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Old 06.05.2010, 18:53
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how long to speak enough German to work

Hi ,
I wish to know how long it took for you to speak enough German
to be able to work,as i m learning German and will end
up working with the publics.
Please share your experiences and how you did learn.Thank You very much
for your infos!
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Old 06.05.2010, 19:05
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Re: how long to speak enough German to work

About 9 months. Like making a baby.
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Old 06.05.2010, 19:09
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Re: how long to speak enough German to work

I'll just get my bit of string

Impossible to answer really, some folks really learn quickly, some take immersion course, me I'm deaf so I fear that even my tombstone will be in English
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Old 06.05.2010, 19:11
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Re: how long to speak enough German to work

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Hi ,
I wish to know how long it took for you to speak enough German
to be able to work,as i m learning German and will end
up working with the publics.
Please share your experiences and how you did learn.Thank You very much
for your infos!
Better questien would be "how long to speak enough german, for not to have to work in switzerland "
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Old 06.05.2010, 19:13
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Re: how long to speak enough German to work

I'd say you'd need a A2 or B1 level certificate in DE and you'd be fine when dealing with the general public in spoken and written DE.

How long ? That depends on how intensive your DE course is and your ability in learning by hearing, writing as well as practice, practice and practice - it helps if you have mates that speak in DE.

Übung - lots of it.
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Old 06.05.2010, 19:15
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Re: how long to speak enough German to work

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I'll just get my bit of string

Impossible to answer really, some folks really learn quickly, some take immersion course, me I'm deaf so I fear that even my tombstone will be in English
So am I ! its impossible to learn a other language .Bummer Most people do not understand this
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Old 06.05.2010, 19:36
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Re: how long to speak enough German to work

I reached level B1 in 5 months. I started level A1 in January and passed the Goethe Certificate in June. I had done an intensive course from 8.00am to 12.oopm Monday-Friday. But I was in Germany so I was dealing with the language on a day to day basis. Now I would like to pass level B2 but I am not free to do an intensive course anymore. My level is enough to get by but I do feel that I need to reach a higher level to work . And I would like to start learning Bern Deutsch to feel a bit more confident with parents at my daughter's school.
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Old 07.05.2010, 10:32
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Re: how long to speak enough German to work

Thank you all for your answers
of course practice and if you have
a gift for languages this help.
Olympe i wish i was in Germany
i belive it is easier ,as you hear German all the time,wich is a great thing,as here i strugle in the bus,tram,stores,ect all i hear is Swiss German,so it is a little frustration,but i do understand it it their language.
But for a foreign person i belive been suround with peoples that only speak German is what you need !
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Old 17.05.2010, 21:18
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Re: how long to speak enough German to work

My experience may be relevant - but it was a very expensive route i took - >10'000 CHF i think (was sponsored by my company)

I barely spoke any German when i went for a 2 week intensive immersion course to Germany. It consisted of weeklong 1:1 lessons (8 hrs a day) and required me to stay with a local family over the 1 weekend

I came back able to converse in german, unafraid to speak in german and with the right tips to better my language skills.

I went from 0 to an B1/B2 equivalent. After that, it was just practice, practice and more practice......am really bad at learning languages, but the methodologies they used at this school were fantastic. And before going here, had been to several evening courses etc. etc.
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Old 17.05.2010, 22:05
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Re: how long to speak enough German to work

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practice, practice and practice - it helps if you have mates that speak in DE.
Off topic I know, but reminds me of when I was doing French A level. The school brought in a French "assistante" - some recently graduated 21 year old girl from somewhere in Provence - to help the upper sixth practice our oral (that's spoken! ) skills. Can't remember her name, but if I close my eyes I can see her now. Long, dark hair....deep brown eyes...a tanned, dusky skin that made her teeth seem impossibly white. All too exotic for bunch of northern lads! And when she entered the room, ah...she filled it with a heady, intoxicating aroma of warm, undeodorised armit and a hint of Gauloises on her breath. She clearly made an impression.....but after three months we still had no idea what she was talking about.
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Old 17.05.2010, 22:28
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Re: how long to speak enough German to work

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About 9 months. Like making a baby.
Great, I'll be speaking it in about three and a half minutes then.
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Old 18.05.2010, 11:36
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Re: how long to speak enough German to work

Thank You r2ch
you had a good way of learning
the best is to be in the country
and to be with a German familly that was a fantastic opportunity
enjoy your stay here
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Old 18.05.2010, 11:40
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Re: how long to speak enough German to work

