The Problem With Germans

Filed under: — lana @ 12:26 pm

I think I figured out the problem with Germans today:

It is impossible for them to play a reasonable game of Scrabble. This has clearly driven them insane.

There is a word posted at our front gate, and most gates to various national and international bases in the country, that I maintain should not be posted at the location because people will get into car accidents trying to read it. I counted it at 23 letters. Impossible to fit on a Scrabble board. Most of their long words are combinations of shorter words, so it is possible to spell in seven or eight letter incremental add-ons, but the board is just plain not big enough, nor are there enough letters. Particularly the “V”. Germans like those, as well as “S”, “Y”, and “F”. “Q” will still have to sit this one out and have to wait for the Arabic version.

Today I was editing a report which involved an open meeting which was quite possibly over 30 letters long. One would have to tape together multiple Scrabble boards in order to even attempt to build the thing. Put it on a triple word score and it may as well be game over, especially given the “V”s and “Z”s.

My local national regularly amuses himself on our long car rides to various locations by talking to me about inane topics, and frequently translates portions of our conversation into German. I am unsure yet if this is for his general amusement or my general torture, though I am beginning to suspect the latter. His favorite part is to say something in English regarding an agency or some military event or some such and then say, “In German, the so-called…” and then insert random syllables of umlauts and grunts. He then, no matter how often this happens, mistakes my pained look for questioning confusion and repeats himself slowly, as though encouraging me to learn whatever word it is that I would have no reason to ever use in a sentence again. I usually interrupt him about halfway through the word (about 6 syllables or so) to tell him I really don’t care and to just continue on before I forget what we were talking about in the first place.

He finds this insanely funny, and will then tell other Germans that we meet about it. I have told him that this is how wars start, but he never listens. Yesterday, luckily, the person he was trying to tell was more interested in telling me all about a previous deployment he had with my local national years ago, when my local national (a marathon runner) decided to ask to run up the side of a mountain outside of the safe areas as “A birthday present.” The scariest part was that his command let him. He still defends it to this day, though I pointed out it would be like me telling my team leader that I wanted to head to Fallujah from Baghdad and saying, “Nah, don’t mind me, I’ll just walk.”

Clearly, he is a man in need of a Scrabble set for his birthday this year.

1 Comment »

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    Comment by Sarah — 6/24/2009 @ 1:26 am

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