Language Barrier





Before I first came to Germany I knew that not being able to speak the language was going to present a challenge in my everyday life. The reason why, in some of my daily encounters with natives, I faced many problems, however, there can also be advantages to not being able to speak the language. For instance, there are occasions in which being a foreigner who doesn’t speak the language comes in handy, like when I go to places with other people that do speak German if I want to avoid social encounters, then I can ask them to do it for me. But at the same time that is also an inconvenience, first because I don’t like bothering others to help me, nor do I like not being able to say what I want to say. Also, by not speaking the language, there are times when people want to make small talk or ask you something and by not being able to communicate, if they don’t speak English, then they won’t even bother, which is nice when you don’t feel like talking. But can also be a negative aspect, for instance on one Monday there was a strike of the buses’ drivers were not working, my program coordinator send a text saying that buses going to my place were not running, I was at the moment in the main station, and there were people waiting for the bus to come, which wasn’t coming, so I wanted to tell them that, but I couldn’t, then I tried in English and they didn’t understand, so with broken german and English I told them about that, and they didn’t understand. So that was frustrating which made me want to learn the language better.

So knowing and not knowing the language can be both beneficial and not, it depends on which side of the spectrum you’re on, so you can take the advantage and use it to your benefit, or if there is no benefit at all then try to change for the better.