News to some of you: I spend a little time almost every day studying German. Even though my surname is French, I find German more interesting. For one thing, they pronounce pretty much all of the letters in all words, seldom resorting to dropping consonants and blowing snot bubbles.  For another, my parents were each ½ German, thus making me ½ German. Finally, my wife and I enjoy traveling there occasionally, and I must admit – my German skills there are rarely very useful. I can read signs. Sometimes in small villages it helps when no one can (or wants to) speak English.
On some study days I will read short stories for variety, instead of the regular vocabulary and grammar lessons. Those can be a real grind.
Following is a very short story I read recently during a study session (my translation to English is good enough). Most stories are enjoyable, but I especially liked this one. It’s called “Der Brief”(The Letter).
Here goes. Translated by me.
Sari and Lilli are standing in front of a bookstore.
Sari says: Let’s go in! I love old books!
Lilli: And that’s why we are friends.
They go into the bookstore. Sari takes a book and opens it up.
Sari: Lilli!! There’s an old letter in this book!
Lilli: What kind of letter?
Sari: A man named Joseph is writing to his good friend, Doris. He needs some advice.
Lilli: Why? What kind of advice?
Sari: He says that he loves two women, Marianna, and Ruth. Marianna is highly intelligent. But Ruth is very funny. He doesn’t know which one he should marry!
Lilli: I hope he stayed single. [Lilli is often the Debbie Downer in the lessons and stories]
Sari: Now I really need to know what his friend Doris had to say.
Just then, the woman who owns the bookstore comes over to them.
Owner: Oh! That is a terrific book! … It belonged to my husband. … He died last year.
Sari: Oh, I am so sorry!
Lilli (spark in her voice now): Was your husband’s name Joseph?
Owner (a little surprised): Yes!
Sari (excitedly): And what’s your name? Marianna … or Ruth?
The woman smiles, a fresh gleam in her eyes.
“My name is Doris.”
Well, hope you liked it at least half as much as I did.
Until next time …
 In some spoken instances they do drop final parts a word. E.g. Einen often becomes Ein because, quite frankly, who really cares if you get the gender and grammatical case correct?
Joe Girard (c) 2022 — story snagged from Duolingo.
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