Recently moved to Germany - any advice?

77 posts in this topic

2 hours ago, LeonG said:

I'm not sure if kids can ever be truly bilingual. Unless you work hard at it, they will have a much better grasp on the language they go to school in but the one spoken at home will be simple everyday language without much spelling or grammar.

My kid is true bilingual in the sense he does not master any of the languages (he's 90% there) and he doesn't have a first and second language.

The trick is to be very strict on the spoken language. For us, this means refusing German/English at home and only accepting Portuguese.

 

For parents with different native language (non German) that want to achieve trilingual, I would say each parent should have a very strong discipline of only using their native language when talking with the kids. Hard to manage, as parents need to communicate with each other in a common language.

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17 minutes ago, MikeMelga said:

My kid is true bilingual in the sense he does not master any of the languages (he's 90% there) and he doesn't have a first and second language.

The trick is to be very strict on the spoken language. For us, this means refusing German/English at home and only accepting Portuguese.

 

For parents with different native language (non German) that want to achieve trilingual, I would say each parent should have a very strong discipline of only using their native language when talking with the kids. Hard to manage, as parents need to communicate with each other in a common language.

 

Absolutely agree with this. We, both native English speakers, made it a rule that only English was spoken in our home, everything outside could be German or English.  My three children are adults now and all of them can switch between English and German without thinking. 

 

As parents, you will have to push your children sometime to speak the desired language, but they will thank you for it when they're older.

 

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It isn't easy.  My wife (German) who speaks pretty good English, me British who can rattle German but not write it.

 

Our children refused to speak English at home (its "Muttersprache").

However, due to various visitors, including for many years the weekly DESY bridge group they were used to hearing english.

 

In the meantine our son (31) works for a software house in Hamburg speaks & writes pretty good english.

Our daughter (now 28) who mostly refused to speak english - works in the lab of the forensic medicine group at UKE Hamburg - suddenly found that she was chosen to look after an exchange person from Gambia - using english...

 

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Evening, HEM🙏🏻
Truly bilingual is rare. Why? Because the country/ language the children grow up in is dominant and the parent’s ( if one ) mother tongue is fossilised. ie sort of out of date. It is not the language of the parent’s or even parents’ generation.

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Ah, btw, I finally convinced my son to start paying attention to German classes (he hates German) by telling him if he learns German we will teach him Klingon, but he first needs to learn German, due to similarities!

I think this will bite me in a year or so, but it's worth it! yIleghQo'!

 

EDIT: No, I don't speak Klingon :)

 

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At ours the language is mixed up.

I speak a mix of German and English (but whole sentences, not mixed words), the Mrs does the same, the short one does a kind of 70/30 German/English.

 

12 hours ago, MikeMelga said:

I think this will bite me in a year or so, but it's worth it! yIleghQo'!

 

EDIT: No, I don't speak Klingon :)

 

Crom!!

 

Oh wait, wrong story...

 

 

 

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On 29.11.2020, 06:40:22, LeonG said:

I'm not sure if kids can ever be truly bilingual. Unless you work hard at it, they will have a much better grasp on the language they go to school in but the one spoken at home will be simple everyday language without much spelling or grammar.

 

 

I think that has worked out backwards for us - their English, spoken and written, is better than their German although they pass as locals at school.

 

I think that's because they read more English and more of the content they watch on you-tube is in English.

 

For us it is easy because we are both Brits. If parents have different native languages then that's much more complicated. I think what you said about sticking with it and using your native language with the kids against all odds is a fight worth having, if it comes to that.

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15 minutes ago, kiplette said:

For us it is easy because we are both Brits. If parents have different native languages then that's much more complicated. I think what you said about sticking with it and using your native language with the kids against all odds is a fight worth having, if it comes to that.

 

We were also 2 native English speakers when the children were growing up, and that's a big advantage. There was no conflict between the languages, home was English, outside was German, it was balanced.

 

Anyway, whoever is trying to do this, keep it up, it's worth the struggle later on.

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N26 is great. I opened an account early this year just for the hell of it. No harm in the extra account (I have Consorsbank too, which is free, and 1822 Direkt also, which was offering 200 euro to open a new account). I am American, and they've all taken me, so that means I'm sure everyone else will definitely be accepted.

 

One thing about legal insurance. I used it once to sue my employer, and they dropped me after the proceedings. Still need to get a new one. Any suggestions?

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On 29.11.2020, 21:08:00, MikeMelga said:

Ah, btw, I finally convinced my son to start paying attention to German classes (he hates German) by telling him if he learns German we will teach him Klingon, but he first needs to learn German, due to similarities!

I think this will bite me in a year or so, but it's worth it! yIleghQo'!

 

EDIT: No, I don't speak Klingon :)

 

 

I do somewhat, I'll help teach him!

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5 hours ago, MikeMelga said:

That sounds like a (barbeque) plan!

Ha'DIbaH jIneH! :D

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On 28/11/2020, 14:22:39, Lukec said:

she usually doesn't have an answer as to why the German language is the way it is which is why I need a proper teacher.

 

A proper teacher will help, but knowing why a language is such-and-such way is not really going to help you much. It may only add confusion. It can be interesting if you're a linguistics geek, but otherwise not usually going to much help you in speaking the language better. Don't question, just accept it, learn/remember it and get on with it already.

 

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VHS. Does anyone have any experiences with these schools?

 

As good as the teachers' teaching, so YMMV, but usually decent. They are meant to be accessible for all semi-public lifelong learning centres (I don't want to say community colleges exactly), and many are owned or partly owned by the cities they are in.

 

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It sounds like everything is taught in German?

 

Yup, welcome to Germany. You may be the only English-speaker in the class.

 

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My previous attempts at language classes has always been taught in English so not sure how it will be in purely German.

 

You will get used to it quickly, though you may flounder at first. Everyone will be in the same boat. At least your cultural norms are closer to German than men and women from Syria, Eritrea, Colombia or Vietnam. 

 

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 Does anyone have recent experience with moving furniture etc from UK to Germany?

 

Try Ikea in your area. There are shipping services for this sort of thing, but unless you have sentimental drawer and tables from back home, it'll be far easier and cheaper to sell them and rebuy here. Try eBay kleinanzeigen, there is lots of decent used furniture on offer too.

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Bilingual fluency essentially means being able to read an academic textbook. 90% there is basically there, because even monoglots are sometimes barely 80% there. The key to teaching kids languages from birth is that until they are about three, the part of the brain that learns language is the part where it becomes innate. After that, new language goes to a different part of the brain where the language isn't as automatically accessible. Even if a kid does not speak the language at a young age, it's going in, and the sounds and intricacies of the language will be much more accessible later in life when the person decides to practice or relearn the language.

 

My kid started speaking English when she was three and we met some friends from Holland in Sweden, and the only common option was English (those kids spoke Italian and Dutch too). Nevermind that the kid doesn't respond in a parent's language. That's fairly normal if the dominant language is something else, AND that parent can understand that language (which is my case with German). The parent can and should continue speaking the other language. It works.

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35 minutes ago, kaffeemitmilch said:

Even if a kid does not speak the language at a young age, it's going in, and the sounds and intricacies of the language will be much more accessible later in life when the person decides to practice or relearn the language.

This is very obvious in places, such as Armenia, where everyone by necessity is bilingual and the majority are multilingual.  My four year old granddaughter has exposure to multiple languages and can already 100% accurately differentiate whether one is speaking Armenian, German, English, Russian or "something else". She is equally happy to watch a You Tube video of Red Riding Hood in any of these languages.  She also sings and plays word games all day long, inventing language.  It's delightful to hear and see.  

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