Monthly Archives: February 2014

I’m doing German/Cantonese Exchange roughly two times a week, with two very different, but very nice learners (each time 1-on-1).

Yesterday we had a very cool session. This is about the third or fourth session with her, and she’s a German beginner. She is doing Duolingo too for some weeks now. I had forgotten my utensils, so we used a blue pen, and later on a spoon, a (cup of) coffee, and a key (all items grammatically German). The good thing about the key is that when I gave it to her, it was quite obvious to want to get it back again, so I introduced this.

Willst du meinen Schlüssel? — Ja, ich will deinen Schlüssel.

Ok, ich gebe dir meinen Schlüssel. — Danke.

Ich will meinen Schlüssel zurück! :( Gibst du mir meinen Schlüssel zurück? — Ja, ich gebe dir deinen Schlüssel zurück. — Danke!

For some reason I decided to use a past form at this quite early stage, and it went really well.

Was habe ich dir gegeben? — Du hast mir einen blauen Stift gegeben.

Was hast du mir gegeben? — Du hast mir einen Schlüssel gegeben.

Ich habe dir einen blauen Stift gegeben, und du hast mir einen Schlüssel gegeben. Wir haben getauscht.

Was haben wir getauscht? — Wir haben deinen blauen Stift und meinen Schlüssel getauscht.

We were sitting in a rather big coffee shop, and it so happened that the people sitting to my left were female, and the guy to my right male. So they became props in our game :)

Setup: Ich: Schlüssel. Sie: Kaffee. Du: Blauer Stift. Er: Löffel.

Round of Giving!

Ich gebe ihr meinen Schlüssel. Sie gibt dir ihren Kaffee. Du gibst ihm deinen blauen Stift. Er gibt mir seinen Löffel.

Round of Giving Back! :)

Ich gebe ihm seinen Löffel zurück. Er gibt dir deinen blauen Stift zurück. Du gibst ihr ihren Kaffee zurück. Sie gibt mir meinen Schlüssel zurück.

“ihr/ihren” seemed to confuse her. So we played a bit on the male side instead, where the difference is more clear.

CL: mein, dein, sein, ihr (doing the flat hand towards person sign)

CL: mir, dir, ihm, ihr (doing the pointing R fingers sign; most of these end with an R)

Er gibt mir seinen Löffel. Ich gebe ihm seinen Löffel zurück.

I think we played another Round of Giving + Back then.

Was ist passiert?

Ich habe ihr meinen Schlüssel gegeben etc.

Sie hat mir meinen Schlüssel zurückgegeben etc.

We played for an hour, until she became slightly full, then we switched to Cantonese.

We spontaneously ended up with talking about clothing (which I strangely enough have never done in the past one+ year of learning Cantonese :P ). We were mostly talking about our shirts (long- vs short-sleeved, colors, who is wearing what) and pants, and finally coats. Then about what to wear when (Right now, inside it is warm, but outside it’s cold, so when she goes out she will wear her coat. Now she’s not wearing it however). Also an extended explanation of dress code at our respective companies. Then I mused for a while whether the guy next to us could hear us talking about them, and why he left. He was wearing earphones at the end, but not sure if he did so the whole time. Thus introducing 以為 vs. 知道. He was also talking on the phone for a while before leaving, so I speculated that he talked with his girlfriend and is now heading home. The first time he left, his stuff was still at the table. Will he come back? Yeah, probably. Later, he took his stuff with him. Will he come back? Maybe, but not today.

短袖衫 / 長袖衫