Despite being full of excitement and really having a blast hanging out and going climbing with my friends Erin and Paul-Matthieu in Germany and Austria. I find that my greatest barrier and something that I find completely isolating is one of communication. This is the first time I have felt this in such a large way…..I really feel for people who have this issue on a permanent basis, but its important to make an effort and at least try to learn some common phrases and word…..purely out of respect for a) the people you are addressing and b) yourself.
If you try they will respect your efforts and help you the majority of the time. 🙂
Whilst learning any language is difficult at times, I am finding German difficult for reasons that are quite different to learning Japanese well enough to get around. It does cross-reference a lot of english works and you can figure out what things are fairly easily, but I am in Bavaria and they speak their own dialect, not too varied from standard German, just different.
I felt a great amount of success yesterday morning when I walked into the local bakery at Deisenhofen and was welcomed with “Guten morgen! Bitte? I had my response all sorted instantly and said “Guten morgen! Eine buttermilsch bröt danka. I paid and trundled out of the bakery feeling accomplished……my first actual interaction in German…….WOW!!!!
Three hours later trying to pay at the supermarket with my credit card and all I got was a stressed check-out chick who abused me in German for not having cash (apparently thats what she was doing according to english speaking customers)……..a little frustrated with the outcome……I walked out and got some cash and came back and paid and left. Walking home I felt a little down about it but started to laugh when I thought about it observationally…….it must have been very funny to look at from someone else point of view.
Keeping this in mind I am spending about ten minutes a day now trying to improve my understanding and practicing with Paul and Erin when I can. They are truly life savers.