4 Things I Learned Teaching Germans English
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4 Things I Learned Teaching Germans English

I may have been the teacher, but I also learned a lot while teaching English here in Germany. Hey everyone! I’m Dana and you’re watching Wanted Adventure Living Abroad. If you’ve clicked on this video looking
for information about teaching English in Germany this is not that video, but I have
made a video on that topic already, and I will link to it down below. So what is this video about? Well, when I first moved to Munich, I taught
English to adult students here in Germany for about 3 years. And during that time I learned many different
lessons and things. And so today, I will share a few of those
things that I learned. It was just amazing. I learned that people learn English for a
million different reasons. And I think that was actually one of the most
fascinating parts about teaching English here; meeting so many different people and learning
about what inspired them to learn English. I taught one person who refereed shooting
competitions and needed English for that. I taught another person who often traveled
internationally because they were an organ courier. And some of my students were working in customer
service and they would actually be using their English most often to communicate with other non-native
English speakers from all around the world. I also learned very quickly that teaching
English is a heck of a lot more than “just” teaching the language. It’s often also about teaching the culture
behind the language, because sometimes, as I learned, there are words that can’t really
be translated into German because the full and complete concept just doesn’t exist
in Germany. Cul-de-sac, for example. The dictionary translates cul-de-sac to Sackgasse,
but they’re not really the same thing. And that’s because houses and housing arrangements
are themselves very different in Germany and the U.S. So you really have to look at the culture
there. To really explain cul-de-sac, I would have
to talk about that in America, for example, you often have housing developments and subdivisions,
with a name and a sign at the entrance to that development, and sometimes but not always
there are rules for everyone living in that development. Like maybe you can only paint your house one
of three pre-approved colors, or you must mow your lawn a certain number of times per
month or else you’ll be fined. Or something like that. I taught many different classes and many different
students during my time as an English teacher in Germany. And one very important thing that it taught
me about the culture in Germany is that sometimes at first some Germans can be a bit of a tough
nut to crack, but when they do warm up to you and if they do let you in, they really
let you in. So it just seemed to me like some of my students
needed a little bit more time to open up to someone that they didn’t know, than what
I was used to in the U.S. And at first I did take it personally, I just
couldn’t help but take it personally. I would start a lesson in a new class or sometimes
I would fill in for another teacher if they were sick, and for, like, the first minutes
of class, some or sometimes all of the students would be a little stand-offish, kind of hesitant,
like: who is the person here, and what does she want from me. They weren’t all necessarily really convinced
about me from the first moment. But then, oftentimes, by the middle of the lesson they had relaxed and warmed up to me a little bit. But sometimes not. Sometimes it took a few classes. But usually at least by the end of the course
they had kind of come around and were then often really warm and just really kind and
open. I had one course that at first I swore up
and down that the students hated me, or at least they didn’t really trust me. But by the end of the course, they were just
all so kind and so open, and on the last day they brought me flowers and little gifts and
a card, and it was just unbelievable how warm and welcoming they then were. One of the first classes that I taught here
in Germany was to Germans who were actually sent to the class by the government. They were there because they had been collecting
unemployment money for, I believe, over two years at that point, obviously without successfully
landing a job during that time. So they were sent to learn English in order
to make themselves a better job candidate, and then those classes were paid for by the
government. So my question for you is: Have you taken English or any other language classes outside of school? What’s been your experience with that? And teachers out there, what has teaching
taught you? Please let me know in the comments below. Thanks so much for watching. I really hope that you enjoyed this video. And also, a really big thank you so much to
our patrons on Patreon, who help make these videos possible. Thank you so much for your support. If you would like to check out our Patreon
page, you can find a link to that down in the description box below. Until next time, auf Wiedersehen! Hey! Just one quick thing! Mr. German Man and I are taking a little break,
and there will be no Wednesday video this week. We’re taking a little vacation. All the Sunday videos will still be the same. Sunday at 9 a.m., and next week, the Wednesday
video will be back at 3 p.m., so just no Wednesday video this coming August 16. Okay, thanks! Bye! That’s it. Any other language classes outside of school,
what… Yeah? And for, like, the first…doopty doopty doo. But they’re not really the same thing, and
that’s because houses and housing themselves…arrangements.

