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What is the best way to feel included when you do not yet speak the language in a new social setting?

The best way is not be afraid!

Don’t feel bad! You don’t have to!

Germans love to get the chance to chat in english, even if they only know the 150 words from the holiday dictionary. And what could be better than to have exactly one English speaking person around that they can try to prove themselves to bravely, while at the same time be in the bigger team?

There will be moments pretty often when their English is not good enough to communicate to you what they want to say, and they will ask one of the other friends in German “now what is that in English?”. Those are the moments for you to learn and listen.

And don’t worry – even if they might not be good in speaking English, they will be pretty good in understanding it.

My advice: speak in English, as you would normally do. Don’t speak artificially. Don’t speak extremely slow. Keep the vocabulary on a colloquial amount. That’s it.

And if you can: say something in German. It doesn’t have to be grammatically correct. Most foreigners in Germany speak a pretty bumpy German and still have no problem whatsoever articulating what they want (we are used to understanding it anyway), and even 99% of all Germans cannot speak grammatically correct.

If the result of that is that two languages are spoken at the breakfast table at the same time, then so be it. It’s going to be fun! And all of you will learn.

All the best for your skiing vacation in Austria!

Here are some casual things that might help:

and here some (hopefully entertaining) warning signs: