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Term search Jobs Translators Clients Forums. Term search All of ProZ. German term or phrase: Fremdaggressives Verhalten wird bspw. But Katherine I think your contention is also correct, that Americans in Germany are more likely to speak good German that citizens of the other English speaking countries. But this I cannot back up with statistics, it is just a personal observation. Mario more than 3 years ago. I hope the , illegals flooding Germany can speak German. The Germans may get annoyed! Colorado Bill more than 3 years ago.
I am a native Dutchie, but spent a big part of my high school years in the US. There I haven't learnt a word of German. As I am a currently studying in Germany, I am struggling with the language. You think you get a lot of criticism as a native English speaker, as a Dutch person I get even more negative comments for not speaking the language. It is true that our languages have similarities although Dutch grammar is so much simpler, who made up the whole einer, einem, einen rule?! But even when I am trying my best to speak German, I get laughed at for my poor pronunciation and my grammar mistakes.
Normally, I want to learn the language of the country I live in as fast as possible, but here in Germany I barely make an effort anymore. The arrogance is disgusting, when I just arrived people just refused to talk to me if I asked if they spoke English to take care of administrative tasks for my stay Foreign office, city hall in general, student admissions office.
Conversational German is one thing, getting administration done filling in really complicated German forms is another. At least get someone there to speak English. My experience in the doctor's office was similar. None of the people at the desk could speak a word of English in Bremen, not a small town or anything. We actually drove over the border to Holland to get treatment, cause I lost all faith when the doctor just stubbornly continued in German with an occasional English word thrown in.
I don't demand German people to speak Dutch in Holland. Most German students I met who were studying fulltime in Holland could barely put together a sentence, never mind pronouncing it the correct way. And we don't scoff or laugh at you when you try the Dutch language, we are actually flattered when people want to learn and try to help them as much as possible. I am not surprised even, the German people I met here Northern Germany , are so clique, why should you learn another language? If you only hang out with other Germans. I have declined two amazing job offers here, but I can't see myself staying here for another couple of years.
That's right, I'd rather live in a country with a high unemployment rate and shitty economy than in high and mighty Germany. Funny thing is that the Germans I met in the US and Australia were really open and extraverted and totally not like the German people here. Which was part of my motivation to study in Germany.
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Apparently all the 'good' Germans emigrate: Marissa more than 3 years ago. I'm very sorry that you've made such bad experiences with people laughing at your german proficiency - Actually, the dutch accent sounds charming to german ears. That might be dure to the fact that I, noticing how many of my fellow german students simply expected to be accomodated by the Dutch the Arnhem folk speak a very, very good german - but it's still the Netherlands, and not a german Colony , got into the habit of asking "Mag Ick Deuts met u praten?
The dutch seemed to be delighted with that very simple courtesy "A polite german! Quick, grab him - somebody get a camera! You could say that many germans "never fully relax their shoulders". What you are right about is the grammar - and here we germans do indeed have an advantage learning Dutch. The vocabulary is veryvery similar and the dutch grammar is closer to English, our first foreign language, whereas most dutch people study german as second language.
It took me five minutes to realize the obvious, and when I got to his office and asked him HOW they had explained to him that he needed a translator, he told me with a small grin: Germans study english as first foreign language for either 6 or 8 years - but until very, very recently, they never really needed to practice it after school - a Canadian friend told me that germans are the best at apologizing for their inability to converse in English - speaking English.
For the most part that is them feeling awkward - since they know how rusty their english has become - but I don't doubt that some are also simply asshats. However, I cannot help but agreing on with my former alma mater in Arnhem: They simply didn't want to be taken advantage of. Especially when you work in the front office - you have to speak the language of the country you live in. Andreas more than 3 years ago. Ik vind het jammer dat er niet meer duitsers zijn die nederlands leren, het is echt veel makkelijker voor hen dan voor nederlanders. Ik ben amerikaan en ik heb beide talen geleerd, hoewel ik moet zeggen dat ik tamelijk beter duits spreek.
Ik vind het jammer dat europeanen niet meer vreemde talen leren, alle denken dat ze gewoon met iedereen in het engels kunnen praten. Het is altijd beter als je met mensen in hun moedertaal kunt communiceren! Overigens, ik hou van jullie land! Nederland is echt leuk voor fietstochten: Jack more than 1 year ago. I have just moved to Austria, having learned 2 months of German from where I came from wasn't enough to prepare what I was about to experience here.
The task of furnishing my apartment with half of my A1 level completed was much harder than I had thought. I have been hung up on the phone by customer service staff more times than I had in my entire customer-service-dealing in the past, because I don't speak enough German for them to understand my problem. I even got a blatant from what I gathered due to the tone and a few words which were similar to English "this is Austria, if you want to speak English, go call some English-speaking countries. I bought the washing machine from their company, here, why should I call another country?
