I spoke with a very friendly woman from the Integration Office today. She informed me that not only am I eligible to take an integration course, I am obliged to take one! I have been in Germany for nearly five months, and this is the first time someone has told me this. (If only I had … Continue reading Integration Course: Time to Sign up!
So far, I have been pleasantly surprised at how many people are willing to speak English with me. They are far from obliged to speak a foreign language with a new resident; indeed, I feel like it is my responsibility to learn German. But my German is still limited, so I appreciate every interaction that … Continue reading Appointments & Interpreters
As a native Iowan, I am no stranger to friendly interactions with strangers. I grew up smiling at passersby on the sidewalk, chatting with cashiers at the store, and waving at everyone I saw while driving. (I picked up this last one from my dad, who grew up in rural Iowa. Apparently everyone else thinks … Continue reading Hello & Goodbye
Before arriving in Germany, I mentioned that I was using Mango Languages to learn an assortment of useful phrases and vocabulary. Mango tends to focus on topics that a tourist may want to know: asking for directions, going out to eat, meeting people, shopping, etc. It is great for quickly learning the essentials. However, it is … Continue reading Several Approaches to Learning German
I may be fluent in Spanish and English, but my German is still at a very basic level. I am so grateful to the many Germans here in Aachen who speak English with me. However, I am determined to learn German while living here. Of course, my German is so limited that I find myself … Continue reading Tiny Linguistic Stumbling Blocks – Language Interference