CONTRIBUTED BY: AROUND THE WHEREVER
As an expat living in Germany, I’m keen to fully experience German life and culture. Part of that involves learning German and I’m finally starting to see some tangible fruits of my language learning labor.
- Conducting your day to day responsibilities is so much easier. If one’s job is in her primary language, she is still confronted by the realities of day to day living when she leaves work. Even in Germany, where many people know English, it’s not always possible to conduct business in English. For example, when I call my internet provider, staff will not speak English.
- It deepens communication with people who already speak fluent English. For example, I have German friends who are very fluent in English but once in a while aren’t familiar with some of the concepts or vocabulary that I use. At this point, I can often supply the German word for it and we both have the “ah-ha” moment. It’s awesome!
- It gives one an opportunity to meet people that one might not have had the chance before. For example, I’m able to have a conversation with a classmate who doesn’t speak English because we both can speak German since it’s a common language for us.
- It allows one to join community events. For example, I joined a meeting of a local organization and could understand what was going on.
- It takes some of the stress out of traveling. I can decipher the announcements on the train when service is disrupted. If I can’t catch the message the first time, I can ask another passenger.
- It allows one a less touristy experience. For example, I don’t have to eat at restaurants where there are pictures of the food or menus in English. I can go to the more local restaurants and translate the menu and order for myself, avoiding the tourist traps.
What’s your favorite way to learn German?