By traveling - 09/07/2013 11:18
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Well at least you should be pretty good at German by the end if your stay. You always learn faster when you're forced to!
I'm going to Germany this summer as a foreign exchange student too, except ill be staying there for a full year! Honestly, my sister did the same thing but in Norway and they didn't speak English either. But she gave a HUGE effort learning and was fluent within 1.5 months. That method is called immersion.!
The inaccuracies are frequently because of differences in grammar rules, and for the most part, German grammar is the same as English. The main issue with it is the same as the problem with the books and beginner's German classes, that is, you'll speak to everyone as if you work for them. I have a hard time picking up someone when I've been calling him Sir all night.
Google translate isn't that great for full on translations but more just specific words. If you try to talk to people using that you'll refer to everyone as formal/plural "you". I'm learning German right now and learned over 200 words in 5 days. The app is called duolingo and it's free but you can also register online. It's really helped me a lot. I don't look at the words/sentences and think "oh 'auf wiedersehen' translates to 'until we see eachother again/good bye'", I just automatically understand it. Kind of like we all know gracias means thanks in Spanish, but with this program you'll understand sentences as well. OP I strongly suggest duolingo! :)
Why would you choose to go to Germany if you didn't know the language? You couldn't have expected the family to do everything for you. If you were forced to go, you still should have known beforehand and made an effort to learn.
I totally agree, #6. Why is it that, as Americans, we expect everyone to cater to us? OP should've made the effort to at least learn a few basic phrases. The family probably speaks English quite well, being as it is taught in school, they just won't speak it to OP because he/she hasn't put forth the effort to use their language. Just saying.
You would be surprised how many people go places and do not know the language at all. I work in retail and I don't know how many times I try helping foreigners but they don't speak English at all. It's frustrating because they buy for other people and I have no idea what they want.
It's actually not mandatory to take English though it is offered. It wasn't offered many years back either many of my family and my father's friend (older generation) don't speak or know English. They very well may not know any. Op I suggest an English to Genan dictionary, might help a bit.
i have never had a problem with foriegners not knowing my language at my place of work and i do my best to learn the essentials for thr countries i travel to. English speaking countries are the worst when it comes to learning foreign languages. it makes me cringe when i see so many fellow brits using the "if i speak louder and slower you'll understand me" approach when abroad.
#11, I feel the same way! I just got back from a trip to Italy and France and felt really bad when I had to speak English because I feel like we Americans set up a double standard where we expect those visiting America to know English but don't always make an effort to learn the language of a country that we visit
Thank you, #28. I've been to Germany twice. I've never taken German, but I made an attempt to speak German whenever I could. You'd be surprised how much more receptive people are when you at least make the effort to meet them halfway. For the rest of you, I'm not saying we Americans are the only perpetrators, but we definitely have the perception that English should be spoken world-wide.