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#1533099 - 10/11/10 01:10 PM Re: OT: Learning German? [Re: BerndAB]
Fritz Heberlein Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/17/09
Posts: 5
Originally Posted By: BerndAB

(..you also won't go into the Hofbraeuhaus in Munich and ask for American Pizza.. There of course you would like to have a real bavarian Eisbein.. ) ;-)


My suggestion is to avoid the Hofbräuhaus at all. Go to Augustiner (Neuhauser Strasse) or Pfälzer Weinstube (a few steps from the opera house).

Greetings from Bavaria,

Fritz Heberlein



Edited by Fritz Heberlein (10/11/10 01:11 PM)

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#1533103 - 10/11/10 01:23 PM Re: OT: Learning German? [Re: appleman]
LisztAddict Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/12/05
Posts: 2896
Loc: Florida
Originally Posted By: appleman
1. Pay toilets are usually mandatory in Austria, and it's usually tip toilets in Germany. Always have a few euros on you, because you never know. Don't expect a fast food place to have a toilet, let alone a pay toilet.


Same in Germany. Costs 0.5e to 0.75e for each trip to the toilet in department stores, fast food restaurants, and convenient stores. Some fast food restaurants let you use the toilet for free if you show a valid food receipt.

Originally Posted By: appleman
4. Beer is cheaper than water. Beer and soda is not warm, just not as cold as in America.


Yes. They don't run refrigerators and freezers very cold to lower the electric power consumption. Soda and water are not too pricy when you buy from grocery stores or convenient stores. Under 2e for one 1L bottle. In a restaurant, it's easy 3e or more for one 250mL or 330mL glass.

Originally Posted By: appleman
8. If you order water, you get seltzer water. You must specify still water.
seltzer water = carbonated water. If you want to be sure there is no bacteria in the water, carbonated water is what you want. But carbonated water tastes a little weird. laugh

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#1533219 - 10/11/10 03:49 PM Re: OT: Learning German? [Re: Piano World]
Gyro Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/24/05
Posts: 4533
I still think you should forget the German. Everyone you meet will speak better English than the German you could learn in five yrs. of hard study. German is not "fun" to learn. The first class session in German 101 might be kind of fun, but you soon learn that German nouns have gender, masculine, feminine, and neuter, with no way to tell except by experience. The gender of the nouns determines how you say things, and if you don't know the gender of the nouns, you essentially can't speak the language.

I can communicate in the most disgracefully rudimentary German, but if I went to Austria, I wouldn't even bother trying to speak it, as it would be insulting to the people there. The impression I get is that Germans are now much like the French; they won't listen to you unless you can speak the language perfectly.

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#1533224 - 10/11/10 03:54 PM Re: OT: Learning German? [Re: Fritz Heberlein]
BerndAB Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/17/10
Posts: 544
Loc: Germany
Originally Posted By: Fritz Heberlein
Originally Posted By: BerndAB

(..you also won't go into the Hofbraeuhaus in Munich and ask for American Pizza.. There of course you would like to have a real bavarian Eisbein.. ) ;-)


My suggestion is to avoid the Hofbräuhaus at all. Go to Augustiner (Neuhauser Strasse) or Pfälzer Weinstube (a few steps from the opera house).


Ja, Fritz, of course. It was only an example - as the gorgeous itinerary of the PianoWorldExcursion doesn't include an evening stop at Munich as I think.. Yeah, avoid the Hofbräuhaus, please. There is no real fun.

If you might have an additional hour beneath the instruments exhibition of the Deutsches Museum please go to the Karl-Valentin-Musäum. It is on the way back to the Viktualienmarkt. Take with you anybody who is fluent in german and may be able to explain the funny german sentences and thoughts of this comedian. Or if you don't have, just stroll along the Viktualienmarkt.



Edited by BerndAB (10/11/10 03:56 PM)
Edit Reason: typerr
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#1533228 - 10/11/10 04:03 PM Re: OT: Learning German? [Re: Piano World]
Norbert Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/03/01
Posts: 14139
Loc: Surrey, B.C.
Quote:
impression I get is that Germans are now much like the French; they won't listen to you unless you can speak the language perfectly.


Sorry, I can't agree with this.

Especially the young and middle aged will bend over backwards to help you.

You never know: they could have had an American Papa who once was stationed nearby...

