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  #21  
Old 27.11.2020, 23:48
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Re: "Your German is not good enough..."

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....

"Your German is not good enough" For what?
This.

If the people said that to the children in German .... half the sentence was missing ergo their own German wasn't good enough for criticizing.

On the other hand it seems to be a thing amongst Swiss teachers to "predict" things and negatively. Going on for decades by now it seems. I know my negative teachers were all wrong too
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Old 28.11.2020, 00:37
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Re: "Your German is not good enough..."

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My son got this. He arrived in Switzerland aged 10, with no German. He got to secondary, having got the highest maths results in the canton, including a question no-one else solved. He went to Gym, and ended up with a masters in Physics from Basel University. Throughout that (University excepted), the refrain from a few teachers* "Your German is not good enough..."

My daughter rose from Real Schule to Secondär to Gym. Thence to a prestigious apprenticeship, BM, now studying for a degree in Pharmaceutical Engineering at the FHNW. Throughout that (FHNW excepted), the refrain from a few teachers* "Your German is not good enough..."

My other daughter, Secondär, FMS, (Got a degree at the Open University in French and German), C2 German from the Goethe institute, and now at an FH to gain a teaching qualification for Primary. throughout that (OU and Goethe Institute excepted), the refrain from a few teachers* "Your German is not good enough..."

In all cases, their German teachers have said "What? Your German is fine". Weird, huh? I wonder who is right? (The sad thing is, some of these people make decisions based on their unqualified opinion)

(Flameproof jacket donned. Go for it).
Yes, I might have said something similar to a student of mine......
Iirc I didn't say that the students german was insufficient though.
I was more or less convinced that said student knew what to answer but struggled, as many german natives when they are doing their first steps in science, with its precise language. Being a non native german speaker might ad another dimension to this, and, imho its the teachers due diligence to take that into account and at least adress it once.

Really happy to hear that all of your children are doing well.
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Old 28.11.2020, 00:57
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Re: "Your German is not good enough..."

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I am also perpetually frustrated at how intolerant my francophone friends are with my French. Sometimes people I meet for the first time tell me that I speak with such a good accent it's only well into the conversation when they realize I'm not a native speaker. But my good friends have no shame in correcting my often not-quite-correct vowel sounds. "Bossie, it's not an e, it's an eeeuh." Or gender: "It's not un répétiton, it's une répétition. Seriously, to-may-to, to-mah-to. I'm a North American married to Brit and we have developed our own hybrid accent in the household. I have a pretty liberal attitude towards how many acceptable ways there are to pronounce vowels.

I work in English with almost exclusively non-native speakers with a large variety of accents and fluency, and some of the pronunciations I hear are interesting, but I always understand them and NEVER correct anyone unless they are so far off people might think they mean something else. I also don't care at all that they don't speak English perfectly.
Many expats are very accepting of non-native English speakers when they struggle with English. Agreed.
But would those non-native English speakers find the same level of acceptance if they were in the US or the UK?
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Old 28.11.2020, 08:45
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Re: "Your German is not good enough..."

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great- but lol, what is his German like? (jesting)
Pretty much like this:
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Now that they are out in the working world of Switzerland and nobody knows that they have an English speaking parent and only speak English at home, all they hear is how good their German is and how outstanding their English is.
Also my first daughter speaks dialect so well, that people think she is native.

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Many expats are very accepting of non-native English speakers when they struggle with English. Agreed.
But would those non-native English speakers find the same level of acceptance if they were in the US or the UK?
Funnily enough, my wife came to the UK age 12, and sister (8). My brother in law (who was 15) speaks heavily accented stilted English (has a degree in Civil Engineering, and built roads). They never encountered such comments. Their command of English is excellent.

I do think the English as a language is more fault tolerant than German. No English person would have a problem with "book" pronounced "booook" instead of "buck". Or "marrrsk" instead of "mask". In German schwul and schwül are quite different things - I can never remember which is which, so I always say "feucht".

@bossie. Sorry to hear of your trouble with French. I learned french from age 10 to 15, and found it easy. We just learned the gender of nouns as we went along, and how the verbs went, and the usually minor modifications to adjectives with some adjustment of word order. I'm very rusty, but still speak French now. Fortunately, my francophone friends aren't actually French, and make more mistakes than I do! The issue I have with German isn't the noun gender, but that the articles changes according to case! As do nouns and adjectives. I speak German fluently, but I worry it's fluent gibberish.
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  #25  
Old 28.11.2020, 08:56
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Re: "Your German is not good enough..."

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Many expats are very accepting of non-native English speakers when they struggle with English. Agreed.
But would those non-native English speakers find the same level of acceptance if they were in the US or the UK?
Totally. Just maybe not on some expat fora outside of UK or US.

I generally found people supportive in Romandie towards people who are learning local languages. If anything they offered help, encouraged. But our area is very international, so much that it prevents some newcomers from having to learn at times, makes it harder. I can learn three national languages where I am, every day. There is always somebody native and thrilled to share. Plus Swiss are patient tutors, usually.

Last edited by MusicChick; 28.11.2020 at 09:23.
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Old 28.11.2020, 09:03
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Re: "Your German is not good enough..."

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Many expats are very accepting of non-native English speakers when they struggle with English. Agreed.
But would those non-native English speakers find the same level of acceptance if they were in the US or the UK?
Uhm.. yeah? I learned English and French in Canada. Average people in the workplace and University profs never gave me a hard time. Who did give me a hard time? The school teachers and even then, the non-English and non-French teachers. BTH, I think they start nitpicking if they hear or know it's not your first language.
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Old 28.11.2020, 09:16
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Re: "Your German is not good enough..."

