On September 9th, 2012, The Wife and I took a tourist walk through Hannover known as “The Red Thread.” We didn’t finish the entire tour, but we did end up at the town hall building, where we saw a Renault Twizy electric car being charged in the parking lot. I was so impressed I had to take a picture, but the owners, an older husband and wife, walked up right at that moment. Wanting to be polite, I asked permission.
“Entschuldigung Sie bitte. Darf Ich ein bild aus deine Auto nehmen?” I asked with an American accent so thick you could hear the baseball and smell the apple pie. Luckily, the man’s gesture in response let me know I was welcome to proceed. As we were walking away, I asked my wife if I had spoken correctly.
“He understood you,” she replied. “But in Germany, we say ‘make’ a picture. Also, ‘aus’ means ‘out of,’ and ‘Auto’ is a neutral noun, rather than feminine.”
“Dammit,” I said, clenching my fist. “So, basically, I just asked that man if I could steal a picture out of his she-car?”
Click here to learn more about the term “Culture Shock.”
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