It’s true that real Bavarians have a thick accent. However, almost all Germans can speak English and everyone in a tourism-related business speaks english pretty well. If you want to use your German, most people geniunely appreciate your effort. If they are cooperative, they will not use the dialect as much. Have Fun!
You will be fine. I think they have a lot of respect for those that try with German. That being said I have often found as soon as I speak English somewhere people like to practice their English on you.
People here do have thick accents but all in all I think you will be ok.
Be careful, germans and even more in the south love barbecue. If you can’t speak their language they will cook you for diner.
You can also always ask them to please speak in Hochdeutsch – most Germans learn Hochdeutsch in schools rather than just their regional dialects! If they don’t understand you, you can ask to speak in English instead.
Take a travel dictionary to restaurants so that you can unsderstand the menus. My parents survived there, and they don’t speak that much english or german…
Muenchen is cosmopolitan city, so as in any big city you will be fine with english – target 20-year olds for information, they will be more confortable with english language than their parents generation.
Do try to speak as much Deutsche as possible. If they see you are trying, they will put a bigger effort to help.
Having said that, and please take no offense, but chinese accent with german accent makes a mixture almost as interesting with spanish and indian speaking english.
Enjoy your trip.
I agree with what everybody else already said. And like Carlos points out, Munich is a cosmopolitan city. This also means that most people who live there are not even from Bavaria, and do not have the typical Bavarian accent. (And by the way, the Munich accent is quite different from the rural Bavarian accents.)
Have a great time traveling. Say hello to the beer gardens for me; I really miss them.
Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park
You’ve gotten alot of answers, and essentially mine is the same. I visited München last year, with only a few “learn German in your car” CD’s under my belt, and I had no trouble. Everyone did their best to either speak English to me, or try to figure out exactly what I was asking them in German. Also, most places – like restaurants, offer an english menu. Just ask when you enter. Otherwise, I seriously doubt you will have any problems. Enjoy your trip!
New York City
Funny Story. I was in a train station looking particularly lost, and a homeless guy came up to me, talking to me in German. I responded to him in English that I didn’t understand. Without skipping a beat, he switched to English, and his English was better than most native speakers that I know. He wound up explaining to me exactly where I needed to go in the train station. I gave him whatever change I had in my pocket, thanked him, and went on my way (which in hindsight was probably close to 10 Euro, being as they have 1 and 5 euro coins).
So, the lesson here is, in Germany, even the homeless speak English.
I am a Chinese too. Last time when I visited München, I could not speak any German. However I had a good time there. Most people can speak English, especially waiters and hostel receptions, and you can use body language to communicate too.
I did not know how to buy a railway ticket form the machine in the station and a very nice local lady tried to help me. Her English was not very well, I just can understand some words, but with body language I got the ticket finally.
Don’t worry too much, Dude. München is a very nice place and you will love it!
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