Go Back   English Forum Switzerland > Help & tips > Language corner  
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #41  
Old 26.03.2012, 14:18
Jack of all trades.'s Avatar
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Basel
Posts: 813
Groaned at 22 Times in 15 Posts
Thanked 667 Times in 325 Posts
Jack of all trades. has a reputation beyond reputeJack of all trades. has a reputation beyond reputeJack of all trades. has a reputation beyond reputeJack of all trades. has a reputation beyond repute
Re: learning German

Quote:
View Post
Hello,
I would like to know what you think about the Berlitz school in Zurich
to learn German,a lady had learn there about 5 years ago,and another
lady told me a wife of a co worker is happy with that school.
I need to learn German to be able to work,i did a one month intensive
paid by my husband job at the Migros in Oerlikon,but i was not happy
so as a couple of other students in the class,it was a beginner class,but
we where mix with peoples that already lived here for 4 to 6 years and
could speak already a good German,i would love to get your imput on
Berlitz in Zurich ,
thank you.
I went to Migros schule as well and was a little dissapointed that English was not used to explain some issues that I had with German grammar. I too had the same problem with some students knowing more etc. I know nothing about Berlitz but I did find two exercise books called "German verb drills" and "German grammar drills" to be very helpfull (both by A.Henschel). I'm sure you can find them both in a big book store.

Good luck with the courses.
Reply With Quote
  #42  
Old 26.03.2012, 14:21
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Re: learning German

For me, the number one most important factor in learning a language, is not the teacher, or the method, but FULL AND TOTAL immersion.

To learn a language by attending a school, then jump right back into the arms of other expats, is just slowing down the whole process. Which is why often big language schools for kids or adults are not very good value for money. But I agree that the High German/Swiss German thing makes that difficult in the early stages. With full immersion, learning a language to a good communicative standard should only take a few months, instead of years if you surround yourself with English speakers.

Last edited by Odile; 26.03.2012 at 16:25.
Reply With Quote
The following 4 users would like to thank for this useful post:
  #43  
Old 26.03.2012, 14:27
Newbie 1st class
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: central switzerland
Posts: 13
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 4 Times in 4 Posts
nuevayork has no particular reputation at present
Re: learning German

Quote:
View Post
I went to Migros schule as well and was a little dissapointed that English was not used to explain some issues that I had with German grammar. I too had the same problem with some students knowing more etc. I know nothing about Berlitz but I did find two exercise books called "German verb drills" and "German grammar drills" to be very helpfull (both by A.Henschel). I'm sure you can find them both in a big book store.

Good luck with the courses.
Agree with Jack of all trades. Migros is not the best option and Berlitz has a better reputation.
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank nuevayork for this useful post:
  #44  
Old 26.03.2012, 14:30
Newbie 1st class
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: central switzerland
Posts: 13
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 4 Times in 4 Posts
nuevayork has no particular reputation at present
Re: learning German

Quote:
For me, the number one most important factor in learning a language, is not the teacher, or the method, but FULL AND TOTAL immersion.

To learn a language by attending a school, then jump right back into the arms of other expats, is just slowing down the whole process. Which is why often big language schools for kids or adults are often not very good value for money. But I agree that the High German/Swiss German thing makes that difficult in the early stages. With full immersion, learning a language to a good communicative standard should only take a few months, instead of years if you surround yourself with English speakers.
You are absolutely right! Very good advice.
Reply With Quote
  #45  
Old 26.03.2012, 14:30
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Pittsburgh
Posts: 1,983
Groaned at 69 Times in 52 Posts
Thanked 5,074 Times in 1,802 Posts
crazygringo has a reputation beyond reputecrazygringo has a reputation beyond reputecrazygringo has a reputation beyond reputecrazygringo has a reputation beyond reputecrazygringo has a reputation beyond reputecrazygringo has a reputation beyond repute
Re: learning German

Quote:
View Post
As stated before, it's the culture thing (and from this point of view I can understand what the problem for both is, the Swiss and the Germans; but the heck, if one doesn't want to talk the language, one could at least try to understand instead of keeping on getting a cultural shock after who knows how many months in CH).

What I don't get is why Anglosaxon people (and now as it looks like even Spanish speaking users) have so many problems with dialects and German and foreign languages and Switzerland and Europe and holy cow how many other problems could a person get in his life ... little surprise ...
i bin amerikaner, aber i bi nid anglo-saxon (oder spanish). danke jetzt fuer ihres korrektorat.

Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank crazygringo for this useful post:
  #46  
Old 26.03.2012, 16:12
HollidayG's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Kanton Zürich
Posts: 3,038
Groaned at 50 Times in 35 Posts
Thanked 1,180 Times in 738 Posts
HollidayG has an excellent reputationHollidayG has an excellent reputationHollidayG has an excellent reputationHollidayG has an excellent reputation
Re: learning German

Quote:
View Post
Agree with Jack of all trades. Migros is not the best option and Berlitz has a better reputation.
I found Berlitz to be much better than Migros, but it cost 100CHF per
hour, and that was 8 years ago.

Migros costs much less, but it depends on your teacher. I had really,
really good teachers at Migros and just average teachers at Migros.
Reply With Quote
  #47  
Old 26.03.2012, 16:29
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Pittsburgh
Posts: 1,983
Groaned at 69 Times in 52 Posts
Thanked 5,074 Times in 1,802 Posts
crazygringo has a reputation beyond reputecrazygringo has a reputation beyond reputecrazygringo has a reputation beyond reputecrazygringo has a reputation beyond reputecrazygringo has a reputation beyond reputecrazygringo has a reputation beyond repute
Re: learning German

Quote:
For me, the number one most important factor in learning a language, is not the teacher, or the method, but FULL AND TOTAL immersion.

To learn a language by attending a school, then jump right back into the arms of other expats, is just slowing down the whole process. Which is why often big language schools for kids or adults are not very good value for money. But I agree that the High German/Swiss German thing makes that difficult in the early stages. With full immersion, learning a language to a good communicative standard should only take a few months, instead of years if you surround yourself with English speakers.
this kind of learning takes a person with a pretty strong constitution.

Reply With Quote
The following 2 users would like to thank crazygringo for this useful post:
  #48  
Old 26.03.2012, 16:31
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: CH
Posts: 1,038
Groaned at 244 Times in 117 Posts
Thanked 699 Times in 434 Posts
Bucentaure is considered a nuisanceBucentaure is considered a nuisanceBucentaure is considered a nuisance
Re: learning German

Quote:
View Post
i bin amerikaner, aber i bi nid anglo-saxon (oder spanish). danke jetzt fuer ihres korrektorat.

Well, nice try

Actually the use I did make of "Anglo-saxon" might be wrong. Anglo-saxon in German and Italian refers to general culture and language of all English-speaking countries, apart from any question of ancestry, and only in historical context to some viking invaders or hooligans.

And I think - yes - that it's a cultural thing that English-speaking immigrants are relatively reluctant in accepting local languages that are not English. For many reasons linked also to non-English-speaking reality itself (you might not need the local language in your job; computer and internet stuff is in English, so are many ads, musics ...

And I got the impression here that not few of them don't care at all about getting prepared linguistically maybe before leaving the home country.


Quote:
View Post
I went to Migros schule as well and was a little dissapointed that English was not used to explain some issues that I had with German grammar. I too had the same problem with some students knowing more etc.
...
It's that what I mean.

It sounds strange in my ears to go to a foreign country complaining that class courses are not held in English.

I wouldn't say Migros school is bad, but of course (relatively cheap) learning in class and after school turning home with the other expats is less efficient than having a private teacher and local friends and collegues.
Reply With Quote
  #49  
Old 26.03.2012, 16:42
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Re: learning German

Oooops this is a bit confusing, lol?
At the end of the day, it is the teacher that makes the difference, not the school. And in fact, it is the student's attitude that is the main factor, and a real desire to learn.

CrazyGringo, sleeping with 'the enemy' really does help too.
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank for this useful post:
  #50  
Old 26.03.2012, 16:45
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Pittsburgh
Posts: 1,983
Groaned at 69 Times in 52 Posts
Thanked 5,074 Times in 1,802 Posts
crazygringo has a reputation beyond reputecrazygringo has a reputation beyond reputecrazygringo has a reputation beyond reputecrazygringo has a reputation beyond reputecrazygringo has a reputation beyond reputecrazygringo has a reputation beyond repute
Re: learning German

Quote:
Oooops this is a bit confusing, lol?
At the end of the day, it is the teacher that makes the difference, not the school. And in fact, it is the student's attitude that is the main factor, and a real desire to learn.