In a city where it's full of expats working for International organizations, they certainly don't care enough for non-German speakers' business. When I bought that washing machine, they didn't tell me I have to speak Deutsch before I could buy it; my money couldn't speak German, why did they take it then?
Most locals here think I am one of those who've lived here long enough to know German or those who refuse to learn, but I wasn't. I was 2 weeks old now 4 months and still struggling , a lone female trying to furnish her apartment. I was told that Austrians learned English in school, but from what I gathered, their English is more rusty than my A1 level of German. I continue to patron non-English speaking shops who are still most times rude to me, but take my business anyway. This is why most of my colleagues, have try to either buy goods from international companies who have some staff who speak English, no matter how basic, i.
In the country where I came from, we're very accommodating to foreigners, and English is common spoken in shops, and signs everywhere. I didn't have any discrimination against Germans before coming here and even have German friends, but after experienced many very rude German customer service treatments, I am beginning to think "this is normal" for them. But I am from a culture where people are polite and treat each other nicely. Maybe I should start treating German-speaking tourists who come to my country badly as revenge?
I've been traveling for 10 years now and have spent the past two years as an American expat in Atyrau, Kazakhstan. It is an oil town so there are people from all over the world who work here temporarily. I feel this writer's frustration because it tends to be monolingual people from the English-speaking countries who make little effort to learn the language of where they live.
No one is expected to be perfectly proficient, but I think that everyone can make an effort. Diana Zhao more than 3 years ago. Only german speakers should live, all others should die Cara more than 3 years ago. Herp Derp more than 3 years ago. I'm wondering what would happen if, when on vocation abroad, Germans were treated the same way they treat foreigners in Germany. The author is a native English speaker. She is talking about foreigners, particularly English-speaking expats, not assimilating to the host country's culture, let alone learning the language.
It's not black or white. This immediately reminds me of how Spanish became an official language in the United States when it wasn't supposed to: Last time I checked, wasn't socialism a leftist ideology? The same leftists who force political correctness on us? Completely agree with you i also faced the same problem in language differentiation. But then i followed http: You can also try it. Deepika Aman Jain more than 3 years ago.
I am currently living in duisburg and I have to say I came here thinking it will be fine I can get a job I speak english They will understand me. No one speaks english or are to scared to make a mistake which is very fraustrating But then I thought hold on im in there country I should speak there language so joined a class straight away HOWEVER when applying and trying to find out about the course not one single person in the school could help me as they had no idea what I was saying as they didnt understand english.
Luckily for me I have a english speaking germen girlfriend who I had to call to come and translate for me. This got me thinking how hard it must be if you dont speak germen or english and what a barrier this must be and so intimadating for them no wonder people stick to there own language and for communitys. How narrow minded can you get? That was a waste of my time reading this shit.
Open your mind and maybe keep your stupid opinions to yourself. Ed Hoare more than 3 years ago. Welche Haltung erweist sich als mehr weltoffen? Diese oder die, die meint: Ditto more than 3 years ago. I'm in German only for 20 days now ,learning German German language is a kind of language that you feel you can't wait to master I feel Jealous when i hear german people speaking: MEMO more than 3 years ago.
Geeze, person, entitled much? While I agree that anyone living in a country should definitely try to learn the language and that there are entitled jerks out there who believe the rest of the world should cater to their laziness, there is nothing wrong with immigrant communities speaking their native language with each other. In every country you will find communities like "Little China" or "Little India" in which they cater to their own culture and language. Many of the people in these areas speak little or nothing of any language but their native one.
It's normal to want to hold on to your homeland as it's a huge part of who you are. If you don't like English restaurants and American food, then don't go to those restaurants. Also, did it occur to you that those restaurants are a perfect place for new immigrants to work while they ARE attempting to learn the local language? Who else is going to hire them in a new country where they only speak their native language? Try and look at from the other person's shoes. Peramia more than 3 years ago.
Can you tell me about more places where there's only English speaking staff? A friend of mine moved to Berlin and is starting to learn German but in the meanwhile she needs to find a job and I guess her best option would be to find a place where she could communicate in English. Do you know any place around Bellevue or Tiergarten? Cesar Vicente more than 3 years ago. Jacinta Nandi more than 3 years ago. If you're planning on staying you really should. I was mortified when I recently went to a cafe that was all-english: I ended up translating most things for my friend.
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It upset me a lot. It feels like the people come to Berlin because it's a cool city and then they miss out on so much that makes this city unique.