Norbert wink
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#1533247 - 10/11/10 04:29 PM Re: OT: Learning German? [Re: Norbert]
the nosy ape Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/10/08
Posts: 715
Loc: Westford, MA
Originally Posted By: Norbert
Quote:
impression I get is that Germans are now much like the French; they won't listen to you unless you can speak the language perfectly.


Sorry, I can't agree with this.

Especially the young and middle aged will bend over backwards to help you.

You never know: they could have had an American Papa who once was stationed nearby...

Norbert wink

My experience is that, in Paris anyway, if you start off trying to speak English with someone you run the risk of being ignored. But if you start with rusty high school French then most of the people instantly become very friendly and helpful.

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#1533272 - 10/11/10 04:56 PM Re: OT: Learning German? [Re: Piano World]
Norbert Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/03/01
Posts: 14139
Loc: Surrey, B.C.
Yeah Paris...

Norbert frown
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Greater Vancouver B.C. piano dealers for : C.Sauter, Estonia, Brodmann, Ritmuller
604-951-8642

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#1533277 - 10/11/10 05:12 PM Re: OT: Learning German? [Re: the nosy ape]
Entheo Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/12/04
Posts: 1117
Loc: chicago, il
two phrases worth their weight in euros:

entschuldigen sie -- sprechen sie englisch?

excusez-moi -- parlez vous anglais?
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#1533403 - 10/11/10 08:50 PM Re: OT: Learning German? [Re: Piano World]
Brandon_W_T Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/18/10
Posts: 1940
Loc: Omaha, Nebraska
Paris... understandable...
Northern france, Rudeness is unheard of!


I visited the Hofbrauhaus, and have a Beirglas and pulli to prove it. wink

Fun place. Great food. You sit at large tables with people you dont know around you and have a great time. Singing, laughing some dancing. Traditional german polka bands. Tubas and accordions.


One of the best times of my life. smile Sure many say the Hofbrauhaus isn't what it used to be, but its still fun. And still the oldest bar in the world! (If I recall correctly)
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#1533405 - 10/11/10 08:52 PM Re: OT: Learning German? [Re: Entheo]
Brandon_W_T Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/18/10
Posts: 1940
Loc: Omaha, Nebraska
Originally Posted By: Entheo
two phrases worth their weight in euros:

entschuldigen sie -- sprechen sie englisch?

excusez-moi -- parlez vous anglais?



Dont forget -bitte- after Sie. A tad more polite. (please)


If you say that first, you are bound to be treated far more better than going in saying, hello sir/miss, do you speak english.

For saying something like that, a slap to the face with a white glove to whom who done it!
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Home -
1905 Story and Clark Art Case smile

--NEW!--- 1964ish Conn 640 vacuum tube theatre organ! (with leslie!) smile

Grandmas- New Hyundai petite baby grand

Church (the organ I practice on)-
1998 Bedient (Built about 45 minutes from me!) 2m/pedal 24 rank Cavaille-Coll style pipe organ

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#1533621 - 10/12/10 04:58 AM Re: OT: Learning German? [Re: Gyro]
Fritz Heberlein Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/17/09
Posts: 5
Originally Posted By: Gyro
The impression I get is that Germans are now much like the French; they won't listen to you unless you can speak the language perfectly.


"I beg your pardon" - but that's simply not true ...

Greetings from Bavaria!

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#1533635 - 10/12/10 05:32 AM Re: OT: Learning German? [Re: Piano World]
Dave Horne Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/07/04
Posts: 5277
Loc: Vught, The Netherlands
Whether or not you address a German by asking Do you speak English? or May I speak English to you? in English or German, that extra step will be appreciated nonetheless.

It's just plain rude to approach someone in another country by speaking English without first asking if they do. If you're at the check in desk of a hotel, that's a different story, but in general, it's more polite to take that extra step.

My wife and I were on vacation either in Holland or Germany a few years ago and were driving through the German countryside. In the middle of nowhere we saw a big farm type restaurant and the parking lot was filled. This was on a Sunday and it was between 12 noon and 1 PM. We thought, great! We'll stop by and have a cup of coffee and a piece of pie or pastry.

When we looked inside the placed was packed and the Germans were eating tons of mashed potatoes with pork, ham and chicken. It was a tad too earlier in the day for us to have a large meal. This was more of a food factory than a restaurant.

German cuisine is best known for its large quantities of meat, potatoes and gravy served with large quantities of beer. smile
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#1533979 - 10/12/10 03:42 PM Re: OT: Learning German? [Re: Fritz Heberlein]
Tweedpipe Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/16/08
Posts: 431
Originally Posted By: Fritz Heberlein
Originally Posted By: Gyro
The impression I get is that Germans are now much like the French; they won't listen to you unless you can speak the language perfectly.


