Pól Ó Muirí
This time of year is to the mind what the New Year is to the body – self-improvement. I began a German course over the weekend and hope to improve my very rusty Deutsch in the coming months. So far, so good – a great teacher and classmates and the excuse to spend Saturday mornings learning rather than driving the children around to Irish dancing, the swimming pool or drama classes.
It is over 25 years since I finished my A-Level in German and my one year of studying it at Queen’s. I have managed to keep a grip of one kind or another on the language and found out that, what little I have, is now considered quite posh German. Apparently, those little phrases we learned at school – Mir is wohl; Ich stamme aus Belfast – are a bit altmodisch, old fashioned and seanfhaiseanta.
However, another development over which I shed no tears is the fact that the genitive case in German is dying out. So, it is not just Irish that has problems with the genitive. Time and language, it seems, wait for no man.