Take me to your Umlauts!


Once upon a time, David Bergmann voluntarily moved from Chicago to Germany (the country of his 32 great-great-great-grandparents). His mission: a year-abroad to go “back to the roots” - both physically and linguistically. Since then he has come to terms (well, almost) with the past-tense, cute yet tough “Umlauts“, powerful prefixes, “Doinglish“, idiosyncratic idioms, and the twelve (or was that thirteen?) possible plural-forms. Furthermore, he has tackled the eternal questions posed by native English speakers of “How do you ‘du’?“, “Where’s my Fahrvergnügen?“, and “Der, die, WAS?!“. Through it all, he has both confused and amused the natives. But most importantly, he discovers that German is not at all an awful language – as Mark Twain once mistakenly wrote – but rather an awfully cool one!

“An amusing look under the hood of the German language.”

Goethe-Institut Chicago & Goethe-Institut Hamburg

A warm and witty book with a pleasant sprinkling of umlauts!”

Eric T. Hansen, bestselling author

(Planet Germany, Deutschland Quiz, Forbetter your English)


(For details about upcoming events as well as a sample chapter,

please refer to the page “Blog”.)


Der, Die, Was? – Ein Amerikaner im Sprachlabyrinth” is an amusing journey through the German language and a non-native-speaker‘s remarkable declaration of affection. Translated now into English, this book continues the mission of the original: to convince people of the inherent coolness of the German language – Umlauts and all.


Take me to your Umlauts! -

An American goes back to his German Roots

(Published 2012 by

“Blaupause Books - Olaf Hille Verlag”, Hamburg, Germany)


The official English translation of the German original book:

Der die WAS? - Ein Amerikaner im Sprachlabyrinth

(Published 2007 by

“Rowohlt Verlag”, Reinbek, Germany)

We have ways of making you talk ... German!



(paperback & Kindle)