German is an exacting Language

Ragging on the German language is hip. Though it has been hip for several hundred years (looking at you Mark Twain). It is not lyrical or even friendly in its tone and can come off very harsh almost rude. Many of the linguistic constructs seem to make little to no sense, especially to English speakers.…

Dark Beer - Dunkeles Bier

German Beer Vocabulary

Germany is the land of beer. It is perhaps best well known for its beer and for festivals celebrating said beer. It doesn’t help you enjoy it though if you can’t order or don’t know what you are ordering. So here is some German beer vocabulary with translations and explanations. Yes, you could just order…

Choosing a Language School

Language schools are one of the best ways to get a taste of a new culture and country. Learning a language brings so much more than just the words. They can often help with low cost accommodation and visas if you need. Language schools are one of my favorite ways to travel. There are tons…

Making my Peace with Ikea

Over the past few years, I built a life in Germany from the stuff I brought in a pair of backpacks on a boat to having a comfortable (but thankfully not full) home. I try to avoid materialism as I can, but I like to have things to sit and sleep on. In this time…

Guten Appetit

Culture always has a tons of different layers. Some things are very obvious and some things are far more subtle. Take for example the German cultural habit of wishing anyone else who is eating “Guten Appetit”. It literally means “Good Appetite”, but comes across more as a wish for a nice meal. Even after 5…

Do Germans Speak English?

Am I going to be fine without speaking German if I come to Germany? One of the biggest worries for travelers to Germany as well as expats here is the language. I often get asked about whether the Germans speak English. This question gets asked in different forms, but the short answer is yes (mostly). Click through for the long answer.

German Travelers are Everywhere

Germans like to travel. Seriously. Anywhere you go you are at least as likely to run into Germans as any English speakers. This is my experience anyway. As we travel more, it is interesting to hear German in crowds. Yes, there are 80 million of them, so some proportion will travel. But it seems in excess compared to other language groups. Here are some of my ideas why.