Learning German isn’t easy for me. I’ve lived in Berlin for a year now and feel about as apt in German as a sixteen year old who just scraped a pass in his GCSE German exam. For all the non-Brits reading this, that’s crap. In rough terms this means I have the same mastery over the German language as a slightly stupid three year old does over his mother tongue. Admittedly my vocabulary is concentrated in odd areas for a toddler, but my knowledge of basic sentence structure, or lack thereof, means that I am limited to expressing only the most basic things.
I’m not proud of this. England’s dominance in linguistic terms is more extensive and far reaching that its empire ever was, and it seems to inadvertently render those who only speak English as chauvinist, colonial has-beens. Us English speaking mono-linguists are perceived as reveling in the idea that we never need learn anything about another culture; only we need do is impose our will and we’ll be fine! But of course, unlike the good old days, when people really did bow to British intimidation and colonial oppression, the picture now isn’t so rosy. Most young Brits must have experienced this, intruding on a conversation amongst people whose first-language isn’t English and on your arrival them effortlessly switching to English. Here the act seems closer to an act of pity than of submission.
Despite the fact that the learning experience has been slow, and occasionally painful, it has, for the most part, been enjoyable. I like the sound of the German language. I like its esoteric grammar and its odd austerity. But perhaps what is most exotic in German to the English speaker is its directness. This directness can clearly is clearly exhibited by German nouns. Why have a plethora of different basic nouns for things that exhibit roughly the same physical properties? Take the English word “nipple” for example. In German the word is Brustwarze – which I guess literally means breast wart. I mean call a spade a spade. We can continue in this vein. The word for that bumpy area around the nipple (does it have a name in English?) is of course very aptly called the Warzenhof – literally wart-yard or even wart-court! Why not? We can continue with anatomical examples of German directness and turn to the word Schwanz. The English translation for this is tail, and I’ll leave it as homework to work out what else its commonly used to refer to.
Anyway this long-winded post that’s turned more in to a confessional diary of modern mono-linguist was initially just meant to be about my new mix. It’s more German than most I’ve done before – lots of lovely austere and moody tech-house and it’s called Juice Shop. A juice shop in German is Saftladen, and is used colloquially to refer to a place as a dump. I think the rationale behind this is that you’re saying this place whould barely be capable of serving a bit of squashed orange even if it tried! Perhaps not the German language at its most direct, but just another wonderful facet of that slippery beast that I doubt I’ll ever master.
So here it is… (right click below to download)
1. Don’t Give Up (Bodycode Remix) – Portable
2. Eclipse – Onur Ozer
3. Rituality – Dj T.
4. This Used To Be Our Playground – Concolor
5. Isolate (Sebo K Remix) – GummiHz
6. Kleine Nachtmusik – Stimming
7. Over The Top Of My Shoulder – Anthony Collins
8. Raid A La Joya – Rebolledo
9. Roberta Flack (Martyn Remix) – Flying Lotus
10. Ruptured (Surgeon Remix) – Scuba
11. Life Soundstrack feat. Dj Bone – Deetron
12. Pacey Lynn – Marcus Meinhardt
13. Kitch In – Tim Green
14. Pina Colada – Jr. Rodriguez