deird1: Rapunzel, hanging just above the ground, afraid to touch down (Rapunzel nearly to the ground)
[personal profile] deird1
There are a few differences between being a non-(good)-English speaker in an English-speaking country, and a non-(good)-German speaker in a German-speaking country.


The Good

Germans correct you.

If you're talking in halting English, an English speaker will listen intently, pick up on approximately what you're trying to say, and nod understandingly. Polite, but not terribly conducive to improving your language skills.

In Germany, on the other hand, if you make an error, the person you're talking to will correct you the moment you make it. Very helpful.

(It also means that, if I want to, I can abruptly inform the Germans that their English is crap and I'm going to edit their writing so it makes sense - and no-one will find this rude.)


The Bad

Many native English speakers don't really speak anything else. Because of this, if they're talking to someone who's not good at the language, they'll dumb it down to kid-level.

German, though, isn't as flexible a language as English; it's harder to dumb down. And most Germans speak very good English. So, if you're having trouble keeping it... they'll switch to English. Nice, considerate, and makes it almost impossible to practise your German.


The Ugly Actually Rather Helpful

German is way easier to spell.

This means that it's ridiculously easy for me to look up unknown words in the dictionary and find out what they mean. Honestly, in English, I don't know how people cope.
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