The Fabelhaft! festival in southern Austria has always been one of my favourite festivals, and this year was the best yet. Wonderful company, amazing scenery, great shows – and this year I had the added challenge of telling IN GERMAN! Not completely in German – the stories were bi-lingual, English and German, but it was still an extraordinary challenge for me because I don’t actually speak German.
But I did it – and did it well, by all accounts. People were very complimentary while I was there, so I came home feeling very proud of myself. And I’ve just received an email from an Austrian storytelling friend:
‘Congratulations! Friends and colleagues of mine heard you tell in English and German and were full of admiration: “It was a great performance! And she spoke a beautiful German without any accent!” ‘
There was only one thing that puzzled me… I kept telling a story about a demon – an enormous rat, bigger than a cow, with ‘einem langen rosanen Schwanz’ – a long pink tail. I couldn’t understand why the teens were sniggering. Then I discovered that ‘Schwanz’ is slang for penis…