View Full Version : living in Germany
Hi There, We moved to germany a few months ago. It is a lovely pretty place. But of course very isolating. Germans just dont "chat". And the language barrier is difficult. Anyone lived in germany? Any tips for breaking down the social barriers and making friends? also want to find my 8 month old some other bubs to play with.
I lived in Gutersloh in the nordrhein-westfalen area and loved it. I do agree that it can be very isolating and the only thing that helped me was to learn the language.
I now speak almost fluent German and am so thankful that I took the time to learn the language of the country I was living in. It's not easy but very much do-able.
The ironic thing is though, once you learn the language everyone starts speaking to you in English :rolleyes:
Good luck! :wave:
It was a long time pre-children, but I spent nearly 2 lovely years in southern Austria - ok, not Germany, but it's close!
noahsmama's advice is right on the money - learning the language will help. Even when they start speaking to you in English :rolleyes: it's still a good way to meet people.
My uni over there ran a program - called Tandem... or something like that - where you were paired up with someone who speaks the a language you'd like to learn/practice and vice versa. The deal was that you'd meet each week or so and speak only one of the languages per meeting (ie. English this week, German th week after)
They also had "Deutsch als Fremdsprache" classes too.
Good luck, enjoy your time in a gorgeous part of the world!
Yep, learning German, slowly. I am waiting for that moment when it sounds familiar. Started watching online german tv (which is not really Tv but more like corporate shows) since I find the numbers so hard I am watching the finance report! :laughing:
anyway, I have good days and bad days, and it occured to me that we are only going to be here for another 6 months (max) or even less. So I am putting less pressure on myself to "get involved" and doing more touristy things. I have ben trying to find a play grup for my 8 month old, but inthis town most groups start at 3 years old and grandparents look after kids until then. Oh well. lots more time at the park.
I fly to Germany every 6 months for work. German's are definately not 'chatters'. Several work colleagues from Europe who are currently living in Germany said they've found it terribly difficult to get to know anybody. One couple perservered with their German neighbours (it took a year mind you) and now they see them as some of their best friends. Generally most German's speak English now, but I think you should go and learn the language. I really do think this will open up a whole new world for you. I love the beer gardens in Germany. I love the fact that you don't have to go and line up at the bar, they come to you.:thumbsup: Where in Germany are you?
we are in south germany in villingen-schwenningen in the black forest.
well the neighbours talk to us sometimes, mostly about rubbish. anyone who knows germany understands what i mean. recycling is very serious here. there are 5 bins!
german language slowly coming along, and slowly meeting people. of course meeting other expats from around the world is easier. so now we know a russian, a romanian, a greek, a french guy.... yep no germans yet. if it takes a year we will be gone! we are only here until march/april and then off to the next project in a new country.
Scuse me for dropping in, I'm in Ireland and can kinda relate how hard it is to get to know people. Irish are friendly on the surface (don't take that the wrong way any Irish hubbers!) but reserve when it comes to friendship. I met a USA woman who has lived here 20 years and only been invited for dinner 5 times. Its just not the Irish way! (It's meet you at the pub!!)
I understand the difficulty in getting to know people and plan to do some short course I have sussed out when I get back, though I am usually home in Oz when those things start, having different time zones.
Hope you survive and can look back on it as a positive experience
Hey lastcenturymum it is hard living as an expat anywhere. Lately I have started meeting people. I juts decided to start talking to peple and the next thing I knew I met a women with a 9 month old who is from romania who only has a few friends, she gave me the phone number of an american women who i called and asked to go for coffee.... I decided to start a playgroup for expats in my town or germans who want to learn english and found out that the American women had already started the ball rolling for a playgroup. But in saying all of this, it takes so much effort, so much more so than Aussies. But I will be persistant.
The bad thing is when i met the American lady for coffee my 9 month old cried for about 40 minutes, hope we didnt scare her off!
Unfortunately we may be leaving sooner than we thought, so may not even have time to learn any more german.
This is the other side of living as an expat, never in one place for a long time. But its never boring, always have stuff to organise...
I lived and worked in Germany for a few months on two occasions. I had been studying German at uni so knew the language pretty well but still found it incredibly difficult. Lived with a family that knew no English (I think Germans aren't as familiar with English as we think they are) but were still friendly enough. It was hard to meet people at work, the cultures are so different! But a trip to a bar or pub was useful - harder to do with a bub I guess! They are big on traditions too, so participating in the local day (for whatever) can get you involved. Children are a big priority around Christmas. It sounds like your playgroup option is probably the best bet, and it won't be too long before you are out of there! Note - re the language, I used to get very frustrated communicating because my Aussie slang and vernacular non-sentences simply couldn't translate into the formal high German fast enough!
Powered by vBulletin® Version 4.1.9 Copyright © 2013 vBulletin Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved.