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Zu vs. nach vs. in – The most efficient prepositions in German

Please do me a favour and try to say ‘I’m going to the movies tonight’ in German. Do you know how to say it? Or ‘When are you going to Germany?’ Or a reall
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How To Get Germans to Speak German To You

How To Get Germans to Speak German To You | Learn to speak German | Scoop.it
One of the most common questions I hear from you guys is how to deal when
other people refuse to practice your target language with you. I'm excited
to present some awesome advice from Anja at The Germanz in Australia.

Matching this awesome topic, I've created the new guide Make Your German
Sound Amazing, featuring 26 Key Phrases For Conversations with German
Speakers. Just click on the little black button here to download it and use
it alongside Anja's tips.

Click Here to Download the Mini Guide For Speaking German Germans and their
love for English

When you get lost in Australia, the States or the UK and ask for
directions, people will most likely answer in English. When you get lost in
Germany, people will most likely answer in English too. 

Studies suggest that (only) 62% of the German population is actually able
to hold a conversation in English and most movies and TV shows are still
dubbed into German. In fact, most German customers still prefer things the
German way and speaking German is still a necessity no matter where you
live in Germany (with the exception of Berlin).
 
So why is it that German learners complain that Germans respond to them in
English? 
 
What if I told you that you don’t just have to take it? No doubt, you can
help Germans stay on track and chat away in German for ages. 

I’m German myself and I’m going to tell you about a few easy things you can
do.

Why Germans Switch To English

Germans switch to English for three reasons. 

1. Sometimes they want to help you
2. Sometimes they want to help themselves
3. Sometimes they just prey on the vulnerable and make you the practice
tool

But most of the time, they just don’t know any better. 

1. They want to help you

Sometimes Germans simply think it’s being polite. They want to help you
communicate more efficiently.

When you ask them, “How goes you? I not finds the station train”, they will
most likely help you out in English without speaking a word of German. ‘Oh,
that’s cool, they tried in German. They’ll probably understand better when
I tell them where to go in English!’, the efficient mind will think.

Germans love speaking English, even when speaking German. Even though many
Germans learn at least one foreign language in school, some of them fail to
remember that only practice makes perfect.

Additionally, some seem to forget that the comprehension skills of a
learner usually outweigh their speaking abilities.

The innocently English speaking German simply doesn’t get that you may
understand, that it would be polite and helpful to respond in German. It’s
like they buried their teenage memories somewhere in the deepness of their
minds, along with that sneaky first kiss behind the school building.

Germans will think you just want to break the ice by saying a few words in
German. They will return that favour and will try to make the conversation
as unconditionally comfortable as possible for you. In English.

2. It's easier for them

But Germans are not always driven by lovely innocence. Some Germans are
simply not patient enough: ‘It will be quicker and easier if I just tell
them in English. I’m almost late already!’
If their guesstimate places your German skills below their own English
proficiency, they might respond in English.

For Germans, it’s all about communicating efficiently. No overexcited small
talk, no politely beating about the actual topic, no exchange of
unnecessary information, but rather direct communication, cutting to the
chase and getting this question answered as accurately and quickly as
possible. In English.

3. Germans want to practise their English skills

Of course, let’s face it, a few Germans simply want to practise their
English on you because they know how awesome it feels to finally speak in
your language of choice. 

Moreover, they want to show off how good their English is to impress you
(and others). They are going to take advantage of you. 

Imagine how convenient, they don’t even have to leave their country to get
what they crave. Speaking English. ‘Perfect! This guy from England gets to
speak German every day; doesn’t he live here in Germany?’ 

They quickly forget that a lot of others see their opportunity as well, and
this poor guy from England and his German skills fall by the wayside.

Here’s what you should do, as well as what you should avoid, to keep up the
conversation in German. 

How to Make Them Speak German

How can you fulfil your dreams and get those Germans to speak in German to
you? Embrace these two rules that everything boils down to:
 
1. Speak no English to Germans

And

2. Make your German sound better than it is.

These two rules are the magic tricks that will lead to a happy life in
Germany. 

Let’s have a look at how to put them into practice with concrete examples
and workarounds.

Respond in German

To really cash in and get the Germans speak German, you want to stay away
from English as much as possible.
 
Certainly, it will take some courage especially when you think your German
is not good enough. But you know what? The Germans will work it out. If
they don’t get what you mean, they will ask (in English or German, it
doesn’t really matter). 

But if you’re asked, you’ll get a second chance to say it. You may even get
some valuable feedback.
 
More importantly, when someone starts speaking English to you, just keep
responding in German. 

If your German is already good enough, try to translate the English
response into German and say it back to them in German. Be patient and
stick to German to get them back on track, no matter what.
 
If you don’t understand, ask them what it means, in German

Once more, under no circumstances switch to English.
 