If you're not ready to integrate into a society, just leave, please. Ik begrijp niet hoe is het mogelijk in Nederland te studeren zonder kennis van de taal. Ik ben Duitser en heb in Amsterdam gestudeerd. Maar dat was En vanzelfsprekend was dat alleen mogelijk omdat ik Nederlands kon spreken en verstaan. Schrijven was echter altijd wat moeilijker. I can't understand how it is possible to study in the Netherlands without knowing the language.
I am German and I studied in Amsterdam. But that Was And that was only possible because I spoke and understood Dutch. Writing however was more difficult. Het is echt jammer dat vooral engelstalige maar ook duitstalige buitenlanders nauwelijks nederlands leren als ze naar Nederland verhuizen.
Ik woon helemaal niet in Nederland maar ik kan het tamelijk goed spreken omdat het voor duitstalige mensen echt niet zo moeilijk is. Zo veel luie mensen in de wereld Just look at how "well" Germans adapt to foreign languages abroad or at home. No need to criticize expats on speaking English. Thomas more than 3 years ago. But I agree with you to some extent. This is the destructive pragmatic tendency of the world: Germans are as bad as Anglo-Saxons if not worse, they promote a foreign language in their own country to the detriment of their own.
In Britain its the other way around: In Germany one thinks, one HAS to be ashamed of using the local language, or even apologise for using it with foreigners. Thank you very much sarcasm , people, for destroying, being ashamed or not promoting local languages! Daniel more than 3 years ago. Hier also mein Beitrag: Der Nordamerikaner darf sich seiner Landessprache bedienen … aber der Russe und der Franzose nicht. Gabs nicht genauso eine starke Verbindung zu den Russen und Franzosen wie zu den Amis?
Deutschland hasst Araber, Perser, Vietnamesen, Polen und Russen, wenn die zu Hause arabisch, persisch, vietnamesisch, polnisch, russisch sprechen … aber der Einmarsch des Englischen ist erlaubt?? Wenn ja, dann muss und sollte mal ALLE Fremdkulturen sowie -sprachen gleich und nicht parteiisch behandelt werden. Und was es das Verstehen angeht: Die Sprache gilt doch als meist gelernte Drittsprache! Was es jetzt andere angeht, die nach Deutschland kommen: Senf more than 3 years ago.
Ich bin mit allem, was du geschrieben hast, ganz einer Meinung. Niederlande, Frankreich, sogar Spanien! Lustigerweise wurde ich aber in Ungarn trotz meiner elementaren Ungarischkenntnisse fast nie auf Englisch angesprochen. P Inzwischen ist mein Deutsch gut genug, dass mir in Deutschland nie auf Englisch geantwortet wird.
Viele merken nicht mal, dass ich kein Deutscher bin. And yet these Americans, clinging stubbornly to the language of their birth, are probably have the same mindset as the folks in the USA who shout the loudest "Learn English" at immigrants gathering in the "Little Ethiopia", "Little Italy" or "Little Mexico" enclaves here in the States. If you live in a country you should make some attempt to learn some level of fluency in that country's language.
I've lived in 17 countries and have encountered the behaviour described here among ex-pats the word of choice for immigrants who happen to speak some English in all 17 of those countries. The funny part is that the most anglocentric ex-pats I've had the bad luck to encounter were usually not native English speakers, who somehow learned some English and felt the need to share their newfound discovery on the rest of the world. Oddly enough, I find that most native English Speakers, like myself, many Americans, the odd Brit, and even some Aussies are often interested and keen on learning other languages.
It's sad that these wannabe ex-pats need to speak English rather than their own language, or the language of their host country to feel better about themselves, and I feel embarrased for them.
Ryan more than 4 years ago. I met a Russian at language meetup here in Germany who had lived here for over two years and still spoke no German! She was apparently convinced she could just waltz on through her life in Germany and just speak English with everyone which she did. All I could do is facepalm And then these Expats get even more excited when they find out you're from an English-speaking country!
They all clammer to practice their English with you. My answer is always: I've noticed lots of middle-class Americans and W Europeans here speak none, or very little German. Yet the poor Turkish shop keepers speak their native tongue, fluent German, and a good bit of English on top. Its certainly no sin to not learn German if you really don't care. But I think what rubs people the wrong way about it is the huge sense of entitlement some people have. Annie more than 4 years ago. What a way to handle a good topic in a such a poor and limited point of view, this is not an article its just bitching out loud, so bitch please, Travel a little bit more to see what your german buddies do overseas or get a piece of understanding about globalisation and celebrating our differences instead of hating them.