"I beg your pardon" - but that's simply not true ...
Greetings from Bavaria!


Of course it's not true.
But then I've rarely seen a true, coherent statement from that particular poster. When we do, it may be time to change his straight-jacket I fear....
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Yours sincerely,
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#1534127 - 10/12/10 07:42 PM Re: OT: Learning German? [Re: Fritz Heberlein]
Rjt Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/25/10
Posts: 63
Loc: London, UK
+1 Generally the Germans are very happy to speak English and often speak it better than most English teenagers! In my experience they will prefer to speak English than suffer my modest German - it's just easier that way.

I agree it is nice to learn a few foreign words out of courtesy.

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#1534432 - 10/13/10 07:47 AM Re: OT: Learning German? [Re: Piano World]
Gregor Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/31/08
Posts: 436
Loc: Münster, Germany
As to ordering a glass of water in a restaurant: yes, usually you pay for it. So, ask for a glass of "Leitungswasser" (mains water), that´s for free. No problems with hygiene in Germany.

Mark, funny story about the English writing reformation. Not so funny: we had that for German a few years ago. Really! Not so crass like in your story, but it was bullshit anyway.

Gregor
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piano tech - tuner - dealer
Münster, Germany
www.weldert.de

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#1535779 - 10/15/10 06:07 AM Re: OT: Learning German? [Re: Dave Horne]
Zindaras Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/03/10
Posts: 180
Loc: The Netherlands
Always ask for tap water if you want water. Also remember that you can always drink water from any tap. It's all potable (if I'm correct).

About traffic...well, I'm mostly used to the Dutch rules, so I can't speak for the Germans, but I imagine they are very similar. Pedestrians always walk when it's red, as long as there is nothing coming. This is acceptable for pedestrians and cyclists, but not for automobiles. You're likely to see more cyclists than in America, and they tend to behave a lot more dangerously as well.

Originally Posted By: Gyro
I still think you should forget the German. Everyone you meet will speak better English than the German you could learn in five yrs. of hard study. German is not "fun" to learn. The first class session in German 101 might be kind of fun, but you soon learn that German nouns have gender, masculine, feminine, and neuter, with no way to tell except by experience. The gender of the nouns determines how you say things, and if you don't know the gender of the nouns, you essentially can't speak the language.


The genders do not make that huge a difference. If you get the word right but the gender wrong, people will think you're a silly American, but at least a silly American who's trying. It's better than not speaking a word.

Unlike the Dutch, the Germans do see German as being more important than English, but they also don't get as much education. Older people are less likely to speak English, as are people in Eastern Germany.

If you want to be polite more than anything, there are a couple of words you need to know that you can use in almost any conversation and that will endear you.

Bitte - please (used in polite questions or when giving something, much like the French voilà).
Danke schön - thank you very much.
Entschuldigungen - excuse me.
Frau/Fraulein/Herr - used for women/younger women/gentleman respectively. You can also address people with "Sie", which is the polite form of you.

Check up the pronunciation online and make sure you can get these right.

German breakfasts are very much different from American breakfasts, too. It is common to just eat a couple of sandwiches. The continental breakfast you get at American hotels is an approximation, but the bread is much much better in Germany. Lunch is a more important meal.
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#1535918 - 10/15/10 10:32 AM Re: OT: Learning German? [Re: Piano World]
lilylady Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/17/05
Posts: 4978
Loc: boston north
I am enjoying reading about how to be a good tourist. I hope that the stories keep coming.

I have another question.

If I stayed a couple of days beyond, could I ship back my main set of clothes and just do an overnite pack? And how? Or is that so expensive and hard that I should just have some disposable clothes?

Are those of you who are helping us here, planning on meeting up with us for a visit? I surely hope so!
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#1539504 - 10/20/10 02:59 PM Re: OT: Learning German? [Re: lilylady]
Agilita Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/03/06
Posts: 476
Loc: Missouri
I bought "Drive and Learn German". These are CDs with lessons that you listen to while driving. Since I spend 2 hrs a day in the car, I thought it would allow me to to piggy-back a little learning with my commute. The premise of it is a little hokey, the guy is learning German to impress the German girl and after going through each lesson, they sing the new words and phrases.