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What's gabble?
It’s when somebody speaks so quickly that their individual words are indistinguishable from each other.

I would have thought that would be easy for the Germans, they put numerous words together to make a new non understandable word (to German learners) all the time!
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Old 28.11.2020, 09:29
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Re: "Your German is not good enough..."

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It’s when somebody speaks so quickly that their individual words are indistinguishable from each other.

I would have thought that would be easy for the Germans, they put numerous words together to make a new non understandable word (to German learners) all the time!
It is so logical, though. Those words are like trains...

French is tough phonetically but really pretty. Watching news and local shows daily in French is great and reading pushed me over the C2 gap. Kids have different needs plus don't need the push. I don't think that kids I know heard at school that their French would not be sufficient here, maybe the schools are more positive or diverse. There are ways to be positive and helpful without crushing the learner.

Last edited by MusicChick; 28.11.2020 at 09:50.
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Old 28.11.2020, 09:44
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Re: "Your German is not good enough..."

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Raymond Blanc (celebrity Chef in UK) annoys me- he has been in England for 50 years + and he truly cultivates his exaggerated French accent. Mind you, I'd kill to go and stay at Le Manoir aux Quatre Saisons in the Cotswolds.
We had a very poor meal there 2 years ago, I complained when we left at check out with a bill of over £1400, for dinner, breakfast & 1 night in the hotel. We got invited back & given the Blanc de Blanc suite. Gary Rhodes the chef invites us for a meeting before dinner, everything was perfect!.
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Old 28.11.2020, 09:58
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Re: "Your German is not good enough..."

Who do you choose to listen to?

How do you react to “your <insert skill or faculty> is not good enough”? Does it get you down or do you use that as an opportunity to improve?

It’s YOUR choice.
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  #31  
Old 28.11.2020, 10:47
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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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  #32  
Old 28.11.2020, 10:48
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Re: "Your German is not good enough..."

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Who do you choose to listen to?

How do you react to “your <insert skill or faculty> is not good enough”? Does it get you down or do you use that as an opportunity to improve?

It’s YOUR choice.
Hmm, it depends. If you're a kid this can be a real downer. Kids aren't vaccinated against this sort of tricks played by adults. I was wondering why some teachers couldn't just make some suggestions in regards with what needs to be improved - be that genders of the nouns, declination, syntax, whatever. Why do they feel the urge to take out their crystal ball and predict future academic tragedies because someone, during some class, didn't know that "repetition" is a feminine noun.
I would have expected more from them, but then again, this is a profession like every other profession - some are more gifted than others.

@bossie
I am grateful when friends correct my German. I totally get why your friends do that with your French- the wrong gender sort of modifies the entire structure of the sentence. I would do the same. Out of love, not nastiness. Maybe more discreetly or more tactful than your friends. I do the same with my children and they're not always happy.
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Old 28.11.2020, 11:00
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Re: "Your German is not good enough..."

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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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  #34  
Old 28.11.2020, 11:40
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Re: "Your German is not good enough..."

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Uhm.. yeah? I learned English and French in Canada. Average people in the workplace and University profs never gave me a hard time. Who did give me a hard time? The school teachers and even then, the non-English and non-French teachers. BTH, I think they start nitpicking if they hear or know it's not your first language.
Kind of their job....

I wouldn't say it happens only to kids whose first language is other than the official one(s). Or maybe it depends on the education system, who knows. But I wouldn't start from this premise. I'd try to figure out if the criticism was justified.
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Old 28.11.2020, 16:39
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Re: "Your German is not good enough..."

I left Switzerland at the age of 18
Came back 20 years later, i speak perfect swiss and high german
When i get an official letter its like reading another language. I feel like I need a german degree or something
funny i heard on the radio a couple of weeks ago how difficult it is to read some of these letters, even for the german speakers, finally i did not feel alone again.
At my work we have helpers that will actually go to a persons home just to help them with the paperwork.
So yes what does it mean ...your german is not good enough...
my criteria..can you communicate and make yourself understood in day to day living situations.
Are you happy with your german
if yes...voila..your german is good enough..
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  #36  
Old 28.11.2020, 20:57
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Re: "Your German is not good enough..."

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At my work we have helpers that will actually go to a persons home just to help them with the paperwork.
Wow, that sounds like a great service! Can members of the public subscribe to this, or is it a special service for newbies at your employer?
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  #37  
Old 28.11.2020, 21:24
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Re: "Your German is not good enough..."

But I speak bad German perfectly.
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  #38  
Old 28.11.2020, 21:49
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Re: "Your German is not good enough..."

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So yes what does it mean ...your german is not good enough...
my criteria..can you communicate and make yourself understood in day to day living situations.
Are you happy with your german
if yes...voila..your german is good enough..
Agreed. For an everyday situation, that is.

However that doesn't apply to Capetownian acting in a professional capacity. It's probably no problem for the care bear if the message doesn't get across, you simply move on to the next victim A medical doc however can't do that, and if the patient doesn't understand the diagnosis, or even worse if it's misunderstood, serious problems may arise. Now add a patient to the mix who isn't proficient in German themselves and the potential problems multiply.

Mileages vary, sometimes a lot.
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  #39  
Old 28.11.2020, 22:08
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Re: "Your German is not good enough..."

I've heard other stories before, so I think some teachers being negative isn't exclusive to languages, that's just an easy way to put down somebody's enthusiasm.
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Old 28.11.2020, 22:40
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Re: "Your German is not good enough..."

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I've heard other stories before, so I think some teachers being negative isn't exclusive to languages, that's just an easy way to put down somebody's enthusiasm.
Which is pretty much a general definition of a naysayer, downer, etc. Grumps.
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