Lost in translation

Sometimes, in a foreign country with a foreign language, you can feel a little overwhelmed. The loss of comfort in knowing what’s going on is hard to adapt to. It’s hard to know what people are telling you and what to say back. Sure, after a few months you get used to the language, and can understand most of what is happening. You can even begin to feel comfortable and feel proud that you do. But that takes a while. So what can you do, until then? Find out the answer to all the questions asked in German. You could be boring, and say, “ja”, or “genau”. Or, you could have a little jazz. Something that you mean. And I found mine. “Oh Schreck.” You can even say it in English. Some people may think you are mentioning a character found in a certain movie. Or, they could see it for what it really is. A catchphrase. Now you may be thinking, when would you use this? How could you possibly use this in most conversations? I could say that when the teacher assigns homework. I could say that when I learn I have to do gymnastics in P.E. Those are obvious. But what about good situations? Simple. If someone asks if you want to go to the city, you just gotta change the tone when you say it. “Oh Schreck yeah”. There are many possibilities. You see, the golden thing about being an international (in the first few months before everyone actually expects you to know German), is that there's always something you can work to your advantage. And that is an excuse for not understanding something. “The poor kid doesn’t know what I said”, a common thought, surely, when you say "Oh Schreck". Even if someone doesn’t understand, that’s okay. You’re both in the dark now. Besides, since this is a German saying, you are technically delving into the culture. As soon as you find your answer, you begin to find your footing.