Peace girl, dont go so hard on the coffes. The article is called a rant for a reason, a rant specifies that this is subjective and usually emotionally driven which is exactly what you were complaining about, the whole thing being a rant.
The point of this Rant is not to make fun of other cultures but point out how people with an English speaking background are living in Germany choosing not to learn German because they feel they should be entitled to speak English for whatever reason cause they won the war or some silly self empowering opinion. The point Julie is trying to make is that if they come over to Germany they should make some effort and learn the language instead of snobing everyone who cannot speak english, might aswell go to paris if i want to get snobbed.
Jonathan more than 4 years ago. It depends on your reasons. Loads of people move there to specifically work in the English language. You really can't blame the people. You need to blame the system. If the language is so important, make it required. As long as people have free will, why would they do something that they don't have to do? Derick more than 3 years ago. I have met Germans all over the world and they all speak the native language of the country they live in - they wouldnt last two days if they didnt.
Some might have naively arrived in a country with just a few words but pretty soon they go to classes etc. Germans on holidays is a different matter. I dont understand why people get so arrogant and bitchy about this - it is common sense, you would not last long in France without French. Yes, have menus in English too as a courtesy to tourists but not only. The arrogance and indifference is sad. At the end of the day theyre the ones who are missing out!
Imagine spending a few years in Brazil and all youve seen is the inside of an Irish bar where everyone speaks English, a few scrappy conversations with Brazilians and yay I know ALL about Brazilian culture and what its like to live there, ha ha! It is, as someone else said, a question of the attitude. Betty more than 3 years ago.
These debates over learning languages of host countries, always, inevitably, go back to the same negative crap of bashing English speakers for their supposed 'careless', 'arrogant', 'we don't care' attitudes toward foreign languages. What an old and inaccurate refrain. FIRST, it's based on a dated and inaccurate assumption that English speakers and dare I suggest that us Americans usually are singled out? My other American friend from a small town speaks Spanish fluently and some French. My other friend, Spanish fluently and advanced Swedish. Has my point been made? Stale, inaccurate stereotypes are more annoying than someone not speaking a language.
English is the international language of science, business, academia, etc. I, as a native English speaker, will take this moment to apologize greatly to you for this terrible reality. I did not make it so. Nor did any of the other millions of native English speakers around the world. History made it so. However World, while I sympathize with you having to learn my terrible, awful language because I really do understand that you have to put a lot of time into it, and I really do sympathize , I can't be hated any longer for choosing to speak my native tongue when most of the world requires it, and the rest is always asking me to teach it.
When Arabic or Chinese or Elvin becomes the world's global language, I will have my punishment. A more than 4 years ago. My Dutch boyfriend has told me that the Germans hate to hear their language 'mangled' and so has asked me not to try and speak any German while we are here. He is fluent in German, Dutch and English. I was very upset and embarrassed as I have worked really hard trying to learn the language as I love learning.
Today we were in a restaurant where the owner was keen to use his English so he and I talked and I answered a few of his questions about vocabulary and pronunciation only to be told by my boyfriend that I probably confused him! I can already speak French, and even though he admits he cannot speak it he still corrects my accent.
Am I going mad? Is he being helpful or a control freak? Frances Taylor more than 4 years ago. He's the one being the completely dickhead here. Not the German people. And it's probably indicative of how he behaves in other situations. Walter Crasshole more than 4 years ago.
Do you fail to take the effort to comprehend what you read or are you one of those overly sensitive tumblr types who flies into an incoherent rage the moment you notice something with even the slightest potential to offend? I more than 4 years ago. I merely told her to dump her boyfriend. She's the one who laid her problems on the table.
I don't get the bit about comprehension and saying I'm flying into an incoherent rage. For me, it' exactly the other way round. I really love to hear people try to speak German, especially a an American friend of my always makes me smile while trying. And I really appreciate if somebody tries to talk to me in my native language German: Plus I would never expect to have flawless conversations with expats, travellers or friends that I have. Most of the people of other countries I met in Germany so far mainly Americans, English tried at least to impress me with some few words German - and that's cute!
Actually I agree with most of A's points. Lately, I tried to learn some few words in Swedish, sma grodona ;-. Well, I guess I'm just gathering few words of any country I visit. He wants to keep you away from speaking to German men Germans are happy if you speak some German, because most foreigners don't even try. Answer more than 3 years ago. It sounds like your Bf is jeolous People appreciate it when you put forth effort to speak their language, trust me. I'm an American, who is learning German and French for the simple joy of wanting to communicate with people in their first languages as well as read great literature in their original languages.
