Sunday, June 13, 2010

Speaking the Language

Fresh back from my End of Stay camp in Berlin (aka here), I'm now faced with the fact I have three weeks remaining. Though some cried at camp about how little time is remaining, I'm not ashamed to say that I am equally as sad to leave as excited to return. Yes, Germany has been a great year and I have tons of memories, buuuuut I also put my life on hold back home for a year, and I'm quiet looking forward to all that the next year will bring.

But one thing that was a surprise for me at camp, was how many fellow exchange students spoke to family or friends in Germany in English. Some people got calls from their host sister or friends from school, and spoke completely in English. I know they don't all do it, but it was just quiet shocking. I feel incredibly guilty talking to anyone in English, and I only have a year to learn German.

This got me to an interesting topic. Apparently, many host kids have been asked by their host families to teach them English and many host in order to "learn English". They have asked that in return for them paying for your food and housing you, that it's only fair that you speak English with them, even if its just at meals. Now, my host family didn't do that, but I'm drawn in my mind of what I would have done had they asked. I mean, I understand that hosting really is not only time consuming but takes money, but its also not an exchange students job to teach and if I came from any other country I would not be put into this position.

But I get it quiet often, people trying to practice their English on me. A good tactic is just to respond in German until they stop. It's just that in Germany, they teach English very well, and when someone hears your accent they almost instantly respond to you in English. But, if I started talking to you in German, you should respond in that language. If I was a tourist, I'd start in English.

Also, the World Cup is going on right now. Something I've never heard of in the states (because if you haven't noticed we suck at soccer...). People all around the city go to bars or viewing parties to watch the game, and in fact my host family is hosting a viewing party tonight for the first German soccer game against Australia. Last night, America tied against England 1-1. Not bad, America.

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