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Old 28.11.2020, 10:47
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Capetownian Capetownian is offline
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Re: "Your German is not good enough..."

I moved here about 10 years ago as an adult having grown up in an English speaking country but to Swiss parents that spoke Swiss German to me. I immediately worked as a doctor and 10 years later, still am. At the beginning my Swiss German was just passable and my written German almost non-existent. Over the years my Swiss German has become fluent and my written German understandable, although filled with grammatical errors. 99% of people in Switzerland have only ever encouraged me and been understanding about this. Only very few (and usually people from Germany) have commented ‚that I really need to learn german‘. Now, I would happily ‚learn german‘ but beyond a certain level you would need to put in an unbelievable amount of work for little output so I have just accepted that I will never perfect at it.
What I found very interesting though - in the first few years, part of my job was writing long discharge letters for patients, obviously they were filled with mistakes and always came back from the senior doctors review full of corrections (free german lessons :-)). To improve, I started copying a lot of paragraphs from German colleagues‘ discharge letters (obviously suitably adapted to my patient). Hilariously, these paragraphs, without fail, came back with as many corrections in them. That’s when I decided that the best way forward was to develop a thick skin and that I believe Swiss/Germanic culture, although the Swiss are very polite about it, is quite a critical nit-picking one.
Hope this helps in some way.
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