That snotty comment from the American musician is unbelievable. I can't believe, in this day and age, that ignorance and arrogance are worn like a medal. I refuse to travel to a country I don't have at least a survivalist grasp of the language. I feel that it is disrespectful of the culture you're visiting to not even try to speak the language. But these are expats! Jessica Rivera more than 4 years ago.
I'm a student in England, I am british and monolingual despite my father and grandparents being German my dad didn't teach me or my 3 other siblings any German, he still gets ribbed for it. What I would say is that I intend on living in Germany for 3 months, but not one bit do I plan on relying on my English. If you're upset about your expensive schooling in America, that's because America still hasn't understood that higher taxes means healthcare and education, your fault buddy, not Europe's.
I am proud to have a large German family and feel very embarrassed when they go out of their way to speak English to me, so I have decided to change that and move to Germany and pick up the language as quickly as possible. Alex Muller more than 4 years ago.
It's not something to be proud of, and I've always experienced that when it comes to speaking lots of languages, English-speakers are the worst, 'cause they only speak one. You will never be part of a country if you don't learn its ways. It's not a matter of schooling, it's just trying, practicing, studying Not putting any effort into it is maybe ok in Berlin, as Germans are quite learned in languages. British expats in Spain often end up sticking to other Brits and shutting themselves out of the real world. Michele more than 4 years ago. The tone of this rant comes off borderline racist.
Many of us English speakers are not taught German growing up. Nor are we surrounded by German media in the way that Germans love consuming American and British pop culture. Even though its always translated into German Your kraut rock and cinema never really made it over the pond.
Furthermore, as a American, I cannot tell you how lucky you are to be privileged with such cheap schooling. How easy it must have been to learn a foreign language when you don't have to work 2 jobs to pay for college. If you had to pay what we pay, you would have a real issue to cry about. You don't know how good you have it. Don't be so negative.
In a country begging for foreign workers, get used to it. Be a part of the solution, maybe you could help your "friend" learn a few words instead of making fun if her on your blog. Also I would never call someone a friend and then complain about them behind there backs. No wonder people are afraid of Germans.
Ana more than 4 years ago. Germans hardly ever complain about English-speakers not speaking German. Jacinta Nandi more than 4 years ago. Wow, I wouldn't complain if I was so utterly uninformed. English Language education takes place in High school for the most part. Which essentially explains why most of Europe speaks at least a little English or French, maybe Spanish or another second language.
Although there are many other reason not related to university education like countries with various official languages. Just a small share of the population studies at a university and a fracture of that studies languages. Although I do agree that American tuition fees are outrageously expensive that doesnt't justify your condescending and biased stance.
Atelenor more than 4 years ago. You will live here, so learn this language. This egoism makes me sick. Also whole companies have English as company language but are based in Berlin or remaining Germany. This can't be true. Guys, learn German or try it at least. ThisCan'tBeTrue more than 4 years ago. You DID notice that A the author's not German but a native english speaker herself, thus confronted with many of the same problems, B many people learn other languages beside English that they have not been exposed to anymore than you have to German, and C that this is about people who already live here - being in the country is the best and quickest way of learning the language PROVIDED you immerse yourself?
Besides, way to assume everyone outside the US gets their surplus education shoved up their bums. The US side of my family? That's the same amount of foreign language education I was provided with. Kantorka more than 4 years ago. Sorry to break it to you Ana, but my schooling in my country was damn expensive. I had 2 sometimes 3 part time jobs while completing my second honours degree.
So don't give me any of that crap, you're probably the same person who complains when your waiter in America doesn't speak good enough English. Oh, did I mention that german is my 4th language? I didn't start learning until I got here and after 1. It's about having enough respect for the country that opened up it's doors to you. You adapt to their customs, language and culture - not the other way around.
Make use of your expensive education and at least speak the language you'd force germans to speak properly. Bec more than 4 years ago. So I never get a change to practice my not terrible but not very good German. I've been here two years. It would be so much better if I did speak good German. Languages wax in relevence or die out all the time. I'm Irish, English killed our native tongue. English is the only true international language.
I have a job here mainly due to being a native English speaker. Now when Germans thank me for trying and tell me condescendingl that it's okay to speak Enlgish, I usually throw them a few insults in Irish before giving up and switching to English. Congrats on 'being more German than the German themselves' but I'll be giving Integration a miss. Especially when Germans who know well I'm Irish, for some reason take pleasure in calling me German. Talk about not learning to avoid wars that can't be won.
James more than 4 years ago. I feel what allows people to do this in Germany is that it is hard for Germans to move on from the past.
