German Class and Rescue Diving

I feel like this month has been very educational.  It started with our rescue diver class (which finishes up this week - yay!) and then continued with German language class (which shall continue for the foreseeable future).

First up, rescue diver.  This is one step below Dive Master (the first level of professional diving within the PADI system).  Ideally, by the end of this class we will know what to do in case of a dive emergency, whether that be just a tired diver or one that been attacked by, or otherwise come into contact with, aquatic life or one that is panicking.  In the classroom, we've learned the fundamentals including how and when to administer oxygen to a victim (we should have our DAN O2 Provider cards by the end of the class too) and this weekend we will be practicing those skills in open water.  It was important to us to have this completed before leaving for Germany; we don't want to be known as the crazy American divers.  Eh, we'll probably still be known as that, but at least we've got the skills to back us up!

Next, German class.  Last week, Aaron and I began our German lesson in preparation for our relocation to Germany.  Luckily, Aaron and I have both had a decent exposure to other foreign languages (I had Spanish in high school and Aaron had four years of Latin), so we are (slightly) familiar with learning other languages.  So far, we have learned the German alphabet, numbers through 20, colors, words for some household items, and how to tell time.  Once we learn how to tie our shoes, we will be ready for Kindergarten!  Just kidding.  Sort of.  Learning another language is not easy, but I've always wanted to be bilingual, and this is a great excuse to finally learn another language.  As in everything, I've been an over achiever in this since I really would like to be fluent eventually.  

Last night, we met with our tutor at the ABC Microbrewery in Ypsilanti (formerly known, and still often referred to, as Corner Brewery).  It was actually kind of great to sit there with ein Bier and practice our Deutsch (see what I did there?) in a quiet corner of the tap room.  We spent a majority of the class learning how to tell time.  You'd think that telling time in German would be the same as telling time in English.  Nope.  Not even close.  It's not like they have more than 24 hours in a day or anything, which would be awesome in its own right, but how they describe it is completely different.  For example, if it was 1:30, in the US, we would just say as such.  In Germany though, they have multiple ways to express the exact same time.  The most straight forward, but probably the most foreign to many Americans, is the 24 hour clock.  So 1:30 PM magically becomes 13:30.  Then, similar to English, they express time in relative terms (i.e. quarter after, half past, quarter to, etc.).  Let's look at some of the ways in which Germans will tell you the time:

halb vor zwei = half before two, or, 1:30

viertel nach ein = quarter after one, or, 1:15

funf nach halb drei = five after half 3, or 2:35

sechzhen Uhr funfundzwanzig = (literally) seventeen o'clock twenty five, 17:25 or 5:25 in the evening

When speaking about the time in relative terms, as in the first three examples, the time of day needs to be indicated - morgens, mittags, abends or nachts for morning, afternoon, evening or night, respectively.  And each of these divisions have (somewhat) clearly defined times in which to use them.  Morgens is anytime before noon.  Mittags is from noon until 5pm (17:00 for those on the 24 hour clock), abends is from 5 to 10 PM (17:00 - 22:00) and nachts is anytime after 10 but can include the wee hours of the morning.  And typically, in the US when you are saying good bye to someone as you're leaving work, it's not unusual to hear, "Have a good night!"  However, if you were to say this to a German, they would wonder why you are going to bed so early.  Here, they would say, "Guten abend" (good evening), unless it's before 5, and then they would say "Guten tag" (good day). 

So. Many. Rules.  Let's hope the train or meeting I am bound to miss from misinterpreting the time isn't too important.....

Anyone else telling time this weekend or do anything fun to celebrate the holiday?