I’ve been in Germany for two days now, although a good portion of this afternoon was filled with a nap due to jet-lag. So far, I can make myself understood pretty easily in German, and almost nobody has switched to English on me. The exception was the first person I met, while I was walking my bike across a pedestrian bridge over the river Main. He asked in German where I was from, and then switched to perfect English when I said Canada. He mentioned that he had visited Canada in 1956, but I assume he’s had plenty of other English practice since then.
On the streets of Frankfurt, I hear some Arabic, Turkish, Italian, and at least two different slavic languages that I couldn’t definitively identify, but almost everything I hear is German though. I went to an Italian restaurant the other night, and amusingly the menu seemed to assume that the customers would not be able to figure out items such as “Tortellini Quattro Formaggio”, so it had “mit 4 Käsesorten” tagged onto the end of the line.
I’ve found that I tend to mumble my German a bit when I’m uncertain of vocab or phrasing. I’m trying to correct that, now that I’m aware of it a bit more. I still have some problems with specific vocab sometimes (like trying to figure out how to ask for lentils at the store), but I can usually talk around it.
Currently, I’m still staying at a Hostel near the Frankfurt Hauptbahnhof, since I’m pretty jetlagged and I need to buy some supplies here in the city. Soon I’ll head out into the countryside a bit more and see what’s around. Bis dann!