Monday, May 21, 2012

How are you ?????

Here is another post from my German Diaries. When I published my previous post from my German diaries (Where is your partner #@%#@% ), one of my very good friends called me and said that my post was quite informative. And hence I decided on sharing any information I get to know from my German tutor.

Who knows one day the information you read here may help any of you if you land in Deutschland J ?

So here goes my post J J.

This week my tutor started the class by telling us that he had missed out on something very important. And he went on to say, “How would you greet a person in German?”I was smiling J as I knew the answer but alas the question being too easy the entire class responded, “Guten Tag!!” (meaning “Good day”)

And what would you say for “How are you?” my tutor questioned the class. All of us immediately(like sincere students :P)  started translating the three words “how”, ”are” and “you”. We were successful in translating it into, “Wie Sind sie?”

“Wie meant how”, “sind meant are” and “Sie meant you” in German. The tutor asked one of us to write it on the board. My friend wrote, “Wie sind Sie?” on the board.

“So when someone askes you ‘How are you?’ how would you respond?” enquired our tutor. My friend Ravi responded, “I am good.”
“Ravi can you translate it into German and write it on the board?” the tutor requested.
“Ich bin gut”, Ravi had translated it from English. “What could be the alternate answers for this question?” our tutor questioned.

(I was keeping my fingers crossed. “My tutor should not ask me” but as you know luck generally does not favour us Land I was asked to give the alternate answer)

“Ich bin sehr gut”, I wrote it on the board which meant, “I am very good”

“Ich bin nicht gut”, was another alternate answer given which meant, “I am not good”

My tutor went to the board and said, “You can never translate a language completely into another. How are you in English means ‘How is it going for you’ in German and hence your question should be, ‘WiegehtesIhnen?’ “

Well, we were all surprised with this explanation but somewhere we thought so what yaar  if the question that we translated was wrong, the answer ‘Ich bin gut‘ is correct J . Alas we were wrong L. My tutor went on to explain, “If you go to a German speaking persona and say, “I am good” in German it means you are telling him, “Hey I look good or hey my physique is good” or “Hey I look very good “

The entire class burst out laughing. And I think everyone must have reminisced the third answer in their mind “I am not good :P” That second I wrote in my diary, “I think I should blog about this”.(Good idea wasn’t it J )

So dear readers, next time you visit Germany or meet a German speaking person think twice while saying “Ich bin gut” or “I am good.” Or even asking “How are you?” in German………………J


  1. Nice one. German is one of those languages in which if you tell a lady that you love her, she first has to take out her kerchief and wipe her face.

    1. Oh ho.... I dint know that... its kinda wierd.... But yeah i started loving the language after i started learning it.... Do you know German?