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Help in Germany

Hi, If I were to travel to Germany not knowing a hell of a lot of German, is it easy to find people who speak English like the police or people in hotels, restaurants, bus stations and the sort? Cheers Tonny

Hi Tonny, learning English has been compulsory in schools for quite a while now, so I'm sure you would always find someone who can help you out in English. But even if your German is not fantastic yet, people will really appreciate the effort you have gone to, to learn their language. Be brave and just try it out. It's such a great feeling to be able to communicate in another language, especially when you actually get what you were asking for... :D

By the way, most bigger train stations have signs in English and German and the announcements through the speakers are in both languages as well :D


Hi there, have a look at the forum "Alles auf Deutsch". You can practice your German there with some native speakers and other Rocket German users. Have fun-viel Spass!


Tonny. I travel to Germany (Europe) at least twice a year (my family & fiance live there)....too bad mom never taught us to speak it so here I am learning (this is by the way the BEST German course I've ever used...nothing has worked better). Anyway, you will find that "Everywhere" you go you will be understood, but use what you know...they do appreciate it especially in Germany. Swiss (more Southern Switzerland) are not as friendly, but you can still manage. They have a tendancy to act like they don't know English, but they do. I find though that everytime I go, most Germans (especially people under 70) love to speak English and would rather practice their English than to 'crawl' through a conversation with a slow German speaking American. It's not out of irritation, it's just that they know it's easier for us and they want to speak English and learn about our culture. Unfortunately, it doesn't help us learn. Just try it, but if you can't get through...use your English, they are pretty fluent.


[quo]*Quote from * Nathalie By the way, most bigger train stations have signs in English and German and the announcements through the speakers are in both languages as well :D[/quo] Yes, when I've traveled to Germany, a lot of their signs have English and they do make announcements over the loud speakers in English. However, I wish they didn't. It's makes it harder for me to get immersed in it. But in all fairness, I wasn't really trying to learn German when I was there. :( Now I'm determined to go back there with some skills in German!


When I first went to Leipzig 10 years ago, I was expecting more people to speak english than did so. It was sink or swim. I think that even in the east, now, most people under 50 speak a fair amount of english, especially in the bigger cities. But if you want to get out of the cities, your german will be much more necessary.


Hey Tonny, I live in southern Germany and I can tell you most of the people here speak English as a second language, "usually" hotels, restaurants, bars, police, train stations, etc , they do. They also love to see someone from another country trying to speak German and I can tell you everything you find in Rocket German is useful here in Germany. So, learn a little German and have more fun on your trip. They best way to learn a language is to swallow you fears and just go for it. Plus the majority of people here speaking English will not be super fluent, or speaking proper English; so just use what you know, have fun, and don't worry if your speaking 100% correct. Viel Glück! -Cooper


It is easier to find English speakers in the cities like Munich, Berlin, Vienna, etc and near military bases like Ramstein (Kaiserslautern) and Garmisch. It's much harder in the villages. I used to live in a small village near Munich and spoke German most of the time. In Munich it was much easier to find someone who spoke English. I know some Germans whose English is better than some native English speakers!


I visited Germany in December/ january for four weeks, my German is poor at best. I tryed to use German as much as possible. I found everyone to be friendly and helpful. My fondest memory is of a sales assistant in a large department store. After doing ok conducting the transaction in German, she asked me a question, I had no idea what she said. She saw my blank expression, smiled and said "It's ok. We all speak English." I will continue to learn because I intend to go back to Germany and being able to order a meal or book a room in a German hotel in German adds so much to the experience. Ich lebe Deutschland.


A lot of people speak English and it is everywhere you go. English and German are slowly combining as German is too difficult even for Germans to speak in. With this said, the school system here in Germany teaches English in a very bad way. Leaving young people lost. Few seem to be able to speak English even after 10 years of classes and feel silly speaking it. People in their 30s seem to speak it more often then the younger people. All the European tourists coming to Germany, French, Dutch, Scans etc., always speak English. It is the International language. NO ONE LEARNS GERMAN UNLESS they are forced to. I live in Germany and can offer you the REAL DEAL. Never learn German in Germany.. Take courses at home and learn with your own people.


it really depends. in bars and clubs i was surprised how many people came up to me and as soon as i said i was american, they talk in english. however, when my friends got drunk and left me to go back to their dorm (i was visiting a friend who goes to school in Bremen), and i wanted to verify that i was buying a ticket for the right train back to the school, the employees at the ticket counter spoke absolutely no english, neither did any of the conductors on the trains. it can be hit or miss.


When I move to Germany, what place in Germany should I move to?


Hello Jesse F, That depends on what you like. If you are big city person, you might like for example Berlin, Hamburg or München. Berlin is the most cosmopolitan and exciting city in Germany for art, architecture, and nightlife. Hamburg has one of the biggest harbors in the world with more bridges than Amsterdam and Venice combined. München is the capital of Bavaria and the most beautiful and green city in Germany. Hope that helps! Paul


After almost one year in Germany i can say " yes " many people here speak english and you will not find any problem about this issue spechially at the puplic places but as other members here said, it's great pleasure to try speak some German words ...


I have a cousin living over in Germany right now for work. He's fluent in German, and loves it there. His wife, however, hates it and can barely function. Honestly, I think it's because she hasn't even tried to speak the language. She claims nobody in her town speaks English, but I think they're just pretending since she's acting like the dreaded American tourist everybody loves to hate. I'm going over to visit in November and will hopefully be able to at least attempt speaking the native language so we'll see what my experience is like!


I've had a couple of trips to Germany. Unlike France, where people will pretend not to understand English, nearly all the younger people (under 50) do, and certainly all people working in public places like hotels and airports. Where they don't speak much English, I've found people were very patience in trying to communicate with me with my limited German. Actually, I was somewhat disappointed that so many people spoke excellent English. One feels kind of foolish trying to struggle along in German with a person fluent in English. I would say don't try to practice with busy people like hotel clerks and ticket agents. However, when ordering dinner or drinks or asking for simple directions, people appreciate that you are trying to speak their language. I'm sure you will have a wonderful experience.

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