About James Carlton

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100 thoughts on “4 Things I Learned Teaching Germans English

  1. Good morning!😃🌸☀️Have you taken any language classes outside of school? What’s been your experience with it? And teachers out there: what has teaching taught you?😊

  2. I haven't taken classes outside of school yet but have recently taken the IELTS test and I am really curious what my score will be. Maybe, when I don't get my needed score I will take a course.

  3. Im living in Germany and have been taking German. My first sprachkurs was okay. The class was only a couple days a week and it wasnt the greatest start to the language. Then I couldnt find an affordable class for a while so I self taught myself for a bit. Then I found an intensive course at a good price and took that weekdays for 4 hours a day and that was a 2 month course. It was good and helped me more, plus I had a patient teacher who didnt speak too fast. Next week ill start Deutsch für Foreigners at the local university and many people have said good things. Im upset cause Ive been here a year now and havent learned as much as I should have. I will practice speaking with my boyfriend, but sometimes I just get too nervous and blank out :´( Its something I need to get over.

  4. 5:57 Oh, you have an upload schedule; I like totally knew that and wasn't just happy to see a new video without expecting it.

  5. Almost all my English teacher have been bad at their job. The only good one was a nice older lady who's daughter actually lives in Florida.

  6. Well, as I had to learn English, French, German, Latin and Ancient Greek in school while being a native Dutch girl, I never really aspired to torture myself with another language, lol.

  7. I've found, learning a new language is not just a great way to learn about new people and cultures, but it forces you to think about your own native tongue in new insightful ways as well. So many times (I can't count) I've been asked by foreign speakers learning English, why a certain word is used instead of another, why a particular idiomatic expression works in some situations but not others, or what underlying rules there are to help them remember a tricky phrase. And almost as many times, my answer has been.. "Gosh, why do we say it like that? I'm sorry. I don't know. But now I want to know!" Plus, for me, learning Spanish made learning French all the easier, which in turn has given me a leg up on German! Well, at least a slight one. German is definitely a new ballgame compared to the Romance languages. Why any language needs half a dozen ways to say "the" is beyond me. Hey, Dana, have you ever had a whole classroom burst out with relief and enthusiasm (perhaps even applause?) upon hearing that "The" applies to everything, everywhere, at all times, and there are no genders to memorize for nouns? Boy, I remember having the opposite response when we delved into German articles. Jesus! German really forces you to think before you speak. Hey, maybe that's why they hate smalltalk! It's just not worth the effort! LOL! Anyway, I digress. You know what they say, Dana. You never truly know a thing until you teach it to someone else. That makes you one savvy chick! -Phill, Las Vegas

  8. "It's a very ancient saying/But a true and honest thought/That if you become a teacher/By your pupils you'll be taught"
    (spoken opening words of "Getting to Know You" from "The King and I" – lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II)

    I couldn't help remembering that when I saw what the video was about. You certainly learn when and why they think about things differently from their different culture!

    The American interpretation of cul-de-sac seems to be different from the British one. To me, as British, a cul-de-sac is simply a street where you can't get out the other end. And very often it is named a close, so a street called West Close, for example, is one you might well find to be a cul-de-sac.

    Anyway, with English being virtually the world language, people certainly do learn it for all kinds of different reasons. It opens up virtually the whole Internet, and numerous multi-national companies use it simply because it's the language their employees are most likely to have learned as a second language if it wasn't their first.

    The Chinese are fascinated by it – millions of them were avid followers of the BBC series "Follow Me", which taught them English. It came about at a time in the early 1980s when the communist government was becoming more open and liberal after the Cultural Revolution, which in some ways took China backwards, certainly in education. Deng Xiaoping saw learning English as part of the way forward, asked the BBC to help, and possibly China wouldn't have been where it is now without it.

