I've recently developed a bit of a ... shall we say ... crush.
(Or rather, given the language involved, let's call it a "Krush.")
As such, and in order to impress said Krush, I occasionally attempt to break out a little bit of that sonorous, melodic native language of his, that is: German. Yes. German. Where there are 6 different ways to say "the," and oh yeah, don't forget to change the ending of every noun depending on where it is in the sentence, and put the verb at the end, so as to keep suspense in every phrase!
Because I grew up in the French-speaking part of Switzerland, German was mandatory in school. I learned all types of useful things as a little kid. I'll never forget the very first sentences I learned: "Guten Tag. Ich heisse Hans. Hans Schaudi."
Oh, the adventures of 13-year old Hans Schaudi, from our primary school German manual! His father, Heinrich! His mother, Liesl! His dog, Lumpi! His totally-randomly-living-with-the-Schaudi-family-despite-not-being-related lady friend Lieselotte!
Hans and Lieselotte got up to all kinds of crazy mischief while his father was off working at a bank, and his mother was at home, cleaning (...seriously. The Schaudis were not a progressive family.) One time, they were walking through the forest hunting for mushrooms (...again, seriously), and Lieselotte tripped over a broken branch and broke her leg. She really was a bit useless like that. Hans fashioned her a splint and dragged her home.
There are certain phrases that have been burned into my brain for always and eternity because of that manual. "Schnitzel, prima!" because it was Hans' favorite. Or "Lieselotte ist nicht meine Tochter," Heinrich declared, emphatically wagging a finger to deny paternity. "Mein Vater und meine Mutter sind in Amerika" Lieselotte told us, attempting to explain her child abandonment.
I will never ever forget the word for necklace ("Kette"), simply because that's what Hans bought his mother for Christmas one year. Even at the time, I remember thinking Hans was doing just all right for himself if he was buying his mother pearl necklaces before his 14th birthday. Oh, Hans. Memories of childhood.
Sadly, despite Hans & Co., I never quite got my German to a fluent level. So now I keep a quick link to an online German dictionary at the ready for just such occasions: dict.leo.org, a real lifesaver.
Anyway, today, I rather proudly threw together a sentence for aforementioned German Krush, which I think is right up there with "Come here often?" (Kommst du oft hier?) or "Coffee? Tea? Me?" (Kaffee? Tee? Mich?)
It was, "Meine Sicht ist vielleicht limitiert, aber blind bin ich nicht."
That means, "My eyesight may be limited, but I'm not blind." I'll leave you to imagine the context.
... And if nothing ever works out with Krush, there's always Hans.