I haven't yet formed an opinion of it (other than the hokey premise). In a couple of weeks maybe I can tell whether I'm learning any German.

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#1539513 - 10/20/10 03:09 PM Re: OT: Learning German? [Re: Piano World]
Dave Horne Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/07/04
Posts: 5277
Loc: Vught, The Netherlands
How's the driving coming?
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#1539530 - 10/20/10 03:26 PM Re: OT: Learning German? [Re: Piano World]
ChatNoir Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/19/05
Posts: 1477
Loc: Encino, California
Gives Fahrvergnügen a new meaning........
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#1539570 - 10/20/10 04:37 PM Re: OT: Learning German? [Re: ChatNoir]
mikewu99 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/08/03
Posts: 314
Loc: Audubon, PA
English is the lingua franca in most of Europe. I just got back from Rome where there were many non-native English speakers (for some reason there were a lot of Germans and Dutch there last week) using English to communicate with the locals.

That said, whenever I go to a non-English speaking country I always try to have the basic courtesies learned - "hello", "goodbye", "please", "thank you". If you meet someone and greet them in the native tongue in 99% of the cases they will recognize your American accent and initiate speaking to you in English.

One other tidbit regarding Germany: if any part of your itinerary is in the former East Germany you may find English speakers fewer and farther between - most (former) East Germans over 35 or 40 were taught Russian in school as their second language. That was the only part of Germany where I really needed to dust off the old high school German...


Edited by mikewu99 (10/20/10 04:38 PM)

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#1539836 - 10/21/10 12:02 AM Re: OT: Learning German? [Re: Piano World]
tnew Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/13/10
Posts: 158
Loc: Austria
First, all of the suggestions for sources are great for learning german. You probably cannot learn any fluency in that short of time without spending every entire day between now and then, but definitely learning a few phrases would be fun.

If you don't have time now, another way to learn a bit is when you arrive. It's a great ice breaker to ask someone 'how do I say ... in german?'

All austrians and germans do not necessarily speak english. BUT...the tour will be at famous sites and probably most all of the people in tourist sights, museums, and piano factories you encounter will speak some english. No worries there.

Probably you will find english menus in most of the restaurants you visit. No worries there either. And of course, ask for Leitungswasser (lightungsvasser) if you want just plain tap water for no charge. Otherwise you will likely get bubbling mineral water when you ask for just 'water'. You can say just 'still' water if you like, or ask for 'ohne gas' (owna gas).

Oh, and no, it is not normal for german speakers to ignore others because of their lack of skill in german!

I am so envious, you guys are going to have so much fun!



Edited by tnew (10/21/10 12:05 AM)

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#1539997 - 10/21/10 07:09 AM Re: OT: Learning German? [Re: Piano World]
tnew Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/13/10
Posts: 158
Loc: Austria
Lillylady,

It would be a shame to throw good clothes out. If you stay somewhere for more than two nights, you might be able to request laundry service. Otherwise, expect shipping to be somewhere between 50 and 100 euro, depending on how much clothing you have. (as example, 40 lb is likely at least 80 euro to ship by normal post! and a lot lot more as exess luggage)

Oh, and I really hope to meet the group here in Vienna!

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#1540099 - 10/21/10 10:10 AM Re: OT: Learning German? [Re: tnew]
Mark R. Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/31/09
Posts: 2043
Loc: Pretoria, South Africa
Having German parents, but having grown up in South Africa, I speak German, English and Afrikaans fluently, and have been told by my German friends that my German is practically accent-free.

Now this is a problem, because speaking the language does not equate knowing the local customs. I've only been to Germany a couple of times, and although I spoke their language perfectly, I still felt a bit of a stranger. For example, I made the mistake of asking at a train station information kiosk where I could buy some tickets. In German. The lady at the counter took on a very irate expression and responded,
"Wolln'se mich verarschen? Was'n das für 'ne Frage?"
... roughly translating as
"Are you trying to bullsh** me? What sordofa question is that?"

I had to back-pedal quickly, and explain that I'm actually a complete stranger to the country - at which point she relaxed somewhat and helped me. Since that day, I've switched to English whenever I need to ask something potentially "stoopid" - and I've always been helped with a smile!

Germans don't suffer fools gladly, at least not German-speaking fools. laugh

So, to get back to topic: it's not the tourist speaking bad German who runs into problems.

It's the one speaking good German. wink
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1922 49" Zimmermann, project piano.
1970 44" Ibach, daily music maker.

