I can speak German!

So, did you know that we can speak German?

Um, not really, but we’re HUGE fans! :)

I have significantly improved my German vocabulary on this trip.  I used to know all of one German word – “nein!” which means “no!”  And then we discovered in Alameda THE German restaurant in the San Francisco Bay Area  – Speisekammer (also know as Spice-en-whatsit) and then my German vocabulary grew by leaps and bounds!  Speisekammer means “pantry” and they have the most awesome vegetarian strudel (which is a pastry-like thing) and they have TO DIE FOR Macaroni and cheese (or, as the Germans call it Gratinierte Kasespatzle.  I only ever remember the spätzle part of it… So tasty, with caramelized onions, asiago and parmesan cheese…  Mmmmmm….).

So by my count, we’re up to three words – Nein, Speisekammer, and Spätzle.  Have you ever heard that traveling can expand your horizons or teach you language skills?  Well it can!  In Mexico, Tiffany’s Spanish got a lot better, and in the Tuamotu of French Polynesia, our German got a lot better!

“Wait a minute…” you’re probably asking yourselves.  “I thought French Polynesian people spoke French or Tahitian or Marquesan?  I didn’t know they spoke German too!”  And you’d be right, they don’t.  But there are tons of travelers who pass through that do!  One thing you must understand about travel: there are Germans everywhere.   Which is really cool, because Germans are the nicest freaking people you will ever meet.  Greg has literally never met a German that he did not like.  Elizabeth from our Pacific Puddle Jump buddy boat PROXIMITY is German, and at one point we had 4 boats headed toward the same island, all within about a day or so of each other and on every boat at least one person spoke German!  How crazy is that?

We had BOREE, STERNCHEN, PAIKEA MIST and us on FLY AWEIGH.  Burt and Ingie on BOREE are Germans who have been living in Australia for a number of years, the owners of STERNCHEN (which means “little star” – ha! Another one!) are Germans who speak some English, Michael on PAIKEA MIST is a German-Canadian, and Allan on FLY AWEIGH took classes for his degree in Germany.  At one point, STERNCHEN called BOREE on the VHF radio to ask for some technical assistance, and I learned new German!  We heard them call on the VHF radio to switch channels to “acht” (which means “eight”) and followed them over to channel eight, so Allan could listen in and keep up with his German and his long standing underway technical assistance skills :)

While we were listening, I learned 2 new German words – “computer” and “easy-peasy”.  Now, you may be saying to yourself, “hey, those aren’t German!”  But I counter – if you walked up to four Germans having a conversation in German, then the words they use MUST be German! Ha!

We have now over doubled our German vocabulary!  Sternchen, Acht, Computer and Easy-Peasy!

Once we all got into port we actually got to meet the crews of BOREE and STERNCHEN and spend some time with them.  We had some wonderful conversations.  Greg is a huge fan of the German language, he just loves the way it sounds.  (Greg – Actually, I believe my EXACT words were “someone discovered the sound of awesome and just decided to make an entire language out of it!”)    Greg was such a big fan that Ingie even gave him REAL German Bread!

You do not appreciate how awesome this is.  First off, it’s hot as heck here (80 F is the average temp) and no one has air-conditioning.  She turned on her gas stove in her boat and heated the whole thing up, for several hours mind you, to make us bread.

Also, do you understand that we are 6,435 kilometers, oh sorry, 4,000+ miles *flying!* from Spice-en-whatsit!  9,655 miles flying from Germany!  Need I remind you that those flights don’t even exist, so add in mileage for stops in Tahiti and Hong Kong.  Do you know how much a flight like that would cost!?  And. We. Have. FRESH German bread.

Do you have fresh, hand-baked German Bread right now?  No, no you do not…and ours will be eaten before you get here so don’t try it.

During our discussions, we got to talking about the happy birthday song, and how the Germans don’t really sing happy birthday.  Here’s why:

Which lead to Burt telling us about how Germans like to smash words together to make new words.  His example:  the soccer world cup.  In German it’s one word: Fußball-Weltmeisterschaft.

So awesome…

How many languages can you speak?

Oh PS: Greg can curse in German too.  Who says you don’t learn useful skills in the Boy Scouts? 😉

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11 Responses to I can speak German!

  1. Yvonne Hyatt says:

    I love reading your comments and I especially loved this one because I am of 100% German descent and have totally loved every trip I have taken to Germany, feeling a real kinship with the people, the land, and the food. There is nothing better than German bread!
    God bless you in your travels!

    • Tiffany says:

      Thanks Mrs. Hyatt! I’m part German also, but unfortunately don’t know much about that part of my ancestry (I’m a mutt – I’m also Irish, French, Native America, Swedish and English…) My grandmother used to speak German in her home when she was a girl, and I always wondered why she didn’t teach it to my father and his brothers. I was speaking to someone about this recently, and they said it was probably because the anti-German sentiments after the war probably made her hide that part of her heritage. So, I’m mostly familiar with the very sturdy and ornate German furniture that she has!

      And yes, the bread was great! We scarfed it down within a couple of days – wouldn’t want it to go bad!

    • Greg Norte says:

      I knew there was some reason I like you best, Mrs. Hyatt. 😉

      We have not yet been to Germany. But we will. Oh, we will. Also, another interesting fact, did you know that America’s tall ship, the USCGC EAGLE is, a former German vessel?

    • Mike B says:

      I am 75% German. Great stories, keep them coming.

  2. Joe says:


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  5. Elmer says:

    For what reason does your hunabsd want a pet dog to be trained like a police dog all police dogs and their handlers have to have a license from the Home Office which is renewed every year after being tested to ensure they are up to the correct standard.Your hunabsd should start off by doing the puppy and good obedience coarse for the puppy and build up to the Bronze, silver, Gold and then on to the BH then if he is still interested to put the work and time into it go for Schutzhund dog training by finding a club that deal with this high level of working GSD training which will train the dog up to a standard very similar to a police dog.It is a lot of work and you need to be dedicated to this type of training and it does not stop your hunabsd would need to keep up the training regularly to maintain this level of training from the dog.

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