After being here for quite a while, I noticed my German skills improved quite a lot. Although I don’t take a German class, I picked up quite a bit from listening to Pimsleur, asking questions, some online lessons, using a translator and just living in the country. I still don’t understand anything when people talk in a conversation unless they talk really slowly using really simple words. I also don’t practice this language very often since all my communication with others is in English. Plenty of opportunities exist for practicing this language though.
The other day I went to the pharmacy to buy allergy medicine and I decided that I should try talking to the pharmacist there in German. Although my friend who already knew German was with me at the time, I insisted on trying myself instead of relying on him to say it for me. I already knew what to say (I had looked up how to say words like “hay fever” beforehand). I went up to the counter and asked if they had allergy medicine and she asked if it was for my eyes, nose, throat, etc. and I just said “everything”. Afterward she started saying some more stuff and I had no idea what she said. I looked at my friend with a “help me!” expression and he stepped in, but other than that, everything went well. Not so bad for my first real conversation in German considering the fact that I don’t really focus a lot of energy learning this language.