How integrated are you?

82 posts in this topic

We have a great variety of people on this forum. Some who have been in Germany for decades, some for a few months. Many from 'Anglo-Saxon' countries, from Europe, the UK and elsewhere. With or without family. With a German partner, or a partner from a third country. Speaking English first, or another language.

 

How do people integrate in Germany, what are your experiences? What about joining sports or other clubs?

 

Mine were a bit patchy. Until I retired😃

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
57 minutes ago, MikeMelga said:

Not planning on staying forever.

 

That's what I always said, yet here I am, 40 years later.  I speak the language, not perfectly, but nobody seems to mind.  I have a good life here, a job I really like, good neighbours and friends, and family around me. I'm happy here and this is certainly home for me now.

6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's how my daughter did it. She came to Germany 51 years ago when she was eleven; made her Abitur, worked with Germans, and ended up a German woman who happens to have an American passport.
It's really hard for adults to build up that background.

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Originally from the US. 12 years here now. C1 level of German. Husband is German and daughter has dual nationality. Good mix of German and expat friends. Have a full-time job teaching English.

 

Being forced to use the language at privately and at work helped a great deal with integration.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 hours ago, MikeMelga said:

Not planning on staying forever.

 

19 hours ago, Tap said:

 

That's what I always said, yet here I am, 40 years later.  I speak the language, not perfectly, but nobody seems to mind.  I have a good life here, a job I really like, good neighbours and friends, and family around me. I'm happy here and this is certainly home for me now.

 

Tap- Ditto. I have been here 22 years now. I never expected to stay this long. I have relatives in Great Britain but I have a family here now, and my partner is German. I do not live in an expat bubble. I spend most of my day speaking German, in fact I am happy if anyone speaks to me in English! One reason I come to this forum :P

 

There are some things that I will never get used to. The Germans can be very arrogant and rude. (of course they just say they are being direct, it is just part of their culture :P) They do not queue, that is one thing I found to be bizarre. They charge onto the train and buses. Also that you have to have eyes in the back of your head, as people do not say "excuse me" if they want to pass by!

 

I have dual nationality, both German and British. I have been a German citizen for 17 years now. My family here are German. I do miss Great Britain but there are many things I also love about Germany. I have a great job here, family and friends. :)

 

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've been here for 13 years but I don't think I'm very integrated.  I never took the B1 but currently doing a B2 Beruf online course just for the fun of it.  It's free on the VHS portal if anyone is interested.  My German is far from perfect but I get by just fine.  Most of the people I talk to are foreigners so they don't speak perfect German either.

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Anna66

Queuing? I like to assert my Germanness at the train station: I say loudly: ERST AUSSTEIGEN LASSEN! Let people off first (before you get on)😉

..

I resolved not to join an English-speaking society over here, but I did join later, not sure why. No English society where I live now. No problem.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I came for three years (again - I'd been in Germany before) and it's now been 23 years.

 

I almost enjoy Apfelschorle these days. It's not so bad.

5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, Anna66 said:

They do not queue, that is one thing I found to be bizarre.

 

This made me laugh. Two young Germans (a boy and a girl) in their last year of Gymnasium and visiting me regularly for English conversation sessions a couple of years ago were amazed to learn that British people actually queue to get on a bus. They found that kind of behaviour really quite bizarre. 

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Moved here first time in ´72, nineteen that is. Lived for most part in Bavaria, then 1999 moved to Malta via. Denmark, Mexico and Switzerland and since 2019 back in the Fatherland.

There is nothing in the UK for me since my mother passed on last year, and I now tend to treat the UK like any other foreign country. Looks like I will make my stand here.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Been here... 35 years now.  FFS...  Have I integrated?  I would say so.  I've had a few friends of various ages say that I am near on an Allgäuer.  Not sure that's a compliment. :lol:  In some ways I suppose I have developed numerous German habits and customs.  But in a few ways, I've retained my old habits...  my music tastes, for example.  I cannot abide Bayern3 or Antenne Bayern.  Awful stuff!  I still watch movies in English.  There it is.

4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Italian married to a Japanese, lived 24yr Italy, 3yr UK, 4.5yr Japan, and another 8yr in the UK until 2013 when we moved to Germany because I wanted my current job. Germany being Germany never really played a role.

At the time we moved child was 3. Child officially italian and japanese of course, but practically also german and brit. Always been in ganz normal German school. 

Family language is de facto English because it's the only one we all know.

Only half my colleagues are German, and most stay here only a short time, so language at work is 100% English.

 

I listen German radio news because I like it. Read English news. Used to read German books, eventually turned lazy once I learnt "enough":unsure:.

Can't watch TV (any language, any country) because it's just too crap. Watched about one film per girlfriend in my life so far, more than one but not dozens, that's enough.

 

I'm proud my child blushes and says "oh my God, you are so embarrassing" when I speak German. :D

 

 

3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, slammer said:

Moved here first time in ´72

Wow, this is long! I was not even born at the time, and I guess I'm older than most here.

Is 1972 a record amongst us expat?

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@gambatte or their child has the record so far, four languages/nationalities.

 

I find German and English enough, trying to learn another language would detract from those two I think. Still quite a lot of French in my brain from school.

 

I think we can count ourselves very lucky if we have English as our first language, even if our German is a bit embarrassing, even if our English is a bit rusty😉

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
57 minutes ago, Fietsrad said:

@gambatte or their child has the record so far, four languages/nationalities.

 

Our child has two nationalities, not four. When started school could speak 4 languages but couldn't write any.

BTW I know a guy with 3 nationalities. Why 3? Because he gave up one.:o No kidding.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11.9.2022, 23:25:05, bramble said:

 

This made me laugh. Two young Germans (a boy and a girl) in their last year of Gymnasium and visiting me regularly for English conversation sessions a couple of years ago were amazed to learn that British people actually queue to get on a bus. They found that kind of behaviour really quite bizarre. 

 

Just a cultural difference. I find some of the things German people do is bizarre and they find some things British people bizarre. One thing I noticed as well is the difference in eating with a fork. British people tend to scoop it onto the back of the fork and Germans put it on the fork almost like a spoon.

 

 

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11.9.2022, 12:05:18, Fietsrad said:

@Anna66

Queuing? I like to assert my Germanness at the train station: I say loudly: ERST AUSSTEIGEN LASSEN! Let people off first (before you get on)😉

..

I resolved not to join an English-speaking society over here, but I did join later, not sure why. No English society where I live now. No problem.

 

:D

 

I spend most of my time with Germans.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As I do spend most of my time with Germans and my family here is German I would say I was pretty well integrated. I speak the lingo, love the food, have German friends and enjoy my job. I just still have my British quirks, but I love them too. After all, it is part of my identity :)

 

 

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Speaking of proper queuing...  one word:  Lift.  I used to have a good laugh watching Germans queue before a lift.  They press the button for the lift and stand directly before the doors, knowing well someone might wish to exit before getting on.  While we don't have lifts here in the Oberallgäu, There are a few in Kempten.  Can't help but chuckle each time I watch this occur.  Integrated?  I suppose in that aspect I certainly haven't.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now