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  #1  
Old 06.08.2009, 16:16
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German must be as good as a native?

I am back on the job search again & my German is pretty good these days, I have been applying for jobs that state that 'Good English in writing & speaking' is a must but....have been told that my German must be as good as native in many cases.

Firstly, how can it be as good as a a native?

None of my English speaking/writing foreign friends could ever be as good as me as I am a native English speaker & there are some phrases you could never learn either to speak or write.

I have also noticed that vacancies for Swiss companies in general are much more specific and they really do not want a non-Swiss to fill them I think. This is probably due to the world recession finally in effect here, I thought then that this may serve as a warning to those many people who do not already reside here but want to, to realise that it is not a good idea to learn basic German & think getting a job (any job) will be a bed of roses let alone no German at all.

It is about 2 years since I have to start looking again for work & I thought because of the language barrier being removed and now I have a 'C Bewillingung' this would be a lot easier, it isn't at all! I have been intensively looking now for 2 months and it is really getting me down...
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Old 06.08.2009, 16:20
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Re: German must be as good as a native?

I think you're mistaken. Quite a lot of the forum members here are non-native English speakers, and I'm not sure if you could always spot them. If a company needs someone who can correspond with customers and co-workers in German then they do indeed need native-level German. If I had to work in the UK and call customers on a daily basis I'd consider myself unfit for that job, as my comprehension of different accents on the phone isn't that great. If you don't fit the criteria, still apply and don't get the job it must be because you're "discriminated against". yawn.. good luck with your job search anyway!
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Old 06.08.2009, 16:23
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Re: German must be as good as a native?

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If I had to work in the UK and call customers on a daily basis I'd consider myself unfit for that job, as my comprehension of different accents on the phone isn't that great.

Don't worry. I don't think there's a single call centre in the United Kingdom that expects fluency in English from its staff.
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Old 06.08.2009, 16:25
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Re: German must be as good as a native?

So you're saying the Pakistani taxi driver who simultaneously works as an IT-call center agent isn't just a cliché ?
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Old 06.08.2009, 16:26
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So you're saying the Pakistani taxi driver who simultaneously works as an IT-call center agent isn't just a cliché ?
Life is tough for immigrants to the United Kingdom... got to make a living somehow!
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Old 06.08.2009, 16:36
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Re: German must be as good as a native?

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If a company needs someone who can correspond with customers and co-workers in German then they do indeed need native-level German. !
Appreciate your comments & well-wishes though I am sometimes perplexed at the bad English grammar on the English sections of Swiss websites and even the level of vocabulary & pronunciation from 'English speakers' I have been put through to even from companies such as Swisscom, Cablecom, PostFinance etc.. not to mention nightclub/restaurant/hotel advertisements..
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Old 06.08.2009, 16:38
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Re: German must be as good as a native?

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Appreciate your comments & well-wishes though I am sometimes perplexed at the bad English grammar on the English sections of Swiss websites and even the level of vocabulary & pronunciation from 'English speakers' I have been put through to even from companies such as Swisscom, Cablecom, PostFinance etc.. not to mention nightclub/restaurant/hotel advertisements..
Yeah, but speaking English perfectly in Switzerland isn't as important as speaking German perfectly in Switzerland.
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Old 06.08.2009, 16:39
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Re: German must be as good as a native?

I am from Denmark, and my german is good enough, that I apply anyway if they need a native speaker, and I do get the Interviews too.


DB is right. It is only foreigners working in international callcenters in the UK. I worked in a team of ca. 40 people, 3 were british.
If you speak any language, you can get a callcenter job. If you are skilled, you dont get an answer, and if they reply, they offer you a callcenter job, instead of what you applied for. I know people, who have worked in tech. support, who had never seen, what was inside a computer inside, but they could speak danish and swedish.

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Old 06.08.2009, 16:40
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Re: German must be as good as a native?

Whenever I used to call up Orange (UK) I would pray for the Indian call centre, but more often than not it would be Newcastle

"Halloo yer thru to Orange, how canney help yaas?"
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Old 06.08.2009, 16:47
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Re: German must be as good as a native?