    To flit elsewhere in Asia, India is a fascinating example of a country that couldn't manage without English. Having been left as one huge country after British colonial rule, but having several hundred languages, how was it, just for one thing, going to govern itself? They decided to go for Hindi (as the most spoken Indian language) and English (as a language educated people needed under colonial rule) as joint official languages, with the hope that eventually they could drop English. 70 years after independence, nothing has changed! Indians STILL find they need to learn English to get on in life and have the flexibility to move around their own country, quite apart from the possibilities of emigrating. Indian English is rather a dialect all its own, like American English, and can seem ungrammatical sometimes, but it works for them as kind of the national "glue".

    (BTW the Rodgers and Hammerstein musicals were revolutionary. Previously, a song held up the story and was just an excuse to have a song. "Oklahoma!", their first, had songs that actually advanced the story and it went down a storm as something new. "Getting to Know You", as Anna first meets her class of 67 Siamese princes and princesses, is definitely a good example. So much of "The King and I" is about the cultural differences she comes across.)

  9. After studying English hier ( in Switzerland ) I decided to go to US ! After 3 months in Santa Barbara ( CA ).I was better then than studying English in school here in country! The American teachers were the best + my host mother!

  10. Do you know wattpad? If not: it's a plattform where people can write storys and if they want to they can publish them so that other users can vote and comment. I'm writing a story on wattpad and it's just so complicated 'cause this story plays in the USA and aaargh I just don't know how college works there, how all the places look like or how people act there. I feel so insecure about it, but your videos help me to kinda understand how things work there so thank you 🙂

  11. I've never taken any language classes. Youtube, Wattpad, Cartoons and Instagram thought me more than school so it's kinda unnecessary

  12. I find classes of any sort (including university) a tremendous waste of time, a very inefficient way of learning. After one has learned to read, I think one should get the best books on the topic, maybe also other self-study media, and learn with those. This way, I could skip most of university and still came out one of the best of my year (communication engineering = EE+IT+more).

    As for English, I really don't understand why anybody would NOT learn it. It's THE language for international communication, we live in the internet age, and the vast majority of the best books (nonfiction and fiction alike) is written in English. Only in very rare cases the translation is as good as the original. (The next most important language both for the internet and for science is German, by the way, even though book publishers are generally lousy here, even in the high-price segment.)

  13. I learned Oxford English at school. After that I do not have the need to take further language classes. I am developing my English "by doing/speaking". I use English every day since I am a computer scientist with internet access 🙂
    For me English is a language simpler than German. Grammar is way simpler. But recognising a new word can be difficult because of many other languages which influenced the english language and which I do not always know. Guessing how to pronounce unknown english words is a lottery game 😀
    BTW: I learned a new word by watching this video: "oftentimes".

  14. I think I have learned more about english by watching movies and TV Shows in english, listening to english music and YouTube videos and reading english books and fanfiktions than I ever learned at school.

  15. I take it from this video that you are giving American explanations for English, even though English is spoken in many countries. (yes, I know you're American)

  16. I really enjoy TRYING to learn new languages…but, alas, I don't think my brain is wired up for it.

    I had a very typical American 3 years of French in High School–I got A's, but it didn't really stick–(so I have tried to refresh with Duolingo), but since then I have tried to learn:
    -Chinese (a friend in grad school barely spoke English) We sort of taught each other random words in our native languages.
    -German (Books, Audio recordings, and old-school computer software)…and then a half-year "on-the-ground" experience in Heidelberg…where SO many students want to practice their American English, it's pretty easy to not get "immersed". I liked how it was so logical, especially with building words.
    -Standard Irish (online with Mango)…because we were going there and I have a lot of Irish family history. During three weeks, I only found ONE person willing to speak it with me. Best 15 minutes of our trip! It's beautiful to the ear, but tricky. (Not at all phonetic if you speak English!)
    -Hawaiian (Books and online, various websites). Didn't really want to become conversational, just wanted to pronounce things correctly and learn a little more about the culture/traditions before we vacationed there.
    -Italian (Duolingo and opera translations!). Was obsessed with Puccini for an opera season or two…lovely language…
    -Spanish (Duolingo, books, and hanging out with a Spanish colleague). This is the one I really want to continue working on…if America was to have a second language, I guess it would be this! I might audit an intro college course in it someday, if I have time.
    I also want to learn some American Sign Language. Maybe I'll feel more confident with a language that I can't mispronounce!

