Our new freund von Deutschland apparently speaks/reads English better than he/she writes it. Birthdate was December 18, 1962 in Monchengladbach.
I took a college course in German while stationed there in the early Seventies and just barely passed. It's a hard language to learn.
What threw me more than anything else were the genders der, die, das, which correspond to the English he, she and it. To an English speaker like me, there seemed to be no rhyme or reason for designating an object by gender.
When I'd had a few German beers (much stronger than American brew), I could rattle it off pretty well. Which is why every time my (German-born) wife and I went to see her folks, my mother-in-law always offered me a beer first thing.
Although we don't have gender based definite articles and modifiers, we do randomly assign genders to some nouns. As an example, the U.S. is referred to as a female (despite Uncle Sam).