August 7, 2015

German Swag 101: Pre-Arrival

For starters, there is no perfect way to learn a language. People who have studied languages extensively in books think they've done it the right way. People who have moved abroad to immerse themselves completely also think they've done it the right way.

I know no matter how much prep work I put into learning German in advance of our arrival, I'm still going to crawl through the growing pains of misunderstandings and mistakes. So that's why I'm only just now starting the process - 14 days before moving to Germany.

Just as gut as my first time in Germany. Cologne, 2011.
The more interesting facet (to me, anyway) is that I will be attempting to learn German while retaining my French. 

I always wanted to learn French and never wanted or needed to learn German. Honestly, I was hoping if we had to leave French-speaking areas that we would end up somewhere I could work on my Spanish. Oh well, I guess that's for another time!

This "German Swag 101" series is going to focus on my journey to becoming fluent in German through the lenses of both English and French.

It's just going to be super cold. Neuschwanstein, 2012.
It will not overtake the normal travel and expat posts, and I hope it serves to enhance the understanding of what it's like to live abroad and in another language.

At any rate, it's going to help me learn and review vocabulary, tenses, and nuances of German!

I will be dressed like this everyday. Black Forest, 2014.
I hope that we can learn together. I REALLY hope that if you know anything about German or French - especially if you notice I've made any mistakes - that you'll be kind enough to correct and clarify in the comments!!!

I always told our tourists in France that they needed five phrases to get by during their stay. I obviously am going to need a whole lot more than that, but these five are my launching point!

Hello. Bonjour. Hallo/Gutentag.

Do you speak English? Parlez-vous anglais? Sprechen sie Englisch?

Please. S'il vous plaît/S'il te plaît. Bitte. 

Thank you. Merci. Danke.

Goodbye. Au revoir. Auf weitersehen.

Duolingo is the program I'm using for now, and I'm stumbling through some basic vocabulary that will only help later (er...very soon).

Anyone have any advice for how you learned or are learning German?!