A few months ago I was at a friend’s house staying with his family. They moved to Germany about the same time as us however live in a different part of Germany so their kids go to German schools. As we were sitting around the table with both Americans and native German speakers, it was obvious that their two girls were excelling at learning German as the conversations were drifting between English and German. At one point, the oldest young lady said that Americans (excluding herself of course) sounded so funny speaking German. It wasn’t just our accents that made us sound funny but the way we make our sentences. She then proceeded to give an example by saying a few sentences how an American says them (accent and sentence structure) and then said that this is how it should be said (with her German accent and in ways Germans say things). I was first shocked and then laughing so hard. When she said everything like an American, I really sat there thinking – “That’s exactly how I would say it and that’s my accent”. Then when she spoke like a German I thought – “No wonder I don’t understand what people are saying so much of the time – they speak German very differently than I do”. I laughed so hard that I had to have her do it a couple of times as to me it was just great. Eventually, I had to ask them to do it on camera and send it to me (which they did and below is the video).
Now this might not be that funny to many of you but if you have ever learned a foreign language with actual native speakers around, I think you can relate. It also proves – learn other languages at a young age!!!