Sorry to chime in but I must have missed the section saying that transition is trying to apply for a job in call centre

What is actually OP's field of expertise?
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Old 06.08.2009, 16:51
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Re: German must be as good as a native?

Hello Transition, I understand how you feel, just don't give up or pissed off Have you try Randstad? They will have a short conversation with you in German first before they help you find a job.
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Old 06.08.2009, 17:01
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Re: German must be as good as a native?

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Hello Transition, I understand how you feel, just don't give up or pissed off Have you try Randstad? They will have a short conversation with you in German first before they help you find a job.
Thanks I will check them. I am so pissed off, partly also because of helping so many Swiss friends with work over the years who are absolutely nowhere to be seen when I need their help these days.

I am in this situation because I am still owed a lot of money (for months of work) I was never paid last year, things I thought would get better the longer I lived here but it all seems to get worse!
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Old 06.08.2009, 17:05
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Re: German must be as good as a native?

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Sorry to chime in but I must have missed the section saying that transition is trying to apply for a job in call centre

What is actually OP's field of expertise?
New media, Advertising, Project management..but I would take anything (except tele-sales) at the moment to fund a course in e-marketing which seems like it is never going to happen.

Last edited by transition; 06.08.2009 at 17:18.
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Old 06.08.2009, 17:23
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Re: German must be as good as a native?

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Thanks I will check them. I am so pissed off, partly also because of helping so many Swiss friends with work over the years who are absolutely nowhere to be seen when I need their help these days.

I am in this situation because I am still owed a lot of money (for months of work) I was never paid last year, things I thought would get better the longer I lived here but it all seems to get worse!
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Old 06.08.2009, 17:30
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Re: German must be as good as a native?

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If a company needs someone who can correspond with customers and co-workers in German then they do indeed need native-level German.
Not true. There's a difference between fluency and native-level proficiency.
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Old 06.08.2009, 17:32
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Re: German must be as good as a native?

I had someone ask me the other day for an interview whether
I spoke Swiss German. My German is pretty darn good.
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Old 06.08.2009, 17:39
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Re: German must be as good as a native?

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When wealth is lost, nothing is lost, When health is lost, something is lost, When Character is lost, All is lost. -Billy Graham

Just don't give up. Believe in yourself.
Besides you have EF. They are always there for you.
So cheer up, the more you pissed the more you kill your body cell.

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And there was me thinking that bloke needs a drink
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Old 06.08.2009, 17:42
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Re: German must be as good as a native?

I just had a Phone Interview in English, and he asked me about my swiss German.

I can understand, but not speak swiss German, and I get a real Interview next Week.

Doc.
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Old 06.08.2009, 18:00
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Re: German must be as good as a native?

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Not true. There's a difference between fluency and native-level proficiency.
Well if you can correspond by letter, mail and phone, and fully comprehend contracts written in German then this is considered native-level proficiency. It's the same in every language as far as I know.
Certificate of Proficiency in English for UK Uni for example. If you pass it you're considered to be on a "native-level".
We don't have any non-German foreigners in the management of my company (afaik) as German is the language you not only need to be fluent in but fully master.
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Old 06.08.2009, 18:08
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Re: German must be as good as a native?

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Well if you can correspond by letter, mail and phone, and fully comprehend contracts written in German then this is considered native-level proficiency. It's the same in every language as far as I know.
Certificate of Proficiency in English for UK Uni for example. If you pass it you're considered to be on a "native-level".
We don't have any non-German foreigners in the management of my company (afaik) as German is the language you not only need to be fluent in but fully master.
Someone who is fluent in a language is not necessarily as good as a native speaker, hence the confusion that some people may face in this matter.

For example, I am the only person in my group of work who is a native English speaker; everyone else has German as their first language. They could all be described as being fluent in English, but when they want any English-language text to be spot-on, they always pass it by me. Similarly, I am fluent in German, but would not dare to say that I am as good as someone who has spoken it their whole life.
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