    A few computers ago, we had a collection of foreign language CD-ROMs for kids…they were the best! The storyline was that there was an alien robot whose rocket crashed on earth and he couldn't leave until you helped him rebuild his ship by learning various language skills. So fun!

  17. I wish I knew German. I'm taking it this year in school, and I already know some simple words, but I really want to be fluent and I'm hoping to be able to have a conversation in German someday.

  18. I have taken a czech class when I was 19 and 20 years old to learn the language of my czech part of the Family 🙂 my teacher was really nice, besides the basics of the language she taught us about the czech culture as well. But I realized that it takes such a long time to learn the language, I'm still not there yet. But I am still motivated to eventually be able to understand my relatives 🙂 greetings from Frankfurt, Germany!

  19. My English teachers in school were interchanged regularly for… different reasons, so the quality of teaching was very shifting and each teacher had to gauge the class' level and everything every time we got a new one (and also, we were horrible students XD) I learned English through gaming. Nothing quite like hobby to make you pick up a relevant language.

  20. I started learning English outside of school in a course when i was 4 or 5 years old until 4th grade when i was around 10 years old. Today is the first day of my last school year and going to do my "Abitur" this year and my plan is to become a English (and also chemistry and history) teacher🙈

  21. I never took language classes outside the school yet but I plan to improve my english skills and learn the German Sign Language some day 🙂

  22. I'm still studying to become a teacher for English and History. I already did my first school internship and it taught me a lot. I specifically chose a school in a poorer area of the city because I wanted to make it as hard as I could to test if I were really up for that job. It was a funny time and I agree with you that it takes some time to warm them up to you but once they have, most of them are really friendly. I know I still have to work on my didactic skills but after teaching a 6th and a 12th grade for nearly 2 weeks (my instructor was on a school trip for one week and decided to throw me into the cold water and having me teach her classes in these two grades. Of course, she gave me a lot of advice.) It was a weird feeling at first but I knew after each session that this is the job that I want to do my whole life. I sadly did not have the chance to teach an English class yet (I did not really got into contact with the English teachers at the school) but History was a lot of fun. I hope in my second internship to gain some more experience for English. But first of all, I will study the required semester abroad from september to december/january.

  23. All English I know is from school. I have no problem to understand the language but for conversation I'd really like to have a native speaker I can talk to and improve myself. Otherwise I will forget more and more which would be very sad.

  24. I learned it at school and at some point it opened an entirely new world to me. In fact I even have a lot of friends with whom I can only talk in English, because neither of us can speak the other's native language. Quite fascinating, imho.

  25. English learners of German can also use internet streaming sites such as YouTube to assist them. I think the German soap opera Verbotene Liebe is on several channels, and beyond that RTL, a German television station's site can be streamed. On that site it the TV. show Alles Was Zahlt. Check it out

  26. Dana, are English and German the only languages you know? If not, you would know that these kind of things apply to the learning process of every language. Learning languages will always teach you about the culture behind it. That's why it's so interesting. 😉

  27. In Milan "Cul de sac" means a very intricate situation, which you can hardly come over. I think, because if you find yourself in "the bottom of the bag" (that's the literal translation), how can you get out of it? 😂😂 And yes, we've borrowed from the French: you know, centuries ago we were under a French Provence!!!

  28. I took a Russian class that met for 4 hrs once a week. I remember very little. I was convinced the teacher and a fellow student were US spies (lol) .

  29. Two German words that drove me nuts when Germans 'transliterate' them into English. And it does not make sense in English. They are 'lernen' and 'fahren'. I have to point out that 'fahren' means several things in English and has to match the context properly. Same for 'lernen': Germans would say, 'I have to learn for the exam.' They were confused when I told them it's not correct and explained the difference between 'learning' and 'studying' (or even 'revising' in Queen's English). That only confuses them more.

    Many times I have to point out the difference between American English and British English. They didn't understand how could English be so different until I point out about the Austrian and Swiss German. They got it!

