Learning a language is one of the greatest things to do. It intellectually enchances your being, and it connects you to a new people and cultures in a way not thought possible. I always thought I was terrible at languages, and I kind of am, with this said I never thought I’d find myself living in Germany and trying to learn German. News flash, German is not an easy language!
But the experience has been great. Yes, I’ve cried out in frustration, but overall, I’m happy to be learning German. Now I know many expats have come to German without learning German, and still after several years, they’re German isn’t so great. I get it, when it’s expensive, hard and you know over half the German population speaks English, it’s hard to find the motivation to sit in a classroom for 12 hours a week.
It’s worth it. I assure you! The reality, learning the local language connects you to the people and culture in ways I didn’t think possible. Even if you try to speak German, you develop a sudden respect and appreciation for your efforts. There’s also words that only be expressed by the German language, and well, English doesn’t always cut it for those most crafty of words. Have you heard of the word “Wanderlust”? German.
So, if I still haven’t convinced you, these are 5 reasons to learn German before moving abroad.
It connects you with the people.
Yes, I’v not trying to be all supplemental here, but when you try to speak the local language, you suddenly earn a lot of respect with the locals. There’s also several ways to express yourself in German that’s not easily similar to in the English language.
It keeps you independent.
By independence, I mean you’re not dragging a German to translate for you at the supermarket, or even the bank to open a bank account. These everyday experiences don’t require A+ German, and you can most likely get by with broken German learned in your Intermediate B1 German class. Part of the reason of being an expat is independence, and a language shouldn’t be a barrier in front of that.
You can get yourself out of circumstances.
These ‘circumstances’ could be anything. If you understand the basics of the language, you can understand when the S-Bahn is cancelled due to weather conditions, or when an accident happens and you must make a call to the emergency services. Ora circumstance that I believe knowing German is very useful, when you get “hit on” by the Turkish cab driver when coming home late from a music concert. The best phrase for these situation is “Ich möchte night.”
You can share in on the German jokes.
And you have to give it to the Germans, they can find some pretty funny jokes. Usually the jokes revolve around the spoken language not being completely correct – wow, the German made a mistake – but it gives to know a little German to laugh when the jokes start coming around.
Berlin being an international city, it’s sometimes hard to find the concrete reasons to learn a hard language. I constantly struggle with it, but when it starts to ‘click’ you suddenly feel connect to the people, the culture and the jokes on an entirely new level. In Berlin, I suggest starting your German-learning adventure at die deutSCHule, DeutschAkademie Berlin and Lingoda.