They are putting so much effort into accepting everyone that they seem to have forgot that they can still keep their culture. I just went to Germany this past Summer, and I can't wait to go back, I would love to make a career and live there too. Germany is a great place, and the most upsetting part of it, was how many people started out by speaking English to me. Obvious American accent here. After I explained to them that I spoke German well enough they would get very excited though and would gladly talk with me in German. The most upsetting instance wasn't actually from a German, it was an Italian at an ice cream shop, I was having trouble saying "stracciatella" It's not even a German word.
Josh Absher more than 4 years ago. I don't care where it is one decides to live, but one should learn the language of the country you chose to live in. No need to have perfect grammar if you don't need ,it but common let's be honest if you don't want to learn the language of the country you live in then just move on, go somewhere else. Like Paris, good luck telling the French you expect them to speak English in their own home country. Ella22 more than 4 years ago. Melbourne person here, while I would agree that it's a good idea to try and learn the local language demanding people MUST learn it gets in to dangerous territory.
In Melbourne we have a very significant immigrant population, there are many restaurants with people who speak hardly any English at all, people here don't say 'oh at that chinese restaurant they didn't speak any english, I'll never go there again, they are ruining Melbourne! The amount of people you encounter in Melbourne who aren't fluent in English is pretty high and somehow we cope! So maybe the German only restaurant would work rather well! Actually there seems to be a lot of German backpackers and things in Australia so maybe they should go ahead! That said a majority of the German speakers I have ever met have pretty excellent English anyway.
I would of course agree that if you live in Germany or anywhere and don't speak the language it is all your loss, it is not the full experience and certainly not the best experience you could have, but I feel this article had an aggressive and angry tone that I found uncomfortable. Most major cities have a significant immigrant or tourist population, it would be nice to try and view this as enriching the cities. In foreign restaurants here, there are usually menus with pictures of the food and often the items on the menu are numbered, and it is easy to know what things are and order for everyone.
A German only restaurant would fail in Melbourne and you know it. German backpackers want to go to "authentic Australian" restaurants and Melbournians wouldn't learn a language just for a restaurant. I would, but I'm not a majority. I'm not even in a noticeable minority. P We'd say they were "ruining our culture" and tell them to "fk off". Howard was elected on that sort of nonsense, and so was Abbott, so there's a lot of latent nationalism in Australians.
CJ more than 4 years ago. I just happened upon your article as I'm heading over to Berlin for Christmas and was doing a little research. Funnily enough I am an Australian. A tourism campaign aimed at Americans in the late 's thought they wouldn't understand what a prawn was so they were simply renamed for the target audience. I have also worked in the restaurant and varying other service industries for over two decades. With that in mind I have a feeling even if the staff member couldn't understand German she would've clocked your body language and conceivably had the back of house staff do all manner of things to your overpriced food!
I found it amusing the last time I was in Germany about 10 years back that I was accused of having a war monger president. I politely advised my accuser that Australia had a Prime Minister albeit not a good one. Every country is inherently racist and discriminatory. The United States is widely regarded as an insular society, the bulk of the populace unsure of anything happening out with it's own borders, however Germany is in a similar situation and after reading you article you have reminded me of this fact.
Traditionally Australia and the UK for that matter where I have resided for 13 years , have been poor at educating their children with language other than English unless the children were of course from migrant families. It was compulsory for us to take on a language at the beginning of high school. I was forced to 'learn' German! This was ridiculous on 2 fronts. Firstly, by the age of 12 or 13 secondary languages are extremely difficult to pick up and secondly, Australia is part of Asia and unless you're a vintner, German has little use. I make a point of learning some choice phrases in most countries that I travel to, I think it is only good manners.
I do agree with you on that front. Cheers for the heads up on the Aussie restaurant in 'Little Melbourne' , as a homesick Melburnian I'll make a point to check it out! I mean it could but it's not a very good restaurant if it does that and there's not a whole lot of people dumb enough to do that. There's so many regulations concerning food in most countries that messing with a meal is a good way to get fired without apologies or excuses. Language education is generally pathetic but learning a new language doesn't all of a sudden become extraordinarily difficult. Sure, it will become increasingly difficult to just listen to a radio and learn a language passively as one gets older but it doesn't suddenly become "extremely difficult".
There's kind of a language education push going on but it's very small key. Arguing that German is useless since we don't trade with Germany would only make sense if we were busy learning languages we do trade with. We stick with English and act aggressively towards any and all refugees, swearing they're just lazy. If everyone in Australia learned German in school then for most kids that would be an improvement over their current curricula. I do think the author overexaggerates for the sake of provoking extreme reactions but also for waking people up!
