How do I make my brain think backwards?
English: I am 42 years old.
German: I am two-and-forty years old.
Ok, I can do that. But then we get:
German: My number is eight-and-ninety, three-and-twenty, five-and-eighty, seven-and-forty.
And I'm still sitting there turning around eight-and-ninety while they've moved on to the next sentence. Is it practice? Is it the way my brain works? (That's a possibility. In knitting, there's written out patterns, and then there's charts, where each stitch is shown as a symbol in a box and you read across for the first row, and back for the next. I can't. I've tried for literally years and my brain won't convert the symbol in the box to a knitting stitch while I'm knitting. I have to sit and write them out.)
I've tried converting the numbers half-way: eight+ninety, three+twenty, which sort of works if it's a short series and the end of the conversation. But doing the conversion during the conversation takes way too long and I'm hopelessly lost.
Part of me says: Look at your goals. Seriously doubtful that I would ever travel, so maybe I can slide through on this. The other part says--learn it.
And the bottom line is if I really want to pass the B1 test, it's going to be there, since they seem to think anyone learning another language will spend all their time in airports and hotels discussing flights and rooms.
Meh. I shall go hide in past tense irregular verbs for awhile.