This is the nub. No matter what tricks you try, you still have to learn stuff that's hard.
In French class we tell stories, role play, discuss contemporary french politics and the history of fine wine, but if you don't
learn the many subtle idioms you won't know when they're talking about you in the pub afterwards.
Vous m'ai fait un coup vache, putain! (Nice tie you have on today.)
Je vous garde un chien de ma chienne! (Thanks. My regards to your good lady wife.)
At the worst, you can wander around asking attractive strangers if you can fondle their lovelies, and if they look
miffed, pretend you didn't know what you were saying. Preferably with chocolate sauce.
In German class, we learn prepositions and verbs and spend a lot of time staring into space hoping someone
uses one we know. Fat chance. In the German language, they have the unnerving trick of stealing the most
useful verbs, the ones that might let you in on what the hell they're talking about, and
hiding them at the end end of the sentence.
I would myself, to my mother, yesterday, mostly, at the bottom of the well, all the chocolate cake ---
what? what is it ? what are you doing?---
running finding have wanted to be.
It's as if the verbs themselves, horrified at the butchery my clumsy tongue is about to inflict on the language,
have made a desperate attempt to escape, and have only been caught and penned up at the last moment.
Back to that Statue
Learning can be fun! is the kind of slogan bandied around by those who no longer have to endure it. But it has its
rewards. At least, next time when you board the wrong train in Germany, departing from the wrong platform in the wrong direction,
you can ruefully smile, and think, you could have asked someone for help. If it hadn't been for that unfortunate incident
with the cabbage a little earlier...