CrazyGringo, sleeping with 'the enemy' really does help too.
after Lord knows how many years of marriage, I am sleeping with the enemy. unfortunately, however, she speaks very little German and no Swiss German.

Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank crazygringo for this useful post:
  #51  
Old 26.03.2012, 17:35
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Pittsburgh
Posts: 1,983
Groaned at 69 Times in 52 Posts
Thanked 5,074 Times in 1,802 Posts
crazygringo has a reputation beyond reputecrazygringo has a reputation beyond reputecrazygringo has a reputation beyond reputecrazygringo has a reputation beyond reputecrazygringo has a reputation beyond reputecrazygringo has a reputation beyond repute
Re: learning German

Quote:
View Post
Well, nice try

Actually the use I did make of "Anglo-saxon" might be wrong. Anglo-saxon in German and Italian refers to general culture and language of all English-speaking countries, apart from any question of ancestry, and only in historical context to some viking invaders or hooligans.

And I think - yes - that it's a cultural thing that English-speaking immigrants are relatively reluctant in accepting local languages that are not English. For many reasons linked also to non-English-speaking reality itself (you might not need the local language in your job; computer and internet stuff is in English, so are many ads, musics ...

And I got the impression here that not few of them don't care at all about getting prepared linguistically maybe before leaving the home country.
lol, well we do at least like to think of ourselves as at one point being "viking invaders", although unfortunately the only thing my ancestors ended up invading was the northernmost tip of Minnesota.



at least for Americans, a large part of the issue is that so many of us work for multinational companies and are here for a relatively short time (generally 2-5 years). we have no Schengen to rely upon and the long-arm of the IRS nearly ensures that we will pay US tax for the duration of our lives (and in some cases beyond), so the possibility of "immigration" to Switzerland is damn near nil. there is always also the issue that we Americans grow up in a country where you can travel 3,000 miles and never have to speak another language, and languages other than Spanish or French are generally not offered in our public school systems until university. and lastly - depite the fact that we do not have a national language - we are bred to be fiercely proud of our English and we unfortunately feel compelled to impose it upon the rest of the world (as we do with most of our "culture").

all that said, I would be a big fan of requiring language training in connection with the permitting process here. would also be a big fan of better access to language training, particularly Swiss German or local language training. although it is likely possible for a gringo to live in Zurich without speaking German or Swiss German, it must be horribly inefficient and I completely understand why it would be offensive to everybody else who speaks the proper language.
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank crazygringo for this useful post:
  #52  
Old 26.03.2012, 18:23
SignLanguageMama's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Schaffhausen
Posts: 104
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 162 Times in 66 Posts
SignLanguageMama is considered knowledgeableSignLanguageMama is considered knowledgeableSignLanguageMama is considered knowledgeable
Re: learning German

Quote:
View Post
And I got the impression here that not few of them don't care at all about getting prepared linguistically maybe before leaving the home country.
Not arguing with you on this, but when I first joined the forum and mentioned that I was trying to get a grasp on some very basic German before we landed in Switzerland I was jumped on for having a "typical American attitude" about trying to learn everything in 2 weeks. Gotta say, with THAT kind of support coming from an EF member, I felt less than compelled to continue studying
Reply With Quote
The following 2 users would like to thank SignLanguageMama for this useful post:
  #53  
Old 26.03.2012, 18:55
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: CH
Posts: 1,038
Groaned at 244 Times in 117 Posts
Thanked 699 Times in 434 Posts
Bucentaure is considered a nuisanceBucentaure is considered a nuisanceBucentaure is considered a nuisance
Re: learning German

Quote:
View Post
lol, well we do at least like to think of ourselves as at one point being "viking invaders", although unfortunately the only thing my ancestors ended up invading was the northernmost tip of Minnesota.
...
So not viking, but Norwegian, Swedish or German most probably. Big difference.


Quote:
View Post
...
at least for Americans, a large part of the issue is that so many of us work for multinational companies and are here for a relatively short time (generally 2-5 years).
...
Sounds a little bit as a kind of punishment or as not taken by chance and/or choice, but by rule of being sent otherwise fired. Like serving in the army. Take it and obey. Once over the 2-5 years, do you have to go back to the US otherwise happens what?
Besides that, I don't think that 2-5 years is little, and nobody expects you to beat Goethe, Lessing, Brecht, Frisch or Dürrenmatt.