I do not see it as a huge problem, that parts of the city are changing to English-only zones and I actually love hearing more English than German on the streets. But then in the long run, might Berlin not actually loose the charme and become like any other metropoly? I think this article tries to put attention to a change that is slowly happening and has not yet really changed whole Berlin but might if the internationals do not try to adopt a little bit of the city and culture when settling down. Well, I have lived in New York, London and Sydney and love all these cities, so I love the internationality around me a lot The point below, that the article is discrimatory is just exaggerated and the person clearly did not get the purposely provocative tone of the whole RANT: And another thing, I have also read the comment of fast learners and slow learners.
I think if you really intend learning basics, it is possible for everyone. Of course it depends on your priorities etc. German might be a hard language, but please do not get discouraged especially not by other peopel correcting mistakes. I do a lot of language tandems with Spanish and English speaking people.
A tandem might be a good way of practicing your German while also having the other person praciticing your language. So you do not feel inferior because you are both in the same situation, and the Germans would probably be not that hard with you either: Now everyone, enjoy Berlin! Sarah more than 4 years ago. I've been having similar problems and observations in Prague. I'm learning Czech and can communicate fine but I get replied to automatically in English from the Czechs, while many foreigners come in for the nice beer and disrespect the place and never learn even a few polite phrases.
So I'm now moving to a new Czech city: David more than 4 years ago. I really liked this article. I'm an American living in Berlin, and wouldn't have gotten my job without German even though it's imperfect or really felt like I'm a part of this city. I went to eat at one of these restaurants with English-only speaking staff, and was there with a German friend who actually speaks next-to-no English.
I found it funny and ironic that I had to translate for him in his own country. I understand not being able to master German, nor wanting to master it, but speaking a little as would be the case in any country just feels polite and respectful. JR more than 4 years ago. Hey, just take it easy. In all major cities in Berlin same as in Munich you will run into people who rant. Others take it as a welcome opportunity to practice their English. People are not uniform but the vast majority of us are kind and friendly. Actually, I would be delighted to teach Julie and her friends some high German German.
Best over a good piece of veal and a bottle of Baden Riesling. Karsten more than 4 years ago. I believe that wherever you are - you will first address an unknown person in the language of the country you are in. If you're in Italy - ask the person first in Italian - as broken as it may be. Should they not understand you in this language - offer other languages if you know them. That is the way to be courteous. Speaking in English in Germany is fine. Addressing someone in English first in Germany is not the right tone and disrespectful. How do you know the person may not even speak English?
Especially as a person in a service position it is your job to always adapt to the customer. On a personal level this should also be taken just as seriously. English may be the international language, but if you assume that everyone on this planet speaks it, and should - then you are on a very colonialist path of thinking. People that can not speak English in a country that has a different official language are not ignorant.
They have a different culture that needs just as much respect as a culture in which English is the primary language. ZZ more than 5 years ago. Sharn-Mari Luke-Harper more than 5 years ago. The writer of this article seems too smug for my liking: I have many people tell me that l shouldn't be speaking German until l am word perfect, funny that because l believe that practice makes perfect!
Nothing worse than snobbery like that. Must note that this is not from German people but from a mixed nationalities! Kind of off putting: I'm both Aussie and British. Yes, I was born in one place and naturalised in the other and I'm eternally grateful to warm-hearted attitude of my second country for taking me in. I don't expect this from Germans but I've already received similar warmth and kindness, when I evinced no grounds for their generosity other than I'm human, and I'm here, and my life could be easier. And I do pity their oft-swallowed pride when their parents can't read signs as their capital is written in languages other than their own - walk around plenty of the old British sector and if it's not in German, it won't be in English, either.
And irrespective of how the youth want to be cosmopolitan, metropolitan, and whatever attitudes are great in skinny jeans but fade as their hair thins and their Raybans require prescriptions, there's no place like home. Especially if yours is changing but history teaches you to behave well.
So, I'm really surprised how virulent some of the reactions to this article are. Ms Colthorpe has, in my opinion and no doubt hers, a few valid points in a universe of others. Rant indeed, but there's absolutely no need for prevaricated hostility. For the character who advised that the author's partner would break up with her - really, is that necessary?
I can't imagine how it is even humane. And the worst thing is that, when we can't rant, it will bottle up and eventually explode - just when we thought what a beautiful country we lived in, how grateful we are to its culture, how privileged our kids are to be brought up here. And after the initial shock, feel quite elated for it afterwards.
And then vote for the party that promises to keep it that way. Daniel Masmanian more than 5 years ago. Take it for what it is. Me, enrolling in a German course was one of the first things I did when settling down in the city. Been here two months and I'm learning steadily. German will be my third language alongside my native Italian and my pro English. Don't be monolingual people, learning languages is good for you!