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#1540160 - 10/21/10 11:34 AM Re: OT: Learning German? [Re: Piano World]
Piano World Offline



Registered: 05/24/01
Posts: 5607
Loc: Parsonsfield, ME (orig. Nahant...
No chance I'll be speaking good German, so not to worry.

I've picked up a Berlitz German Premier, hoping to get some very basic stuff from it (has flash cards, software, and audio cds).

Still hoping some folks who already speak fluent German will Join Our TOUR
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#1540546 - 10/21/10 08:55 PM Re: OT: Learning German? [Re: Piano World]
seaotter7 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/12/10
Posts: 18
Loc: Canada
I second the learning material from Deutsche Welle:
http://www.dw-world.de/dw/0,,2547,00.html
I have friends who used their free podcasts.

You can also see if you find Deutsche Welle TV. Here (Canada) we have one hour or so per week of German news and reports in German. I expect the potential audience in the US is much larger, so DW will probably broadcast there as well.

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#1540739 - 10/22/10 04:01 AM Re: OT: Learning German? [Re: Mark R.]
theJourney Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/22/07
Posts: 3946
Loc: Banned
Originally Posted By: Mark R.
Having German parents, but having grown up in South Africa, I speak German, English and Afrikaans fluently, and have been told by my German friends that my German is practically accent-free.

Now this is a problem, because speaking the language does not equate knowing the local customs. I've only been to Germany a couple of times, and although I spoke their language perfectly, I still felt a bit of a stranger. For example, I made the mistake of asking at a train station information kiosk where I could buy some tickets. In German. The lady at the counter took on a very irate expression and responded,
"Wolln'se mich verarschen? Was'n das für 'ne Frage?"
... roughly translating as
"Are you trying to bullsh** me? What sordofa question is that?"

I had to back-pedal quickly, and explain that I'm actually a complete stranger to the country - at which point she relaxed somewhat and helped me. Since that day, I've switched to English whenever I need to ask something potentially "stoopid" - and I've always been helped with a smile!

Germans don't suffer fools gladly, at least not German-speaking fools. laugh

So, to get back to topic: it's not the tourist speaking bad German who runs into problems.

It's the one speaking good German. wink

thumb Great story! It is very true that speaking another language wery vell, um I mean very well, does tend to set high expectations regarding culture and customs. That's why it is often more important or as important to study the practices of the country when will be visiting together with the words.

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#1540772 - 10/22/10 06:23 AM Re: OT: Learning German? [Re: Piano World]
Gregor Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/31/08
Posts: 436
Loc: Münster, Germany
Some German speak English, some not. But there is a tendency to use Anglicism in German, particularly in advertisements. Researchers found out that this "Denglisch" in ads is liked, but misunderstood. Some examples:

Feel the difference (Ford): Fühle das Differenzial (feel the differential gear)
Powered by Emotion (SAT 1 TV): Kraft durch Freude (ouch, a Nazi slogan)
Come in and find out: Komm rein und finde wieder heraus (come in and find the exit)
Drive alive (Mitsubishi): Überlebe die Fahrt (survive the ride)

But Denglisch is good for English speaking tourists: everywhere you see "service points", "customer center", "sale" and so on. There is a "Verein Deutsche Sprache" wich awards the prize for "Sprachpanscher" of the year.

Gregor
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piano tech - tuner - dealer
Münster, Germany
www.weldert.de

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#1540800 - 10/22/10 07:18 AM Re: OT: Learning German? [Re: Gregor]
Mark R. Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/31/09
Posts: 2043
Loc: Pretoria, South Africa
Originally Posted By: Gregor
"Sprachpanscher" of the year.


which, for the benefit of readers here, translates into "language adulterator of the year".

Oh, and while we're on about learning languages, and you've picked up a Berlitz, Frank, here's something to let you smile on a Friday:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gmOTpIVxji8
_________________________
Autodidact interested in piano technology.

1922 49" Zimmermann, project piano.
1970 44" Ibach, daily music maker.

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#1540805 - 10/22/10 07:23 AM Re: OT: Learning German? [Re: Mark R.]
lilylady Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/17/05
Posts: 4978
Loc: boston north
Originally Posted By: Mark R.
Originally Posted By: Gregor
"Sprachpanscher" of the year.


Frank, here's something to let you smile on a Friday:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gmOTpIVxji8


ha
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Piano lessons: every week or every two weeks?
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10/24/14 06:34 AM
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