Quote:
View Post
...
... we have no Schengen to rely upon and the long-arm of the IRS nearly ensures that we will pay US tax for the duration of our lives (and in some cases beyond), so the possibility of "immigration" to Switzerland is damn near nil.
...
I cannot really imagine what's that IRS thing to do with it (because as you accept it now you could probably live with it also in 20 years),

I see that the position of Americans, Australians, Japanese, ... is delicate in some points, however not till that point Indian, Chinese or African immigrants have to face every day.


Quote:
View Post
...
... we Americans grow up in a country where you can travel 3,000 miles and never have to speak another language, and languages other than Spanish or French are generally not offered in our public school systems until university. and lastly - depite the fact that we do not have a national language - we are bred to be fiercely proud of our English and we unfortunately feel compelled to impose it upon the rest of the world (as we do with most of our "culture").
...
This is not that different from the Germans' point of view (no national language, but Europe's first, everything translated, you can speak German from Sweden to the Canaries, everybody else has to adapt and often does).
But one can change that especially if - as in the case of US expats - one has above average financial means for it.
Reply With Quote
  #54  
Old 26.03.2012, 18:55
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Re: learning German

Some of my neighbours in the UK bought a house in France some years back. They have been planning to move over to France permanently this Summer for 3 years- with kids about to start secondary school. Told me they didn't bother to get French lessons for kids to prepare them, as the French education system would provide support when they got there for free.
Cruel and irresponsible I'd say.
Reply With Quote
  #55  
Old 26.03.2012, 19:05
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: CH
Posts: 1,038
Groaned at 244 Times in 117 Posts
Thanked 699 Times in 434 Posts
Bucentaure is considered a nuisanceBucentaure is considered a nuisanceBucentaure is considered a nuisance
Re: learning German

Quote:
View Post
Not arguing with you on this, but when I first joined the forum and mentioned that I was trying to get a grasp on some very basic German before we landed in Switzerland I was jumped on for having a "typical American attitude" about trying to learn everything in 2 weeks. Gotta say, with THAT kind of support coming from an EF member, I felt less than compelled to continue studying
I admire your courage. I would never go anywhere where I couldn't have at least a basic conversation. I would feel exposed to a risk that I don't want ever to run. It's not that I fear to be cheaten or whatever,

but not to understand simple advice as "Pay attention to that car coming from the left!" or "Take care!" or stuff like that.
Reply With Quote
  #56  
Old 26.03.2012, 19:08
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: CH
Posts: 1,038
Groaned at 244 Times in 117 Posts
Thanked 699 Times in 434 Posts
Bucentaure is considered a nuisanceBucentaure is considered a nuisanceBucentaure is considered a nuisance
Re: learning German

Quote:
Some of my neighbours in the UK bought a house in France some years back. They have been planning to move over to France permanently this Summer for 3 years- with kids about to start secondary school. Told me they didn't bother to get French lessons for kids to prepare them, as the French education system would provide support when they got there for free.
Cruel and irresponsible I'd say.
I agree with you,

however, this is still different as in your neighbours' case kids are pushed in an ambiente without that expat thing, so they have to adapt and they will (even if they might "lose" a year).

With adults this is different.
Reply With Quote
  #57  
Old 26.03.2012, 22:08
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Pittsburgh
Posts: 1,983
Groaned at 69 Times in 52 Posts
Thanked 5,074 Times in 1,802 Posts
crazygringo has a reputation beyond reputecrazygringo has a reputation beyond reputecrazygringo has a reputation beyond reputecrazygringo has a reputation beyond reputecrazygringo has a reputation beyond reputecrazygringo has a reputation beyond repute
Re: learning German

Quote:
View Post
Sounds a little bit as a kind of punishment or as not taken by chance and/or choice, but by rule of being sent otherwise fired. Like serving in the army. Take it and obey. Once over the 2-5 years, do you have to go back to the US otherwise happens what?
Besides that, I don't think that 2-5 years is little, and nobody expects you to beat Goethe, Lessing, Brecht, Frisch or Dürrenmatt.

