadvantage? Well, what can I say: a multiple advantage! First, I was given the opportunity to get in touch with the spoken, the “alive” German and not just to study it out of grammar books. Secondly, I was forced to understand Swiss German quickly. The understanding of a dialectal form always gives you a far deeper understanding of the language itself. Thirdly, I was privileged enough to get a very good structure of the languages through my Latin study – a structure a logic which now I wish to pass on to others. And finally: I got to the point where I was able to discover the “mistakes” of the Swiss German grammar and make fun of them. No offense, but how can someone say “Am Stefan sis Zimmer” (of Stefan his room) instead of “Stefans Zimmer” (Stefan’s room)?
Here is a short analysis (just recommended for grammar interested people aka freaks 😊)
Am Stefan sis Zimmer
am = an dem
am Stefan: an dem Stefan, weil Stefan = mask. / Dativ des Besitzers: wem sein Zimmer? Stefan – also an dem (mask.) Stefan (mask.)
sis Zimmer = wessen Zimmer? Sein Zimmer, aber Zimmer = neut., also muss man das hochdeutsche sein als seines aussprechen, damit es klar ist, dass Zimmer ein Neutrum ist – das Zimmer ⇒ seines Zimmer (Kurzform: sis) ⇒ hat nichts mit dem Genitiv zu tun!!!
an dem Stefan sein Zimmer
Stefans Zimmer (Wessen? Gen: Stefans)
Well, don’t you think this is proof enough that Swiss people need to learn German as a foreign language as well?
To make a long story short: Ina, a young language enthusiast made it her mission to help others reaching their learning goals by putting all her teaching experience, her knowledge and her passion for languages into the process. This is how a school, our school was created…