Putting my German to Use!
After one year of German classes in school and ocassionaly visits on Doulingo, I was able to visit Munich and a town outside of Linz, Austria. I was of course extremely excited to be able to practice my german in real-life situations, but also slightly doubting how much i would be able to contribute to conversations with locals. When I did arrive in Munich I amazed my family by navigating us to our hotel and making pretty good conversation with the taxi driver. This was something that was amazing and has encouraged me to continue on Doulingo and in class! I also developed relationships with my friends in Austria that I will hopefully keep for a very long time, if not the rest of my life. So to conclude this story of part of my amazing european experience I would love to know if anyone has had a similar experience when visiting the country of your second language? If so, what was it?
I will be moving to Vilseck next year, I am very excited to be able to use my German there. :) A good experience I had was at Universal Studios Florida in Orlando. A worker at my hotel had a badge that said "Ich spreche Deutsch." I got really excited and chatted with him for a bit. It felt amazing to know that my practice is paying off.
Hey, Vilseck and the Grafenwöhr army base is not too far from my home town. So I can tell you a bit about our perspective: We often see US soldiers strolling around on the weekends here. But they usually never really get much in contact with the residents and rather stay amongst themselves. Not the best habit if you want to practice German or learn more German culture ;).
The army base is almost like an US enclave here. If you don't want to, you probably never will have to speak a single word of German. But I can only recommend to get out of that comfort zone: Go shopping or have a dinner in a restaurant or do anything that forces you to get in contact with locals - alone. But don't be too surprised if they reply in english to you (we love to show off our english skills, you know :D).
And even though you may find that many Germans are a bit reserved at first, most of them will open up, if you show some real interest in the language and habits (just avoid to come across patronizing or something ;) ).
Hope you'll have a good time over here!
Being able to get around and function in another language in another country absolutely transforms the travel experience in my opinion. I have quite a few stories of having had doors open for me that would not have otherwise opened had I not been able to speak the language. I am looking forward to seeing this happen on future trips to Germany once my German gets better, and I am looking forward to flexing some more of my Spanish muscle on a future trip to Spain.
Happy travels and happy language learning.
I went to Berlin last May and none of my friends knew I was learning German. It was nice to surprise them when I was able to translate signs, menus and have basic conversations with some natives. I was proud of myself... It is a great feeling to know the hard work is paying off
Damn, I hope to do the same. I figured I already spoke a fair bit of German, as my mother's mom was born in the Schleswig Holstein region, and my grandma passed some German on to me. I was surprised by how little I knew when I failed to test out of even the most basic German here on Duolingo.
As such, I'm embarking on a German journey. I doubt I'll ever be fully fluent, but it never hurts to try.
Its always a bummer when you don't do as well as you hoped, but keep learning! Good luck!
I had those feelings first when i started Duolingo but after getting to quite a good level i feel i am a descent speeker. Just dont give up!
the same thing happend to me! Last year i didnt know a word of german (even though my mother is german) but since i started Duolingo and went to germany this year i feel so happy.
Congratulations, that's a great story! I hope to reward myself by visiting Germany after a year of studies as well. Hopefully I'll do as well as you did over there! :)
My brother sort of had a Spanish conversation once. He said "hola" and Kenya said "tu habla espanol?" and he said "no"
Despite three years of German in school and using duolingo I barely used any german on my high school trip to Germany/ Austria/ Liechtenstein/ Switzerland. I feel like such a moron.
I have a similar experience when I go to Spain with my family, in the same way you put your German to use. Its great to be able to make foreign friends, and an invaluable skill to be comfortable with the Language and Dialect of a different country and culture.