I cannot really imagine what's that IRS thing to do with it (because as you accept it now you could probably live with it also in 20 years),

I see that the position of Americans, Australians, Japanese, ... is delicate in some points, however not till that point Indian, Chinese or African immigrants have to face every day.
for most US expats the move to Switzerland is actually something of a reward (I don't intend this in a high-falutin' way at all, just simply stating the facts). the US doesn't send its real jobs to Switzerland, we're too busy sending them to China, India and Mexico. the jobs we send to Switzerland are horribly expensive and usually "developmental", which is one reason for the relatively short time frame (taxes are often equalized, meaning we don't feel the pinch of having to pay Swiss plus US taxes while we're still expats). our max window is usually 5-7 years, at which point we have to decide whether to "localize" to Switzerland or move back. and "localizing" means (a) taking on the US and Swiss tax burdens ourselves (as a US citizen you pay US taxes no matter where you live), and (b) taking on the cost of schooling ourselves.

now, in theory none of this should turn any expat off to learning a new language or two. hell, if you're willing to move halfway around the world (and move your family), you should be willing to spend a couple of hours a week learning the language. and two hours a week should be plenty of time for most folks to get through A2 in German by the end of Year 1 (or obviously French or Italian if they live in those parts of the country), at which point they could continue with German and/or take one of the publicly-available Swiss German courses. even if and when our family moves back, if nothing else I will always be able to berate my children in German / Swiss German and the odds are pretty good that nobody will understand what I'm saying.
Reply With Quote
The following 2 users would like to thank crazygringo for this useful post:
  #58  
Old 26.03.2012, 22:16
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: At home
Posts: 4,167
Groaned at 208 Times in 133 Posts
Thanked 6,403 Times in 2,719 Posts
Faltrad has a reputation beyond reputeFaltrad has a reputation beyond reputeFaltrad has a reputation beyond reputeFaltrad has a reputation beyond reputeFaltrad has a reputation beyond reputeFaltrad has a reputation beyond repute
Re: learning German

Quote:
Told me they didn't bother to get French lessons for kids to prepare them, as the French education system would provide support when they got there for free.
Cruel and irresponsible I'd say.
They will pay the bill, don't worry. You can trust teenagers, they are reliable with pay-back time.

General comment about learning the local language: I understand almost any situation, but at one point, one must understand that a language is not solely a communication tool. It's a world in itself, one has to get into it. I know plenty of people who can communicate in one or the other language but have no clue about the world it actually relates to.
Reply With Quote
  #59  
Old 27.03.2012, 10:23
SignLanguageMama's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Schaffhausen
Posts: 104
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 162 Times in 66 Posts
SignLanguageMama is considered knowledgeableSignLanguageMama is considered knowledgeableSignLanguageMama is considered knowledgeable
Re: learning German

Quote:
View Post
I admire your courage. I would never go anywhere where I couldn't have at least a basic conversation. I would feel exposed to a risk that I don't want ever to run. It's not that I fear to be cheaten or whatever,

but not to understand simple advice as "Pay attention to that car coming from the left!" or "Take care!" or stuff like that.
Don't worry, I didn't pay attention to that naysaying EF member for more than an hour or two--then I started studying my German again I thought it was in my best interest to be able to get around by myself during the day instead of living in my house like a hermit until OH got home from work and would venture out with me. Still not fluent, but know enough to get by in most situations...
Reply With Quote
  #60  
Old 30.04.2012, 14:48
jrspet's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Quaint Wädenswil, Zürich, CH
Posts: 8,131
Groaned at 27 Times in 20 Posts
Thanked 7,036 Times in 3,912 Posts
jrspet has a reputation beyond reputejrspet has a reputation beyond reputejrspet has a reputation beyond reputejrspet has a reputation beyond reputejrspet has a reputation beyond reputejrspet has a reputation beyond repute
Re: learning German

Quote:
View Post
i tried their one week trial, but ended up in inlingua.
berlitz is more expensive and slower i think.
Quite a few posts today on inlingua by you I note.
Reply With Quote
Reply




Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Learning Swiss-German [and German] in Baden ahswitzerland Language corner 8 27.02.2019 09:09
German self-learning hints pinipon Language corner 55 16.08.2012 11:17
I am learning German - together with my child adr1ana Language corner 0 12.08.2009 23:56
Suffering learning German... sangi312000 Language corner 36 22.04.2008 17:13


All times are GMT +2. The time now is 00:39.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2022, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
LinkBacks Enabled by vBSEO 3.1.0