To Learn German
To learn German before coming to Germany will help you understand the people and their culture.
One of the main preconceived idea that people have about Germany, is that everyone speaks English. It is simply not true. Many people do speak English, but many don't. Particularly in small towns and cities that are outside the big tourist circuits of Berlin-Frankfurt-Munich.
So, deciding to learn some German before moving or visiting, might be a good idea.
We would be lying if we were to tell you that German is an easy language but, with practice and a good teacher, you can learn German. We did. Our German is not perfect, but we can communicate.
Learning German and Residence Permit
Taking courses while in Germany is also a good idea, specially if you want to get a residence permit and do not have a job yet. Students who are studying German full-time for 20 weeks are allowed to get a residence permit.
There are many language schools, some are public (Volksschule) and others are private. They all have their own particularities and way of teaching. There is one language school in particular that specializes in Business while others help students get into universities. Some of these German Language schools also have after-school activities and week-end trips. And some help their students find a training placement to perfect their German. And it's a good way to meet other people.
Prices vary but you can count on paying a lot more for individual lessons than in a group. Many companies also pay for these courses for their employees.
The easiest way to find a language school is to use the net, ask the municipal employees at the Rathaus (cityhall) or friends and colleagues.
Language schools in Germany follow the same basic guidelines as the rest of Europe when the time comes to grade students: there are three main levels of proficiency; A, B and C, and each as two sub-levels, such as A1, A2 (beginners), B1, B2 (intermediates) and C1, C2 (at C2 level you basically speak like the Germans themselves).
Language Courses on CDs
A little advice about all the language courses available on CDs; they are useful to "get used" to the accent and the pronunciation of the people ON the CD but there is nothing that can replace a face to face course with real people from different regions of Germany and with very different accents to learn German.
And last, but not least: try to have fun while learning it! You'll learn faster!
On the other hand, if you need to have something translated and can't wait to learn enough to do it yourself, why not try
The One Stop German Translation Resource Centre
You will find there everything you need to have it translated!
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