  30. I'm currently taking German lessons in my Spanish speaking country and although it was a little bit of a shock at first, I somehow managed to understand it. It might be frustrating at first, because your brain is used to the logics of your own language and no matter how you see it, it doesn't make sense. But when you get to make an idea of what you're exactly doing and how does the language works, everything gets better. 😊

  31. Ein kleines Sprachquiz:
    Was bedeutet? Jedden Becks prosche? Bei prosche bin ich mir nicht sicher ob die Rechtschreibung stimmt. Wann, wer oder was ist:
    1. Ein Teppich (nein Ihr wisst nicht was das ist was Ihr denkt was es ist! Naja ich bin mir zu 50% sicher)
    2. Gsälz
    3. Godmode challenge incoming: Wenn Ihr wisst was ein Vahkesch oder der Kauro eines Vahkeschs ist bin ich bereit zuzugeben das Gott existiert! Bin Naturalist.
    Protipp: Die Information befindet sich auf einem digitalen Medium irgendwo auf diesem Planeten, also zu 3.

  32. I taught English as a second language for a little bit too, and one of the hardest challenges was just constantly encountering instinctive "rules" of English and having to try to understand and explain why my native language worked that way. I'm a grammar nerd, so I loved it, but it could be surprisingly confusing! 😅

  33. i learnt english after i finished school. my teachers never really got me excited about this language and i just thought i was bad with languages in general. i learnt most of it through gaming, reading, series, youtube and for the most part from "dungeons and dragons". since all rule-books are in english and there are even discussions about rules in denglish i just had to get through it and understand it to take part. in school i just rejected it for some reason.
    and now, a few years later, i cannot imagine how stupid i have been. i didn't even understand most of my favorite songs! wow..
    i also cannot imagine to play a game on german anymore, if there is an english version of it. for the most part its because these games were designed in english and – unlike very well synchonized german movies and series – don't have a good german translation.

    (thank you DnD 🙂 )

  34. I find your explanation on " cul de sac " really odd, it has nothing to do with whether the neighborhood has a name, or if your HOA has a rule on cutting the grass, or the color of your house.
    It has everything to do with a dead end street, mostly, but not always, with a droplet shaped turnaround at the end.
    English and any other language taught as a second, third, fourth or eleventh language is taught ( and LEARNED ) for a multitude of reasons, in Europe it is often needed to talk to the people in the next country over, as many languages are spoken in Europe, and most are spoken in just one country, work travel, and leisure are other reasons.
    You as an American must know many people that hos only the most basic understanding of a second language, I ( as a Dane have meet scores of such people in the US ) I DO realize that there is 325 Million people in the US that speak some version and level of English, and that most people only need speak another language if they need to speak to a maid, a gardener, or a construction worker, or if they want to be a showoff in a foreign themed restaurant.

  35. I didn't have english in School, but I learned english from my Parents, by growing up with 2 Languages, because my Father is an american and my Mother is german! And while I learned how to read in german at the first Grade in School, I also tought myself how to read and write in english at Home by reading english Children Books, which where sent to me as a Kid back then!

  36. I'm born in Bavaria but life north in Germany … and ure videos are very interesting.. i like it (: don't stop 😛

  37. It sounds like you are describing rules you may find in a Home Owners Association (HOA) and attributing them to the more general term for a simple street with only one outlet AKA, the cul-du-sac. HOA's are by no means universal and in some areas of the USA are actually relatively unknown. I can see how HOA's would be hard to translate or explain in German!

  38. My experience learning first Spanish and now Thai is that learning the culture is equally important as learning how to pronounce the words and understanding the grammar. It's been very interesting. I think my favorite experience so far has been with a native Thai speaker I'm friends with whom I wrote a letter to in Thai. She read it, corrected a couple spelling mistakes, and then told me I was "Ready to visit Thailand!" She thought I was much more literate than I am.

  39. There is something similar to those developments. In Germany you often have Bebauungspläne( Bebauungsplan in Singular) they set rules for how far a house must be away from the street or sidewalk, if they have to have a flat or angled roof, sometimes the maximum size of windows. But I did not get why a Cul-de-Sac is different from an Einbahnstrasse tbh

  40. Hallo, Dana,
    es ist noch nicht sooooo lange her, dass du deinen 100.000sten Abonnenten gefeiert hast und nun sind es schon fast 200.000! Ich finde, du hast dir jeden einzelnen verdient. Deine Videos sind super. Viel Erfolg weiterhin!!

