A few minutes ago, I left my mailbox at the department with two German magazines that I hadn’t ordered for. A closer look showed me that they were originally delivered to my head of department, a long-term professor of German. One of them, “German Life”, is published in English while the other “Dasfenster” is written totally in German. All this wouldn’t have made much sense but for the fact that a few hours ago, earlier in the morning, she had mistakenly began to speak rapidly to me in German, again. It usually happened like this: She would come into the language lab with the intention of telling me something, and she would begin to say it in German and I would stare blankly until after the fourth sentence when she’d realize what is happening, and burst out laughing.
Last year, I shared an office with someone from Switzerland who spoke a different kind of German. Although she didn’t manage to switch into the said language subconsciously, she did give me something to look forward to if I eventually decide to learn the language. (Those interested should check out her German teaching website here). Today’s episode has however got me thinking that maybe what a few years of befriending German women couldn’t accomplish, working in a foreign language department eventually would. Maybe, I said. Fantastische! Oh well.