German reading project – Die Tribute Von Panem by Suzanne Collins, Chapter 1

Because I want to go for German citizenship to retain my European Union citizenship, and because I want to do that while the UK is still an EU member so I can have dual citizenship (guess what, people who think everyone who believes the referendum result is suboptimal for the UK/their own personal lives should just leave: we can’t just up sticks and leave on a whim! Countries have rules about citizenship! I know, isn’t it crazy?), I’m trying to learn German. Because there is a German test.

And though I generally enjoy learning languages and am interested in the nuts and bolts of language, it’s stressful to do so with a short deadline and a giant question mark over my future. I can’t even go for citizenship until the end of August at the absolute earliest, because I need to have been here for six years (or I could wait until I’ve been here eight years if I want to coast by on slightly worse German but then I’d more than likely have to give up British citizenship, and now is not a time to feel like a foreigner back home, to be quite honest). I have shed tears, I have lost sleep, I have been frustrated with myself and worried myself into a frenzy because the fact of the matter is, I don’t know what my life is going to be like two years from now, but I know it will almost certainly be a little bit worse without EU citizenship. Am I being dramatic? I don’t think it matters. I hate not knowing. I hate not having any control. I hate not being in a position where I could be OK right now if I had to.

So, because my English-speaking workplace is at best ambivalent towards my ability to speak German, I’ve decided I’ll keep up my skills (haha, skills…) between lessons by reading, which is something I enjoy doing anyway. I read Wildhexe: Die Feuerprobe by Lene Kaaberbøl (English translated by Charlotte Barslund, German translated by Friederike Buchinger) at the end of last year to see how I found it, and with lots of dictionary-consulting and writing definitions in pencil all over the pages, I managed it, and it made me feel a lot better about things. So I want to keep on going.

Die Tribute Von Panem: Tödliche Spiele (translated into German by Sylke Hachmeister and Peter Klöss) is, of course, the German version of The Hunger Games, and I’m going to read a chapter between English-language books. I won’t be blogging each one, because my German is barely at a level where I can understand the sentences, let alone deconstruct the craft behind the writing, but what I will do instead, to make sure I keep checking in, is give my favourite new word learned in every chapter.

So, my favourite new word from chapter 1 was easy.

Nachplappern: to parrot.

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