  41. Yes I have. I am personally taking German because my is originally from Germany that migrated to the US, so on my Dad side I am 25% German but I might be more I have a little more German from my mom side. Anyway I would say it is a tough time learning it, but it is so cool to see the different ways Germans speak. From I have learned is that German is a lot more throaty almost like Hebrew if that is even a comparison. Thank you for doing these videos I have learned a lot about my original culture. When I am older I am only just 16 years old I want to visit Germany maybe even stay there for a little maybe to see is some family members from both sides still live there. Thank you again so much for doing these videos. Sincerely Reachel Clayton

  42. I have a native German teacher. She does not know English only want to speak Arab in class. My mother tongue is English.

  43. I am learning Spanish, German, French, and Italian off of a website called Duolingo. I love it so much! Like you said in the video some words can't be translated so for German, I watch language videos to help me.

  44. I know a little bit about Germans, and I can imagine, you with your ebullience might have scared the sp*t out of em. Love your stuff, keep up the good work!

  45. I am going to language school here in iceland starting in September 🙂 and i will learn icelandic there 😉 yet after living here one month i understand some words 😀

  46. Ahh, this got me excited for school again (starting next Wednesday) because I really miss my English and my Spanish class, two classes that I actually enjoy because I love languages. So thanks, Dana. 🙂

  47. I've never taken language classes outside of school since my secundairy school already taught me (apart from my native language Dutch) French, English and German.

  48. I have to teach my colleagues at work sometimes. It's really really exhausting 😂 sometimes I think they won't learn anything new, they think that they're right and I don't know anything at all 😂 for example they don't know when you have to say sorry and when you say excuse me 😅 I told them very often but next time they forgot it again 😂 (i'm a retailer) so I can really understand you 😁

  49. My parents generation only had English in their last year of school back in the day, sadly. A bit more could've been useful as I live in Ireland and when they visited me and my landlady invited us over for a cuppa tea, my parents couldn't talk much or understand, I had to translate. Meanwhile I had 5 years of English in school. well it teaches you the basics here, but still if you go out there into the world, you will have problems. I was good in English in school, although I never spoke a word, but always interested in languages. Then in 2003 I did some volunteering in Ireland for over 4 months which really helped getting fluent plus It even got me secure in my wish wanting to live in Ireland, which I made come true in 2006 eventually. Despite being fluent, there's always new things one can learn. Sometimes I just have problems remembering German words now an have to translate backwards from English to German. And as I am currently learning Hungarian all these three languages mix up in my head sometimes and I think a sentence with words of all three languages mixed….lost in translation really exists lol

  50. Wow, the fact that German students were somewhat distant in the very beginning of your classes is something I would've never guessed was a cultural difference /German thing in the first place, but kinda makes sense if you have a general idea about German people's way of thinking. In that sense I just assumed that this is what people would be doing all around the world when meeting new teachers or people of such positions, but hearing that you encountered such a behavior only in Germany was such an eye-opener. 😀 AND reminds me of all the the language classes I took during university, where they "imported" language teachers to teach us and we never answered when they asked us questions… 😀 But when I went to their country as an exchange student the other students there just happily answered starting from the very first minutes of a new class… Such a mind-blowing information!! Once again I learned more about German culture! Thank you very much!! Makes me also kinda feel bad for the teachers that came to Germany just for us… 😀

  51. I've always wanted to study abroad, prefferably in an english speaking country or just somewhere i could study in english so i spent a lot of money and made a real effort to get my english proficiency recognized (i took the ielts exam)…. but somehow, i ended up in rural north Germany. My english is pretty much useless and now i struggle with german. It's kind of scary, starting all over again with a new language.

