‘Without determination, nothing can be done. Wavering minds and faltering steps will never carry us forward in the path of progress. We must think before we take a step, but once we decide, hesitation is not a virtue but a sign of definite weakness.’ These lines by one of my favourite political icons have forever inspired and motivated me. They keep me going no matter what.
Have you ever sat at the corner of your table, sipping tea and pondering over that one achievement which totally changed the course of your life? Think and think hard. Something that was not incumbent on you, yet you chose to do and today you realize how it was just the right thing you did. Being multi lingual is not easy but it gives you an edge over others. In this era of global competition by being multi lingual one can easily outmanoeuvre even the toughest of competitors.The knowledge of different languages makes you stay connected to the world outside and lends you visibility over your peers.That’s precisely what each one of us wants. Master a foreign language to be better placed in life, that’s the new success mantra.
Since we are residing in Germany, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty and talk about the hurdles we face each day owing to lack of understanding of German. I know the idea of learning German is not palatable to many of us, in fact, it gives majority of us night mares, but truth be told, no German, no gain! In most of the bigger German cities, one doesn’t really need to know German to survive. Literally, most people, if not all of them, speak English fairly well, one could easily get away without having to sweat over German. Something to sigh about, really? Unarguably, most of us would feel relieved at not having to learn German but then that’s not the way out. Who would fancy being stagnant, off course, no one. It was you who chose Germany for reasons best known to you, now that you are here, why not make it your dream destination by overcoming the one big snag which is preventing you from assimilating in German society. For better integration, for better acceptance, for better career growth, learning German is vital, at least the rudimentary knowledge of German. Language issues overshadow our day to day life and begin to take a toll on us, sooner or later. Learning anything new has its own tests and trials, so is true with German. However, once you start getting the knack of it, learning German would be much fun.
Spaß beim Deutsch lernen
In due course, you will find it becoming your biggest asset. Language barriers are frustrating, especially, if your work environment is predominately German. Unable to freely communicate with your colleagues, unable to correctly understand what is being spoken about, unable to share jokes with your peers to liven up the mood, eating lunch alone as you can’t participate in the conversation held at the lunch table and when you return home you can’t freely interact with your neighbours other than smiling sheepishly, all this creates a havoc around you. The only atonement for you is ‘Shake off the laziness and rise up to learn’. Language incapability can make you feel left out, depressed and after day’s work when you return home you come to another isolation which completely cuts you off from your surroundings and neighbourhood. Basically, you see a dejected you in the mirror, and not the one who came to Germany with a million dreams in his/her eyes.
On the other hand, by learning German you can easily venture into German culture, read the mental framework of the locals and comprehend their background, which are needed to drive innovation, creativity and progress. A pragmatic approach to dealing with life in Germany would be to first master the language. By your language incapability, you would eventually lose out on a land which could offer you tonnes of good luck in terms of a brilliant future, steady career growth; essentially lending wings to your dreams. It can’t be emphasized enough how valuable this language can prove to you and what greater leverage can it provide for a brighter more lucrative tomorrow.
Once you learn German, you will feel much empowered and uplifted as though you have broken free from all the shackles that were holding you back. Today’s world is all about marketing and having German skills on your resume enables you to market yourself in a much sturdier manner. You become more bankable and those formidable gates to some of the best jobs in the region which once seemed tightly locked suddenly start opening for you. Germany is home to some of the top-notch players to work in namely, BMW, Volkswagen, Siemens, Bosch, Lufthansa, Deloitte, Bayer, Hugo Boss, Adidas, Telekom, Allianz etc. Who wouldn’t fancy being associated with such great brands.
If you have long term plans in Germany, then der to learn German!
German like all languages comes with its own challenges, particularly, the mind-boggling grammar with its excruciating exceptions, but do not panic, that can be worked out. As you start picking up the language, it will offer you much resilience and you will forget all the tears that you shed trying to get hold of those dreadful Nominativ, Dativ, Accusativ And Genetiv cases. It’s tricky to learn German but due to its proximity to English as both share the same origin, Proto Germanic, English speakers might find it relatively easy to get grasp of the language. Unlike, many other languages like Mandarin, Arabic, Russian, Hindi etc. there are no alien alphabets other than the umlauts and ß which is nothing but a stylish German alphabet for ‘s’.
The current schooling system in Germany is designed in a manner that every German citizen can converse in English in some way or the other, even if it is broken and not fluent. But what is acknowledged the most is your ability to communicate with them in their native tongue, this tactic instantly puts you on firm footing and leaves your mark on the minds of people and voila!
Should you be in Germany, don’t downplay the importance of learning German. Just imagine, the next time you get your utility bills, at least, you would be relieved of one pain, the pain of google translating, but off course, you will still have to pay there’s no cure for that.
You do you but gear up for German. Bid adieu to your language fears and hesitations. Let's get started!!