In short, the answer is: Jein. Last week Jane wrote about the latest news on the abolition of university fees in Germany. I’m not sure how quickly non-German wannabe students will be flocking over here, but it is certainly a good deal! In recent months, I have encountered a number of expats living in Germany, some of whom speak German and some of whom don’t. So the question is, do you absolutely HAVE to speak German fluently in order to live and work here?
Of course you don’t have to do anything. I know a number of people who have been living here for more than five years who really don’t speak much German. They are doing just fine. However, I think there are a number of factors to consider and questions to ask yourself before you take the plunge and move to Germany without speaking German.
- How comfortable are you going through your daily life not understanding what is being said around you?
- Are you okay with not being understood by everyone?
- Do you have the confidence to get the information you need, and are you ready to have to fight for it?
- If you are looking for work, do you have skills that no one else has? Skills that will get you hired even without German?