Tuesday, January 24, 2012

After two hours of German my brain goes mushy

I would like to tell you that I have not blogged because I have spent every spare moment studying German - but of course this is not the case.

After two hours of German my brain goes a bit mushy and I have to repair to the TV to watch something less taxing - like cricket or golf or ski jumping – and in the latter case I am pleased to report that the Austrians are world champions.

But – and I have complained about this before – I am astonished by the UK advertisers fascination with animals. Almost every second advertisement has a person communicating in some way with an imaginary animal or creature.

And they interact with them quite normally. They discuss insurance and mobile phones. Now I always watch these with the sound muted so maybe they lose something - but to me they seem surreal.

They latest one has a man and a woman sitting at a counter discussing a mobile phone or something and there is the Yoda character from Star Wars who dives in and (I think) tells them about the best plan.

I mean – what would he know about mobile phones – wasn’t he suppose to be telepathic. I mean he can raise himself off his arse through his own thought processes – who would he call?

And the endless fascination with washing powders.

Oh Mummy something horrible happened at school today – Snotty Potter’s mummy washed his shirt with New Omo and he dazzled the shit out of all of us – it was so humiliating.

OMG! I knew this would happen if I kept washing with  Grey Sludge – quick I will run to Tesco’s for New Omo while you get all your shirts out. No more humiliation for you young man!

Not to mention the never-ending morbid fascination they have for toilet bowls. I will spare you the details on that one.

But the people who drive me crazy are the ones who won’t stop still while they talk to you (not that I have any idea what they are saying because I am not listening) but you would think that they had been given plenty of notice that they have to do this commercial so would just stop still long enough to do it.

But no – the camera has to chase them down supermarket aisles and around counters and through turnstiles and out into car parks.

Or else they start walking toward the camera and won’t stop and the poor camera man has to backtrack through the supermarket or bank dodging people and prams and trolleys while they bang on about the wallop that they are selling which is no good to me even if I wanted it because it is in a different country.

I would fix them. I would say – take a break for coffee – and then I would glue their shoes to the floor.

See how far you can walk now!

We have had some snow after a fashion in Vienna but it has been a bit spasmodic and sludgy. I have now despondently written winter off and am preparing myself for spring.  

Still – there is nothing wrong with spring. It’s an excellent time to learn German – and advertise washing powder and toilet cleaner. 


  1. The ads that drive me nuts are those in which someone appears to be talking to me, but they are turned at a slight angle and not looking in into the camera; they are looking at an imaginary person apparently sitting next to the camera. If you want to sell me something, look at me, damn it!

    Wow. I feel much better now.

    Funny. The WV for this post is "Conect"

  2. Do yourself a favour and watch sports like skiing or ski jumping on Austrian television (ORF). You'll see the whole event without advertisements and you'll learn almost effortlessly German at the same time! ;-)

  3. I thought - really?
    we are the world champions in ski jumping?
    How did that happen?
    must read more carefully.

    Coincidentally, about an hour ago I just saw an ad where a kid teaches a dog how to use a digiframe.
    I found it disturbing.

  4. Achtung! Back to your books young man! or Aufmerksamkeit. Zurück zu ihrem lernen junge Mann! A thought occurred to me. Why don't you buy a smartphone, connect to the internet and use the free translation programmes as you go using your, no doubt, appalling pronunciation??? It would be like Star Trek where all the aliens understand English.
    Perhaps more disturbing than ads themselves is the fact that there are actual TV programmes that are ALL ADS. They purport to be entertaining, shows ads from around the world. Ughhhhh.

  5. All the commercials in China involve swinging very long glossy about your head or a device that makes your bosum larger or smaller depending on your mood. Watching boobs grow and shrink is very strange.

  6. I do think the only thing that we are good at it skiing, ski jumping and complaining, Austrians are world champions in each of the categories.
    As far as the toilet bowls go, well according to one of the ads EVERYONE who comes and visits will judge you by what your toilet looks like!!
    Glad you are advancing in German, maybe it’s time Cate learns her 3rd word?

  7. Happy Australia Day!

    The "mutt" (i.e. mute) button on our remote is the most used of all. Jim is great at shutting up all advertisements while watching the cricket. He also shuts up the commentary whenever it's Bill Lawrey's turn on the panel.

    SK Waller: They're reading the autocue and can't look straight at you.

  8. SK Waller: They all drive me crazy.

    Merisi; learn german effortlessly. Ha Ha.

    freefalling: I am really struggling to think why a dog would want to use a digiframe.

    Sandy: Well I have a dictionary in my iPhone which is pretty good and i use t when I am stick for words but there is a lint to how long people will wait while you are speaking to them.

    fmcgmccllc: The Germans and Austrians do the long glossy hair and the boobs as well.

    Rozalin: Of course - That's why I keep my bowls sparkling. It's the only ads I take notice of. I cannot interest cate in a second lesson.

    Annie: Hmmm.. cannot bear any of the Oz commentators except the ones on the ABC.

  9. Zwei Tage ohne Neues auf "Wien für Dumme" ist fast unerträglich, ich bin schon ganz schlecht gelaunt.