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I really don’t know! I would say quite a bit so you could communicate, but you’ll probably pick it up pretty easily if you live there for a while.
yeah i guess since english is a required class there they all know english. thanks for the replyyyyyyy :D
Sadly that’s not really true. I don’t know why, but somehow you don’t get along with English here too well. All foreign people I’ve met and who came here before confirmed that. :(
hm that’s surprising. i wish americans strived more to be bilingual.
well i hope the rosetta stone does me justice.
When I moved here, I did not speak a word. I did my best to find people that did not speak english and “dove” into the Austrian-German culture. It was a bit embarrassing and sometimes frustrating, but I am so happy that I now speak “competently” and I would do it all over again!
1) Use what you learn – again and again.
2) Find people who can’t or won’t speak English to you.
3) Run around with a small dictionary. Practice new words.
You “only” need 1000 words to speak 50% of the language and 2000 words for 80% of German. This is cool! You can learn this within a year.
To answer your question: Learn as much vocabulary as possible (even if you cannot bring sentences together), because this will help you hit the ground running.
sorry, I wrote a novel. Mark
ah it’s all good. novels are the most time-consuming and i’m a person with a lot of time. i’m excited—now i want to go get a dictionary. that’s a great idea.
How long will you be in Germany? One year as a exchange student or for the University?
I use(d) a pocket dictionary for example: http://www.amazon.com/Langenscheidts-Pocket-Dictionary-German-German-English/dp/1585730505/sr=8-8/qid=1160948518/ref=pd_bbs_sr_8/102-4424858-5290548?ie=UTF8
I am a bit of a language freak and knew I would live here the rest of my life, so I started using daily vocabulary lists and the likes. With efforts I was speaking and understanding within a month or two. I’m sure you can do the same, because you seem to be well motivated.
For any other tips, I am at your disposal. Mark
yeah i’m a bit of an english guru myself. my friends all think i’m crazy correcting them for saying “good” instead of “well” or spelling words wrong. i want to go for a semester and my plans are very laid back. if i like it there i might just stay. i’d be going there as a junior.
I’d learn the basics before you go, especially greetings and the numbers, words for classroom items and food?
But then when you’re there you German will improve a lot, really quickly.
I suggest buying a grammar book, too, so you know why they say ein wiesses hause but das weisse haus, and to explain the case system and things like that, if you don’t already know it.
Where are you going to school>
uhh well i want to go to moenchengladbach but that’s not happening so maybe freiburg-region
I did a British council exchange in Muenster for two weeks last year. It was really cool. I’m doing Germanic Studies at uni now, so I’ll be doing a yer abroad in 08-09.
I was suprised that a lot of people didn’t speak English, so don’t expect it from a lot of people.
But do have an amazing time.
This is Muenster:
Yup, I made the same experience here when a friend from Hong Kong came to visit me.
Greetings from Muenster :-D
Hi! I was raised bilingually, with English as my “mother tongue”. I had to switch from an American school to a German one in 6th grade and it was really hard in the beginning!
The most important thing (in school) is to know the difference between “Sie” and “Du” – both are forms of “you” with “Sie” being the formal “you” to address your teachers/elders or strangers.
It would be adviseable to listen to German lessons (e. g. via I-Tunes), stories or songs to get a feeling for the language. It is one thing to be able to read a language, but you also have to be able to “tune in” to it.
Oh – and don’t rely on everybody knowing English. Even though most Germans speak basic English, it’s still hard to communicate solely with English if you live in the sticks and not in a big city (e. g. Frankfurt, Berlin or Munich). And I don’t know where you will be going to school, but brace yourself that some regions of Germany have very thick accents/dialects that are hard for foreigners to understand (like Bavarian). I went to a school in Bavaria and even the teachers spoke with a heavy accent, which made it very hard for me to understand at first!
Sorry, I don’t want to scare you, but I think these are some important things to know. :-)
Ich wünsche Dir viel Spaß und viel Glück! ;o)
yeah, true. i bought the rosetta stone program for german and it’s pretty lame but it should get me far enough into the program that i’ll be okaaaay.
plus i’m going to have an exchange student stay at my house for six months or longer and i’ll learn a lot from her.
danke fur ihre hilfe
I read some of the above comments, and would have to agree. I found it a help to carry a small notebook, and all along the way noted words or structures i didnt know to look them up and learn them afterward. -Most Germans do speak english and/or french and/or russian and or italian, or at least SOMETHING else, they place so much more emphasis on things like that than north americans do. but definately dive right in. to put it in perspective:
I knew a few choice words and phrases before going over, but for the most part i was a complete beginner, -there were no courses for german in my school. I went for three months; 2 and a half months through, i took the train by myself to an air force base. on the way, i had a conversation with some ladies sitting there who were surprised to find out i was from Canada, and then asked how long I was speaking German. They actually mistook my speech for a Dusseldorf native. -its definately within reach.
Once you learn German though, english will seem overly simplistic and vague. Have fun!
Well, I think if you take a course of less than 1 year, that’s ok.
In my case, I was 20 years old, I took a heavy course of 180 hours in 8 months (I think the half would have been enough) and then I travelled by Inter-rail for one month in Germany.
Read books in German, when you are there, “light” books but well written, you’ll find yourself expressing verbally the same way the book is written, also in very difficult passive and composite forms, without much effort. But read as much as you can.
I travelled alone, so I could not speak my native language with anyone. The most difficult moment I had was when I got down from the train, I had every question ready in English, and I was ashamed to speak in German, you know, that sort of thing. But after the first question, everything was easy.
when you read the books in german, did you translate every word into english or try to get with the flow of the language?
i went to the library and rented some “kinderbuchen” like “der regenbogenfisch” and “bob der baumeister”. should i try and read some actual german literature??
In Italian they say TENTAR NON NUOCE (trying will not harm you).
I thought you had to prefer a subject, instead I found that “love romans”, which I don’t like, were perfect for understanding.
I would suggest, try with the first book you find, then choose another one, of course you have to learn some basics first.
For university study I think you generally need a C1 level according to the Common European Framework.
Anyway I’m going on exchange next year!
Can anyone answer me this question:
Will Germans who know English “switch” to English if you try to speak to them in German and they know that you’re struggling?
They do that in French Canada so I can never practice my French!
hey, how long are you goping on exchange and where? cuz im planning on going there in sept but for a whole year so im kinda scared….
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