Learning German after 50

I grew up speaking English in Singapore and I studied Mandarin as a second language in school. When I was 25, I moved to France and managed to parler francais after 6 months. At 35 I started learning Spanish when I met my husband, who is from Madrid. So when we were ready to leave France 4 years ago, I didn’t want to move to a country where I would have to learn yet another language, especially at my age! I already started having mild forms of amenesia…going into a room and forgetting what I went there for…mixing up my childrens’s birth dates…đŸ˜± so I didn’t think I would be able to learn a new language.

But as luck would have it, we landed up in the little town of Ulm in Germany. Unlike France, most people here will gladly speak English with you and I managed to get by the last three years speaking mainly English and some important German phrases like “Ich möchte ein Pinot Grigiot oder Chardonney bitte.”( I would like a Pinot Grigio or Chardonney please…) and other food and alcohol connected phrases!

Unfortunately, as I now feel slightly embarrased when I have to tell people I’ve been here for 3 years and I still don’t speak the language, I decided to enrol myself into intensive German courses, 4h every morning for 2 months! After the 1st week I was already drowning in German grammar, especially since my English grammar wasn’t very good to start with (I had to look up what a verb and a noun was… lol!). After the second week, I started to question if my pride was worth all this effort, especially since I had a minimum of 2 to 3 hours homework everyday!  The actual work would probably only have taken an hour but as I wanted to understand every single word I read and every German grammar rule, I spent alot of time in my (paper) dictionary and the 230 pages of German grammar in English I had downloaded!

So what have I learnt so far? Learning a new language after 50 is exhausting! Is it beacuse most of my brain cells are dying or is it the constant need to understand things like, why articles change genders depending on the context! I know most languages associate a gender to their nouns, but German, in what I have come to understand is their need to be VERY precise, takes it to a whole new level of complexity! Can you believe that whether “you’re going to the chair” or just “sit on the chair” makes a difference to the word “the” in “the chair!!! So before I can even form the sentence “Sit on the chair”, I have to remember if “chair” is feminin, masculine or neutral, then remember if “Sit” is in the dative or accusative form, then assign the appropriate article to it! Arrrah!!

Anyway, all that to explain my lack of any creative endeavours the last 3 weeks. 😉 This was especially frustrating as I had just received so many incredible crafting gifts on my birthday. Altenew stamps, Zig clean markers and new Stamplorations dies and stamps… to name afew!

altenew purplenorange.png

I finally managed to make 2 cards and the above card followed the sketch from Viva La Verve and the colours from MFT Color challenge. I first sponged in Pumpin Pie ink from Stampin Up and spritz water on it to create the “blotched” background of the card. I cut it with my new Crazy double running stitch die from Stamplorations and adhered it on my white card. I used my new Altenew Peony bouquet layer stamps to create the flower and leaves, and I added in more colour with my new Zig brushes (love them!). I used the coordinating dies to cut them and pasted them on the white panel. The sentiment die cut comes from Stamplorations too and this was cut from a watercolour panel I had coloured with my brushos. Three little purple gemstones finished my card.


I’m quitehappy with how it turned out as they are not colours I would normally use, but I’m glad there are challenges out there to push me out of my comfort zone!

The sketch from Vive La Verve verve

The colours from MFT mft-color-challenge

I’m also entering this card in:

Altenew Ultimate challenge blog hop altenew

Addicted to Stamps – Make your mark addicted-to-stamps


I made another card with my new Altenew stamps, in a hurry one night, and unfortunately the lighting doesn’t really do it justice. This one was made by first stamping the outline stamp of the peony and heat embossing it with my new Wow embossing powders. I then added brusho powders and spritz water on it to create the watercoloured background. The “thanks” die cut comes from Stamplorations cutplorations series. I added some clear glue dots to resemble water droplets. I adhered this panel onto a purple cardstock I had cut with my Sue Wilson double sided stitched dies before sticking it to my white card.


I’m playing along with:

Cards and More – No designpaper

Stamplorations spotlight project – Using Brushos stamplorationspotlightproject

5 thoughts on “Learning German after 50

  1. Hey Gwendolyn! I am totally impressed! Not only by your gorgeous cards, but by your willingness to take on the German classes. You rock lady! I’d love to get together. Were you speaking of Monika? I may know of 1 or 2 others who might like to get together too. My family and I just drove through Ulm on Friday on our way back from Oberammergau. I hate driving here, so if you’d like to come here then that would be great!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Cute card – love the colour combination! I found German hard at school. French, Latin, both fine. But my struggle was exactly the same as you – changing words depending on what part of grammar they form was a step too far for me. I admire your intent and determination!

    Liked by 1 person

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