In today’s episode on whether you need to learn German or not when you move here, we talk about:

  • Why even learning school German doesn’t really prepare you for speaking the language when you get here.
  • A handy tip that prevents you from trying to rephrase everything you say if someone doesn’t understand your German.
  • How we both overestimated how much English was spoken by everyday Germans.
  • How unhelpful it is when you say something in German and the other person tries to be helpful by replying in English.
  • Suzanne’s theory as to why Germans don’t generally speak English as well as people from Scandinavian or Benelux countries.
  • What big mindset change Kim went through to improve her German.
  • Suzanne’s “rule” that really helped her to improve her German.
  • Bilingual kids and German schools.
  • The challenges that people have when learning German and what to do to overcome them.
  • The best ways to learn German.
  • Why you can’t get away without learning grammar!
  • Why we think it’s important to learn German while you’re here (even if it’s only for a short time).
  • Why comparison is futile and relaxation is the key.
  • The fears that prevent you from progressing faster.
  • Two very useful tools to complement language learning that can help you overcome mental blocks, and negative self-talk, increase your motivation, build your confidence, reduce anxiety, and enhance your memory and your recall of vocabulary and grammar.
  • How things you experience in your childhood can influence your language learning.
  • Why you’re majorly missing out if you don’t learn German (regardless of how long you’re planning to stay).
  • Two funny language stories that still make us cringe.

Tools for learning German:

Google “Volkshochschule + your city” for reasonably-priced in-person language classes.

Italki language learning website/app.

Duolingo free app and web-based language learning tool

Find a tandem partner


Our next episode comes out on Friday 28th of April 2023.

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