  52. Ich hab für 6 Monate in den USA gelebt und hatte dann für 3 Monate einen englisch "Sprachkurs" direkt vor Ort.
    Das war eine super Erfahrung und die Lehrerin war sehr nett und sehr amerikanisch^^ also sehr freundlich und offen und hat viele Sachen über uns erfahren wollen usw.
    Wie du schon sagtest: wir deutschen sind da am Anfang ja eher verschlossener und brauchen unsere Zeit um mit Leuten warm zu werden.

  53. My grandma's neighborhood (just the road she lives on) has a cul-de-sac at the end of it. It isn't really like what you described. A cul-de-sac is just a road or neighborhood where the road goes in a circle maybe with grass or trees in the middle where I'm from. We do have what you described but it may or may not have a cul-de-sac.

  54. A someone who is trying to learn German and is an native English speaker who also speaks Spanish. I find German hard as you always put the second verb at the end of the sentence.

  55. Hi! I teach English at a language school in Russia)) Russians are like Germans in that respect – it takes time for them to open up, but once they do – they are like your best friends)) Especialy it can be felt at individual classes – sometimes you feel like the people really want to be listened to or have a conversatiion or even get some advice rather than learn English:):):):):)

  56. Somehow I would like that English becomes more eliminated in Europe, because it is around everywhere. I don't really like to communicate in English, some kind like french people do. If I am out of Germany I avoid to start a conversation in English to other Non_Native-Speakers. It is more adventure if you communicate with "Händen und Füßen" and a handfull words you know in Russian, French, Italian or whereever you are, than just using English – And you are forced to use another language than English, . I also hate it if I am in for example Mexiko, and somebody who starts talking to me because I look like a Gringo (officially just US-Citiziens are Gringo, so I am not) and ask me "Hello, my friend how are you" I always tell them: "Perdon, no hablo ingles, soy de Alemania". I mean that kind of people want to be nice to me, and want start talking to me as a favour in "my" Gringo-Language, because they think it is the only Gringo-Langeuage, and that pisses me really of, that people always think any white guy is an English-Native speaker. The funniest thing, that kind of people who just are curiose to white people, they can't speak more than asking me "Hello, my friend how are you" Before I used to answer them on SPanish, they mostly didn't understand if I start telling them something about me. WHen my spanish used to be in the beginning of the begin of learning spanish, I was already able to tell them more in Spanish than they understood in English. And worst thing is if somebody anywhere says "Thank you" to me, in ENglish of course but not in the Language of the country where we are. It is not polite to me if somebody thinks: Oh you do not understand Tak, merci, toda, spociba or Whatever, so I use the English word. Worst thing you can do to me. But anyway in England English is OK for me because it is Native, in AMerika it pisses me a little bit off, because for me it is really sad that you stopped speaking the languages of your roots. Amerika would be such an interesting place if not everything turned to English, but speaks like 5 Languages of the roots. I really like that, that the Mexikans who come into the US are not totally stopping to speak SPanish, so now there is another public language there, and that feels better.

  57. I have been learning English at work for some years now. Once a week a teacher comes to our offices to teach us some lessons. Mainly, this was meant by our bosses to improve our skills in communication with customers from all over the world.

    Weird fact: The teacher was not a native speaker but she came from Chile. ;o) Nevertheless, most of the time, we also learned tons and tons about English and American culture as well. And Chilenean, of course.

  58. Did anybody else just hear that there is a government that invest in those who are unemployed? holy shitze that's amazing.

  59. so, if i understand this correctly, a cul de sac can be compared to a "wohnanlage"?
    my grandmother, for example, lives in one. it seems to be a bit more community-based than a cul de sac but overall a very similar thing. the wohnanlage where my grandma lives consists of three houses with maybe 5 or 6 floors each. she can decide how to decorate her place on the inside, which kinds of curtains, which kind of floor, etc. and she can also decide which kinds of plants she wants on her balcony, if any. however, she cannot do much else about the outside. she cannot paint her balcony in a different color or use different kinds of windows, or change her front door for example. those things are managed by the hausverwaltung. for example, if many of the windows start to become old and need replacement, then the hausverwaltung will decide which kinds of windows will be used for replacement and then those windows will be installed everywhere, even if the person who lives there doesn't like it. there will also be a sonderumlage, which means that everyone who owns a place in the wohnanlage is required to pay a certain amount of money on top of the regular residence-fees in order to make up for the additional costs.
    so, i think this is rather similar to a cul de sac. or is that wrong? if it is wrong, what are the differences?