If you can’t remember the word and you really need to know it, do the
following:

Describe the word in German and ask them about the correct word.
* Was heißt nochmal das eine Pedal im Auto? -Nein, das andere. Ach, ja,
das Gaspedal. - What would you call that one pedal in the car? -No,
the other one. Ah yes, the gas pedal.) or

Ask them for the translation in German.

* Wie heißt nochmal ‘dog’ auf Deutsch? - What’s the word for ‘dog’ in
German again? 
Work on your pronunciation

As Germans like to switch when they think that communicating with you might
not go too smoothly, how about you make your language skills less of a
problem? 

If Germans think that you’re comfortable speaking in German, they are less
likely to switch.
 
One way of making your German sound better than it is, is to be amazing at
pronouncing things. Just practice the proper pronunciation and know how the
intonation pattern of a sentence works.

Use phrases and conversation fillers

You could also use phrases and conversation fillers to make your responses
sound more natural. 

The idea is again that we want to make our German sound better than it is.
It’s like saying, “Keep going, nothing to see here”.
 
To keep up the flow when speaking, it’s a great idea to have handy the
vocabulary you will need. But also don’t forget that natives use clichés
and filler words, and they say ‘uhmm’ a lot. 
 
Here are some examples:

* Ach wirklich/Echt? - Ah really?
* Cool!
* Macht nichts!/Kein Problem. - That’s alright!/No problem.
* Hört sich gut an. - Sounds good.
* Ach so. - Ah yea.
* Stimmt!/Genau - I agree./Yeah, that’s right.
* Na ja, vielleicht. - Yeah, maybe.
Compromise

Let’s face it, sometimes there’s no way that subtle hints will get them
back on track. 

Please don’t take it personally, they might not even notice. The only thing
that will help here is to be very clear about your goals, about genuinely
wanting to learn proper German.
 
Apart from saying “Bitte nur in Deutsch”, you can decide to blitzkrieg and
offer a language tandem. Your compromise could be
 
One hour speaking in German, another hour speaking in English.
 If you see them every day, you could agree to speak English from Monday to
Wednesday and German from Thursday to Sunday.
 
If the two of you agree to correct each other properly and also provide
alternatives for certain sentences and phrases, you could both benefit from
the language tandem quite a bit.

Make (new) German friends

As your language skills progress, you’ll be able to chat away on more and
more topics. You will be developing your ‘German You.’ It may be the same
as — or completely different from — the English-speaking you.
 
With your ever-improving skills, making new German friends will become a
lot easier.
 
If you have moved to a German-speaking country, you’ll hit the jackpot by
joining a club (der Verein) in the German countryside, but clubs can be
found anywhere across Germany, even in the big cities. Similarly, you want
to get involved and lend a hand at the local Tatort night, the
German-speaking weekly handcraft meeting or the local climbing hall.
 
Try to maintain a healthy ratio of English-speaking and
only-German-speaking friends. You have a choice among about 100 million
German native speakers in the European Union alone.
 
Don’t forget, the more you get to speak German, the easier it gets. Just
let Germans know you’re up for a challenge. They will be up for it as
well. 

Summary

In summary, please don’t get turned off by responses in English, keep
learning German and remember these two fundamental rules: 

1. Don’t speak English to Germans.
2. Make your German sound better than it is.

On a concrete note, you could:

* Always reply in German.
* Ask for missing words and explanations in German.
* Improve your pronunciation.
* Use conversation fillers and ‘uhm’ a lot.
* Compromise by offering language tandems.
* Move to the German country.
* Make (new) German speaking friends.

You’ll find more nifty tricks on learning and speaking German on my German
language blog. 

Don’t forget to tell me in the comments about your favourite strategy in
dealing with English speaking Germans. 

This article was written by Anja. Anja lives in Melbourne, Australia, is
originally from Germany and writes about the German language and culture
on her blog when she is not busy teaching German language classes. Hang out
and have a chat with her on Google+ or Twitter.
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Er ist kochen – How to say what you’re doing in German

Er ist kochen – How to say what you’re doing in German | Learn to speak German | Scoop.it
It’s time for a summary. To say you’re cooking right now, you have the following choices: Ich koche gerade/jetzt/noch/im Moment (Lit.: I cook right now/now/still/at the moment).
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Understand the most efficient word in German: da

Understand the most efficient word in German: da | Learn to speak German | Scoop.it
The Germanz's insight:

Certainly, da is the most efficient word in the German language, because you can use it in so many situations and in so many different ways. You can use it for just about anything.

Only this little word is needed to express all of these English words (and everything that’s similar): this, that, here, there, over there, near here, this one or that one.

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Why Germans Barely Use The Future Tense (And What We Use Instead) - The Germanz

Why Germans Barely Use The Future Tense (And What We Use Instead) - The Germanz | Learn to speak German | Scoop.it

Why Germans barely use the future tense (and what we use instead).

