On the brighter side, I picked up a copy of German for Dummies. In the first few pages, it had the spelling for some of the words I hear a lot. The word that's pronounced "kvatsh" is spelled "Quatsch." I was sure there was a "k" in there. I never would have guessed it was a "qu." They translate it as "nonsense." The translators who use British English have it as "Rubbish!"
I got a little cranky when I saw they had umlauts they said could go over a long a or a short a, because the accent marks should tell you the difference in pronounciation. Okay, they do in French. If they don't, that means you need to memorize which words are which. I got even crankier when I saw the consonant pronounciation list. I knew "w"s were pronounced as "v"s, and "j"s were pronounced like "y"s. I kind of knew that "v"s are pronounced either as "f"s or as "v"s. I learned that "b"s are either pronounced as "b"s or as "p"s. "C"s are pronounced as "k"s, "ts"s or "tsh"es -- and so on. There are no "c"s that are pronounced like the English "c." Well, English does have "c"s that are pronounced like "k"s, and those "c"s are actually "k"s in German, like "alkohol." I reluctantly admit that that makes sense. The B-looking thing is an esset, and is pronounced as a sharp "s." I am more confused then ever on that now. I'm sticking to my idea that it replaces double "s"es.
More happily, I got that "Frage" is "question." "Das brotchen" is a roll. I would have spelled it "briochen," but I seem to be mostly spelling words I don't know how to spell with a French spelling. I knew "Pommes." "Entschuldigung" is spelled pretty much like it's pronounced. There are other informal words and phrases I was glad to get the spelling for. I can hear some of the words as I see them, the way the actors pronounce them. I'm still not hearing the difference between "friend," "boyfriend," and "girlfriend." I guessed more or less right on how to spell "Toll!" (great) and "Viel Gluck!" (good luck). I'd looked up "Keine Ahnung" (no idea) in my dictionary before, and knew how to spell "Was ist los?" (What's wrong?)
I'll probably consult the book every so often, limited as it is by the lack of swear words and words relating to sex. I'm learning those words by hearing them a lot. My knowledge of how to spell military-related words, from all the history I've read, and particularly the twentieth century history, has not been put to use at all. I suppose if I watched different kinds of shows, I'd have different vocabularies. I'd like to know the differences between "Hund," "Dogge," and the various other words for dogs. According to my dictionary, "Dogge" is "mastiff," which explains a lot. Great Dane is "Deutsche Dogge," which would translate as German mastiff. That makes sense. I think my German vocabulary increases a little each day. I can really match up the words from the episodes I've seen more than once.