  60. Hallo Dana! I was just wondering how you got your job teaching English in Germany? It has been something I wanted to do for years and I just want to know how you did it. Danke!

  61. I speak English and German equally well without preference. I'm however struggling with translations. I'm never satisfied because there is always some information lost in translation. It's frustrating! In NZ, a cul-de-sac is a Wendehammer. A Sackgasse is a no exit street or a dead end. English like German has many dialects and flavo(u)rs. Who knows the difference between road, street, way, lane, avenue, alley, boulevard, court, path? Anyone here knows?

  62. sollte man den Schülern nicht sagen, dass das us-amerikanische englisch ist? Die englische Aussprache ist doch teilwweise sehr verschieden? Auch bestimmte Dinge werden in Englisch und in Amerikanisch unterschiedlich benannt.
    Ich möchte englisch von diesem Mann lernen:

  63. when i was in gymnasium i had always an 5 in english (like E) or even a 6. i sucked so hard i quit school it was horrible.
    years later after years of computergames and movies i had english in my buissness class again, and even my gramar is horrible, i never had an easier 1 xD

  64. Ach, ich wünschte es gäbe auch in den deutschen Schulen mehr Englischlehrer, die wirklich Englisch sprechen können. An meiner Schule gab es sogar Lehrer, die auch noch mit einem Sächsischen Akzent Englisch sprachen 😬… Das klingt wirklich nicht gut 😐.

  65. Hi Dana,

    I think that being a bit reserved in the beginning is a general thing in German culture as opposed to Americans. I had an „intercultural collaboration“ training in my company a few years ago, and the trainer compared the general concept to fruit.
    Germans, she said, are coconuts, with a hard shell just at the outside, but once you‘re through, they often let you in completely. Americans on the other hand are peaches, quite a lot of soft (friendly) stuff on the outside, but to get really in, there‘s a hard core protecting the inside as well… like, don‘t think that American guy you just met really meant that you should visit him just because he said so…

    Does that make sense? Hmm… 😃


  66. Das mit den "harten Brocken" kann ich verstehen, ich wäre wahrscheinlich auch einer. Ich habe grundsätzliche Vorbehalte gegen die USA als Staat und auch viele gegen die Kultur und die Menschen, was aber nciht heißt, dass ich mich nicht für die Kultur, die Sprache und die Menschen interessiere. Von daher wäre es auch ganz interessant, wenn ich in deinen unterricht kommen würde, aber leider bist du 500 km weit weg.

  67. I had the fortune to Learn english addional to the normal school english paid bye the government through mal German Navy Time in San Antonio Texas at the DLI. I was stationed there for 3 month and then for another 8 month in San Diego Ca. I had a very good time and a" hearty" thank you for all my "longhaired dictionarys "

  68. Re: cul-de-sac – Sounds like, what Americans call a cul-de-sac would be what British people call a close (with a soft s, not a z-sound). In Britain, a cul-de-sac is simply any street with an entrance-road but no exit-road, same as Germany

  69. Cul de sac simply means "dead end street" in French. Just as "Sack Gasse" in German or "Doodlopende Straat" in Dutch

  70. We are learning english in School. Well, actually we have to. It is a Hauptfach, a Major subject, in opposite of latin or french for example. Math, german and english = Basic subjects! In my case, i really started to learn english without a "must" pressure, else because i wanted it and interested in was because the Music. I finally wanted to know what the heck they are singing about in this Songs which i like. This were Primary. Later the main reason was, surprise, relationships. Foreign Girl(s) made me to going more intense. Well, it was a learning by doing. Of Course still making mistakes, but who cares 🙂 And then i realized for traveling it is much easier to communicate because english just is a world wide language. Everywhere they are learning/ speaking it. It's international. And my opinion is, the Music and Hollywood made this happened. There might be more native spanish speaking People around the world, but more common is english bcs even those "spanish" People learned english as their 2nd language. Btw, i ordered your book. getting it Tuesday. Cant wait 🙂

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