Elena more than 5 years ago. Exberliner, couldn't you find someone to write an article about this subject that puts things a bit more into perspective? This article simply doesn't do more than provoke and encourage extreme responses. My opinion, as a German speaking expat in Berlin lived here for 6 months: It also shows that she doesn't feel any understanding for people that may not be the fastest learners. If people live in Germany for 6 months, I can tell from what I've seen around me, that for some people it is extremely difficult to learn even the slightest bit of language.
As with everything, some people are fast learners, some people aren't. In this tunnel vision, a lot of hugely generalized, untargeted and irrelevant arguments are mixed up. Hell are other Australians. I couldnt believe how true that was unless I been to This article is so poorly written, I agree people ought to make the effort but you sound like such a bitter person because people aren't you. Colin more than 5 years ago. I don't agree with the way you went about expressing your simple message, although I agree with the message. Next time please organise your 'rant' into something more formal.
IF one wants to have a richer experience of Berlin, learning the language is the biggest catalyst. It creates a fundamental trust from the locals by simply attempting to speak their language, and helps out in practically any situation your in. From keeping one ear to the ground in the work environment how is one supposed to do that when they can't understand anything to bartering in flohmarkts.
Germans are becoming more tolerant, but you can't expect that to be an excuse for speaking louder and slower. Lets face it, there are worse skills to foster than learning a language. On a personal opinion I believe Germany is going to grow more and more influential in the world, not just Europe, and some people wont like this but the UK will drop. It is showing big warning signs already: I think knowing a bit of German could be very beneficial in the long run, never mind ordering a bloody coffee. Rob Buchan more than 5 years ago.
Anglos believe that English is the only language that matters. Those who speak another language are almost "intellectual material" in their home lands. I could understand someone landing a one year transfer to an abroad office not speaking the destination language, but I would still assume you would bother to at least learn the basics. This would be common sense for most Europeans, I believe. Many native English speakers land jobs here and there just for being a native speaker, no skills, not even the most remote basic knowledge of English grammar doing the TEFL, you would be amazed how non-native English speakers have a much better understanding of English grammar than natives, especially North-Americans.
It's not to say all Anglos are alike, but the majority just can't comprehend why they would have to bother learning another language. Reality check, now we should all get into Mandarin courses anyway Tony more than 5 years ago. Julie colthorpe, although you may have moved here 12 years ago who the fuck do you think you are to expect anyone to speak the language you want them to in a place you aren't even from.
Clearly you speak perfect english and have english speaking friends so you need to relax and think before you call your own friends pathetic. Nobody asked for your advice and you have absolutely no authority to be making these claims. Your german boyfriend is probably going to break up with you. LU more than 5 years ago.
The author's comments about "stereotypical Australia" were supposed to be tongue-in-cheek and in no way purposely offensive. She was merely calling the proprietor of the referenced restaurant out on her lame excuse for not knowing or speaking the native language - "because she wanted it to be authentic".
Merely laziness with a makeover. The fact that you previous commentors weren't able to understand this point is your failing, not hers. The author's assumption about the poor survivability of a German-language restaurant in the reverse situation is also quite correct.
Few native English speakers will tolerate being forced to speak a foreign language on their own soil. Even though it is the fact of the matter that English is the currently the dominant international language and is nearly impossible to escape, why should Germans be forced to tolerate it? Although it's not always an absolute necessity, it's generally a point of prudence, graciousness and respect to attempt to learn a bit of the local language and culture when living abroad.
I certainly am irked when foreigners come to my country without the slightest intention of assimilating; why should Germans be any different? Everyone is entitled to their national and lingual pride. If you don't like it, GTFO. You seem so offended by expats dismissing Berlin as a city where German isn't required Whilst you offensively dismiss Australia as a nation of stereotypes which seem to have been selected exclusively from the Crocodile Dundee film franchise And if you want them to 'be bloody Australian' then what language do you expect them to speak, exactly, if not English?
You are aware that English is the official language spoken in Australia? And for the record, the cafe you've dragged into this whinge of an article is a lovely establishment - in addition to great food, I spoke German with several of the staff today and had no problems. BK more than 5 years ago. Funny that in a piece concerning relentless linguistic gentrification; you've cited an example of stereotypical Australian authenticity.
Ignoring the crude generalisation for a second, I would have to point out their was firstly, a now dispossessed Aboriginal culture and language quite a bit more developed than, "kangaroos and bush hats and shrimps on barbies" mate. Kaiser-no-say more than 5 years ago. Daniel more than 5 years ago. Impressed more than 5 years ago.
Sunglasses more than 5 years ago. Kia Waters more than 5 years ago. If you said the same thing about a chinese restaurant in say,.