While preparing for my depature to Germany, i had this ambition to be fluent in German at the end of 2022. Due to my enthusiasm for learning new languages, i started doing self study online upon my arrival. I couldn’t register for the A1 German in my university because i arrived pretty late. Two months into my residency in Germany, i started loosing interest in developing my German skills for certain reasons like multiple engagements, majority of the population speaking english coupled with the fact that the native German speakers speak on a very high level which seemed impossible to catch up with. I relaxed so much that i didnt study daily anymore as i used to in my inital arrival days.
Getting used to a new language is definitely not an easy task, but to get along well with the older locals would require a substantial knowledge of German.
I had encounters that challeged and geared me up to take my language development seriously.
I remember one morning, when i was leaving for Eberswalde from Berlin-Lichtenberg. I was already at the train station (the exact track) about 20 minuites to the depature of my train. When it was exactly the time for the train’s depature, to my surprise, i didn’t see any train on the track. A few seconds after that, the name of the next arriving train and its destination was displayed on the screen. This simply implied that my supposed train had departed. I was in awe and started looking around in confusion, then i saw my train (RB24) actually departing on another track (about 5 tracks away from the one i was). Apparently, the change of track for my arriving train was announced (in German) about 10 minutes prior to its arrival but i never knew simply because i didnt understand and i never paid attention. I literally had to wait for a whole hour for the next train to arrive. This was a lesson learnt in a very hard way and i told myself that i had to learn some major conversation in German that wouldn’t make me feel entirely lost in a train station.
Honestly, it has always been about transport. My second experience was also connected to trains and buses. While on my way for an appointment, there was an announcement on the train that highlighted that the next train stop was the final stop and that there will be a Replacement Bus Service (RBS) to continue the journey to the passangers‘ destinations. Of course, i didnt understand what was said but i wanted to act like i understood, just not to feel embarrased. I got off the train at the next stop with every other passanger. While some people left the train station, a few others and i waited (the „few others“ probably had alternative plans). Unfortunately for me, most of them went to the bus stop to board the RBS to continue their jouney. After i realised there were no trains coming and i was running out of time, i approached someone around to inquire about the situation and he told me there was a RBS i should have taken. To cut the long story short, i missed my appointment because i didnt arrive at my destination on time. After this incident, i have taken my German language development more seriously and i believe i have gotten better.
Getting used to a new language is definitely not an easy task, but to get along well with the older locals would require a substantial knowledge of German. There are people who have been in Germany for more than 5 years who still can’t read one to ten in German, but i really do not want to be like that kind of person.