How to Deal with the German Language Barrier as International Student


Famous for its bread, leading manufacturing units for cars, castles, and music, Germany is the country where people express themselves with multilingual creativity. According to the studies, 67% of the Germans are capable of speaking one native and one foreign language while 27% of the Germans have the ability to speak and understand two foreign languages. It is because they have a rich culture and they care about learning languages. Despite these facts, people who visit Germany feels there is a linguistic barrier.

Now many people visit Germany because of the cultural diversity and the friendly nature of the Germans. Since international students also can study for free in Germany, students visit Germany for such a reason, as well. When people visit Germany, they face many difficulties and one of them is the language. Language barrier! They feel the need of the translator who can translate for them what the people are saying or who can send their messages to the Germans in Standard German. It will exacerbate the problem if you have no translator by your side (in the case of an emergency). Therefore, we have some pointers for you to consider if you want to deal with the language barrier in Germany. Read about blocked bank account for Germany student visa

Learn Some of the Phrases:

You don’t have to learn the whole language when you can make do with a few phrases, right? There are more than 7000 languages and you are allowed to know just one! So, learn the major phrases that you think you will need to use in your daily communication in order to get it going, smoothly. These phrases may include: Hey, How are you?, I am fine, Yes, No, Thank You, I am Sorry, Where this bus is going? What’s the time? and, etc. You can always add more to this list because it really depends upon your communication needs. 

Make a Diary:

In case you don’t have time and it is hard for you to learn a new language in less time, then you can always write the words, phrases, sentences, questions, in German and write their translation in English in your diary or notebook. This will help you to get the meanings instantly when you are talking to someone and you don’t get what they’re saying. Your diary will be a little dictionary for you and you can design it the way you want. 

Advice: Many locals will help you even more if you ask them (in the local language) if they know the English language.

Use Language Translating Apps:

There are many apps online that you can download in your phone. Now, these apps have words in the local language with the meanings in the English language. Some apps even have audios to give you moral support. You can download one or two of these apps that you think will help you in your quest of meanings. Google translator is another way to look out for the meanings of the words and sentences that you cannot understand and even convert the English phrase in another language in order to speak it to the locals. 

Pocket-Sized Phrase Books

Pocket-sized books are the best way to translate any word on your own. In case your battery of the phone is low or the internet connection is not there or there is no signals in your phone, you can always take help from such books. They are easy to put in a pocket and easy to carry and are really cheap and affordable. You can have them by your side whenever you go out.

Knowledge of Non-Verbals:

One should know about what are the meanings of the non-verbals as every country has their own unique meanings to some of the non-verbals. You better be sure that you use facial expressions, personal space, and hand gestures that are generally accepted in Germany. How this will help in overcoming the linguistic barrier? Well, if you treat the person using a smile as facial expression and shaking their hands firmly as a gesture and ask them for assistance, they are more likely to stop and help you with your problem and there is a greater chance that they understand your poor use of local language and consider you as a good traveler or a student and offer you a generous help with your issue.

Take a Language Course:

Take a course of the local language as soon as you can as it will help you a lot. You will have a whole class to share your problems and experiences with and your teacher will definitely help you throughout. You can also contact your teacher while you are in the middle of the trouble and since your teacher understands you he/she will help accordingly. Your teacher also can directly talk to the person you are having problems communicating with. That is why it is important that you have good relations with your language teachers abroad as they can be a great help.

Communicate in Local Language:

Communication is the best way to learn any language. Communicate with your friend or a teacher in order to learn the German language and in order to experience what it feels like to speak German language and sometimes when you speak the language; it goes into your subconscious mind and later helps you to understand the language with little conscious efforts. With each day that you pass communicating in the German language, you will be able to adapt to the new language and eventually you will have a grip on it.  

Can’t Afford a Tutor?

You can always watch Youtube videos to learn German. There are many youtube videos online where a teacher teaches people like you online for free, so there is no need to worry as you can watch these videos on Youtube and can always have a tutor on your phone screen or computer screens. If you want to learn German the fun way, you can watch German movies with subtitles on the screen. If you want it to be knowledgeable, then you can watch documentaries and history-related German movies. This way you will be able to learn the language and get to know about the history of Germany too. 

The language barrier is the reason behind the frustrated students and travelers who can’t let it out and who cant speak their hearts out. You can easily come over it but it will take time. Once you have enough experience, you will be a street smart person and will know how to deal with the language barrier with the pointers mentioned above

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