Sunday, July 30, 2006


Visited the pretty town of Bamberg today. It is included in the UNESCO World Heritage list because of its fantastically well-preserved town centre, its architectural influence on nearby regions of Germany (lots of Fachwerkshäuser here, for instance), and even town of residence of famous philosopher Hegel.

The funny thing here was the Bavarian accent. :). Sounds a little bit like a Scotsman speaking German, with its markedly rolled "r"s and strongly-defined vowels(a bit like Spanish, where the vowels are well-defined, always the strong sound, and never "dipthongated"), and with the Scottish intonation/singsong. That still didn't help me understand the language any better, so the details about the Residenz and the Bamberg Museum which were guided in one and written in the other were to me rather sparse, since my German is rather fluent when I speak it (I don't really have much to say when travelling--"Where is the Youth Hostel?" or if more complicated conversation with a German Youth Hostel roommate is required, perhaps a "How do you like this city?", which is not very complicated stuff, you see), but understanding it when the answers come is another matter, as there are many words I do not know (and I suspect that many times people reply to me in local dialects, which makes things a bit more tricky, and which I found odd, given that from my horrible grammar it ought to be fairly clear that I'm a foreigner...), and unlike French, where you can deduce the meaning from the similarities to Latin, Italian and Spanish when it's written, this trick won't do in German (one like me needs a dictionary in this case). Besides, from the little I could gather, the heavily Bavarian-accented guide was speaking mostly about the palace mirrors. So you're not missing much by my limited language skills. Still, I must confess that listening to the guide was rather enjoyable, truth be told. In a good natured, amusing, purely acoustic pleasure kind of way. ;)


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