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How Germans feel about German umlauts (ä,ö,ü) - The Germanz

How Germans feel about German umlauts (ä,ö,ü) - The Germanz | Learn to speak German | Scoop.it
The German alphabet has 26 letters plus the German umlauts ü, ö, ä and ß. This is how German kids learn it in school. 26 letters plus umlauts and eszet.
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How to actually pronounce English words in German (Denglisch Guide Part 6) - The Germanz

How to actually pronounce English words in German (Denglisch Guide Part 6) - The Germanz | Learn to speak German | Scoop.it
Since German love using English words when speaking German or Denglisch, how to actually pronounce those English looking words?
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Will using English words in German make me look like the scum of society? (Denglisch Guide Part 5) - The Germanz

Will using English words in German make me look like the scum of society? (Denglisch Guide Part 5) - The Germanz | Learn to speak German | Scoop.it
Denglisch is amazing, just mix English words in German sentences. When you don’t know the German word, just use the appropriate English one, right? Well unfortunately that’s not exactly how it works.
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Don't look like a jerk and avoid this when writing in German (Denglisch Guide Part 4) - The Germanz

Don't look like a jerk and avoid this when writing in German (Denglisch Guide Part 4) - The Germanz | Learn to speak German | Scoop.it
Using English words in German looks pretty cool and innovative. The use of the English apostrophes on the contrary will make you look like a massive jerk.
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7 German TV Series To Make You Laugh And Learn The Language In No Time

7 German TV Series To Make You Laugh And Learn The Language In No Time | Learn to speak German | Scoop.it
Tired of struggling with irregular verbs and breaking your head over declension rules? Why not put your textbook aside for a while and watch some German TV series. Even if you don’t understand everything at first, you’ll be surprised how much...
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Uber-cool Hipsters Embrace the German Language - - Kwintessential

Uber-cool Hipsters Embrace the German Language - - Kwintessential | Learn to speak German | Scoop.it
Increasingly, hipsters are using German words in their English sentences. This new trend might only be increasing now that Germany is the winner of the World Cup 2014: however, is the incorporation of German really a ...
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Denglisch inverse

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Be the better German learner. Learn Denglisch (Part 3) - The Germanz

Be the better German learner. Learn Denglisch (Part 3) - The Germanz | Learn to speak German | Scoop.it
Stop steering clear of German words that look like English ones but different. Germans love to speak Denglisch, a mix of English and German and you can learn it, too.
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Your Private German Courses in Melbourne – Get coached one on one

Our German Private Tutor Course is best if you need flexibility when learning German. Improve your German and take your skills to the next level.
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Ä, ö, ü – German umlauts explained

Ä, ö, ü – German umlauts explained | Learn to speak German | Scoop.it
German beginners can’t understand my love for the funny looking ä,ö,ü. Vowels with dots -umlauts- just look weird. Ä,ö,ü - German umlauts explained.
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Learn The Secret Language Only Native Germans Speak - Use FluentU - The Germanz

Learn The Secret Language Only Native Germans Speak - Use FluentU - The Germanz | Learn to speak German | Scoop.it

Learn The Secret Language Only Native Germans Speak – Use FluentU

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3 quick tips to become the MacGyver of being polite in German - The Germanz

3 quick tips to become the MacGyver of being polite in German - The Germanz | Learn to speak German | Scoop.it
  Germans are not known as the most polite people on the planet, in fact the opposite is the case. Rude, cold, and formal is how Germans are described quite often. There are a lot of blog posts and more blog posts on the rudeness of Germans. Those working in German customer service are apparently terribly impolite, …
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Ten Everyday Words You Didn't Know Were German

Ten Everyday Words You Didn't Know Were German | Learn to speak German | Scoop.it
You use German words every day! Not always correctly, but bonus points for trying!


Via Angelika Davey
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add your insight...

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Krimskrams | Word of the Week | DW.DE | 22.08.2014

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How many knickknacks are in your house? (RT @dw_culture: Are you a hoarder?
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Top 12 embarrassing German mistakes - The Local

Top 12 embarrassing German mistakes - The Local | Learn to speak German | Scoop.it
With its long words, tricky pronunciation and false friends, the German language can easily lead the learner into a world of embarrassment. Here are 12 of the b
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It's always good to be aware of false friends...

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Top ten reasons to learn German - The Local.de

Top ten reasons to learn German - The Local.de | Learn to speak German | Scoop.it

The Local.de Top ten reasons to learn German The Local.de Professionally, speaking German will open doors for you, quite apart from arming you with some astoundingly long words that will earn you instant respect.


Via Angelika Davey
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I totally agree :)

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An Introduction to Bavarian | German Language Blog | German ...

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You may think that learning Bavarian is useless when you already know Hochdeutsch, but if you're passionate about the German language then I assure you it is not. If you visit München, for example, you will most likely hear ...
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Learn German for your holidays: 30 bite-sized tasks for your first trip eBook: Angelika Davey: Amazon.co.uk: Kindle Store

Learn German for your holidays: 30 bite-sized tasks for your first trip eBook: Angelika Davey: Amazon.co.uk: Kindle Store (RT @stevenhealey: Are you going to Germany soon but you don’t speak any German?
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