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I barely spoke any German when i went for a 2 week intensive immersion course to Germany. It consisted of weeklong 1:1 lessons (8 hrs a day) and required me to stay with a local family over the 1 weekend
If you learned German within 2 weeks, you either have an extraordinarily high talent for learning languages or your a miracle workers. I'm a linguist by education and I've never met anyone who actually benefited from those 2-week crash-courses.
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Old 18.05.2010, 12:21
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Re: how long to speak enough German to work

I went on a week long intensive Dutch course last September and I definitely benefitted from it. You spend the whole time fully immersed in the language so everyone would benefit to some degree. Whether that is a long-lasting benefit depends entirely on how the individual proceeds with the target language. In my case, I have a degree in 2 other languages and I am a qualified TEFL teacher so I understand the grammatical concepts and I enjoy the challenge of learning a new language. Having taken that intensive course, the Dutch helped me a lot in learning German (albeit I had studied German for 2 years at school).

I would jump at the opportunity to do a German intensive course. The only barrier is the cost. The Dutch one cost over 3000 Euros and was fortunately paid for by the company I worked for at the time. I had no other English native speakers around when I did the course which helped tremendously. It's exhausting and I remember at the end of the course, I called a friend and just babbled incessantly in English just because I could.

I am currently taking private German lessons once per week and listening to lots of German podcasts. I try to speak some German at work but it's hard as most correspondence and documentation is written in English. Even so, after 6 months, there's progress. I would only really think that after 1 year could I hold a decent work-related conversation though. However, to answer your question, it would depend on the nature of the work. I am sure it would not take so long to ask 'Would you like fries with that?' in German.
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Old 18.05.2010, 12:21
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Re: how long to speak enough German to work

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...am really bad at learning languages, but the methodologies they used at this school were fantastic. And before going here, had been to several evening courses etc. etc.
Then it wasn't really zero when you began the intensive course, was it? Even if you had the feeling you had learned nothing at the earlier courses, I bet you had. You heard new sounds, you heard the new rhythm of the new language, all this prepares the ground for the next step whether you were conscious of it or not.
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Old 18.05.2010, 12:41
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Re: how long to speak enough German to work

It took me 3 months to go from 0 to C. It all depends on how much you exercise it, but there is a limit though... A few tips:
Watch as much German television as you can.
Refrain completely from speaking English when you are out and about.
Do you have a hobby? Find a German forum for it and register.
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Old 18.05.2010, 22:59
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Re: how long to speak enough German to work

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Then it wasn't really zero when you began the intensive course, was it? Even if you had the feeling you had learned nothing at the earlier courses, I bet you had. You heard new sounds, you heard the new rhythm of the new language, all this prepares the ground for the next step whether you were conscious of it or not.
Slight exaggeration i guess. Earlier, despite attending all these classes i could not even have a basic conversation in German - hence i meant 0. Also, was always hesitant to speak in German. My first sentence was always 'Sprechen Sie Deutsch'. But true, having lived in CH for almost 6 years, was used to hearing German being spoken ...

Atleast for me this was a game changer cause it removed the fear in me to converse in German. That automatically meant i was practicing it more and improving .... i never felt that way after attending the regular group classes.

At work, i am very comfortable in German, but am all at sea when having a casual conversation - my vocab of normal words is crap and the subject changes too quickly and i cannot keep up.

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If you learned German within 2 weeks, you either have an extraordinarily high talent for learning languages or your a miracle workers. I'm a linguist by education and I've never met anyone who actually benefited from those 2-week crash-courses.
Without attempting to be modest at all, i truly believe it was the way i was instructed. It was very focussed and i was instructed not on the entire grammer but only the 30-40% a beginner needs to learn. Almost any class anywhere, one of the first thing they do is overwhelm the learner with tables of tenses and gender ... the beginning of the end for lots of us.
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Old 18.05.2010, 23:39
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Re: how long to speak enough German to work

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About 9 months. Like making a baby.
More like 9 years!
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Old 18.05.2010, 23:41
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Re: how long to speak enough German to work

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Off topic I know, but reminds me of when I was doing French A level. The school brought in a French "assistante" - some recently graduated 21 year old girl from somewhere in Provence - to help the upper sixth practice our oral (that's spoken! ) skills. Can't remember her name, but if I close my eyes I can see her now. Long, dark hair....deep brown eyes...a tanned, dusky skin that made her teeth seem impossibly white. All too exotic for bunch of northern lads! And when she entered the room, ah...she filled it with a heady, intoxicating aroma of warm, undeodorised armit and a hint of Gauloises on her breath. She clearly made an impression.....but after three months we still had no idea what she was talking about.
O la la...........
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Old 18.05.2010, 23:46
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Re: how long to speak enough German to work

It depends upon your job. I have taken intensive courses on and off completing C1 level and still don't have near the language skills needed for professional work.

The many dialects are a big hurdle if you want to develop strong language skills.
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