First time i used German.


Hi Everyone! Meine name ist Ken. I just wanted to share the first time i used German as it was a proud moment for me. I had previously booked a hotel room on a website for 2 nights, i really wanted three nights. When the third night became available i quickly cancelled my booking and then booked all 3 nights like i originally wanted. Within minutes after i had a call from the hotel to confirm what i was trying to do. Without even thinking about it i reacted in German. The hotel manager who phoned said "Hallo, Kann ich mit Herrn Murphy zu sprechen.( from memory)" I replied saying "ja das ist richtig, was kann ich fur sie tun" I finished the rest of the conversation in English, it was hard enough to explain what i was trying to do cancelling one reservation and booking another in English! I know its a bit silly but it was the first time i had spoken to a stranger in German.


Not silly at all! Living in Switzerland it is easy for me to talk English with everyone but my teammates have been trying to speak more german with me and when I answer their questions or jump into a conversation their faces light up and are impressed I guess is the word. Living here with Swiss-German is a nightmare trying to understand people (granted Im no pro in german), their dialect is like American-English versus old-English in some ways with pronunciations (especially -ch, its intense) and some words are totally different than what I have learned.


I spoke to a girl last year when i was in Speyer (outside Frankfurt) and she said that when most germans try to talk to swiss-german speakers its like "oh my god, i understand most of the words - but i dont know what your saying!" Does that sound right?


Hello, The first time I spoke German without being face-to-face with a person was in Berlin while looking for an apartment. I was OK with face-to-face, body language really helped my awful German, but I had to speak to the apartment owner through a speaker from their front door. I managed to get across that I was answering the newspaper ad for their apartment and I was waiting in the street for them to let me in. I used my entire vocabulary (not many words at all) but very quickly the door buzzed and I was in. I felt like a fool, stammering and grasping for words but I did it! It is easy to give up, not so easy to make one's self understood! Isn't that we are doing - trying to learn and improve?


I'm temporarily living in Germany, that's why i'm learning German. It's alright asking a question in German or starting a conversation, but then I panic when i don't understand the words they're saying, so I apologize and say: " Entschuldigung, ich verstehe nicht ", and then i feel so stupid. But some people are so kind and use body or sign language to help me understand. As you said, we just have to keep trying to learn and improve.


Thats my reaction to. "Woah, slow down. What did you say!" Ive been writing to a penpal in Germany for a few weeks (online) and he's introduced me to the different dialects in Germany. He is from essen and says that they speak how the words are written and quite clearly. But everywhere is different, especially bavaria. So thats an added difficulty. I must remember to look up some useful terms like "how do you say" "whats the word for". I dont know if you get 'Inspector Rex' (crime show in german where he has a german sheppard sidekick) but i think i catch 60% of what is said. Main problem is you dont have time to pause and think. Im going to record a few episodes and then ill be able to pause!


The first time I spoke German properly was when I went to Aachen for the Christmas market =) It was great! Understood all of it and they understood me. But gawd, I was nervous! I find watching films helps-how to say things in certain situations, synonyms and other ways to say things. My favourite is Lola Rennt, Goodbye Lenin, The Lives of Others and Fitzcaraldo (a lot older than the others). Or just turn on German dubbing for the Matrix!


Germans do not seem to understand their own language. Even if you speak German to them, few understand unless you say it actually right. A sad but true fact. I often revert back to English to get understood.

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