Would you like to know more about our Berlin trip?


Just got back from a 4 day break in Berlin. What a city! What a wonderful sense of space! The thing I liked best were the wide tree lined streets and the feeling of total relaxation. I know it’s an English trait to complain about your own place but I couldn’t help making comparisons with London. The buses for example - in Berlin you know that number *** will be along in 3 minutes according to the electronic board. Now that would be a novelty in London. It’s definitely a place I want to return to.

The only problem of course was the airport security alert but fortunately for us we were returning to London unlike those poor devils still trying to get out of London.


Alan, what I found interesting about the buses in the UK was how polite the signs above the windshield (windscreen) can be. In my city a bus that is not picking up passengers says, “OUT OF SERVICE”. One that I saw in Oxford said something to the effect of, “I’m sorry to inconvenience you, but I’m presently out of service.” This is an exaggeration, but the British bus bore a big apology, while an American bus just states a fact.

Hi Alan,

I’m glad you enjoyed your Berlin journey. What was your impression regarding the cultural diversity of the city? I mean, how often did you hear people speak English or another apart from German? When I was in Berlin early this year I ran into a lot of American tourists who were roaming the city centre armed with their handycams.[YSaerTTEW443543]

TOEFL listening lectures: A lecture from a social sciences class[YSaerTTEW443543]

Hi Torsten,

The strange thing was that we heard very little German spoken. Naturally we came into contact with waiters and others in restaurants and cafes and most of them spoke English rather than German. I think we found just one restaurant that was ‘echt’ German and that was quite relaxing.


Hi Torsten

Trying to speak German in a tourist area in Germany can be a challenge sometimes. Although my German is quite fluent, I’m well aware that I still have an identifiable accent.

It’s always fascinated me that if I speak German to a German working in a place full of tourists and travellers, the German employee inevitably changes over to English immediately. It doesn’t seem to matter that I can speak German.

I remember having a conversation with a cashier at a German airport once. I spoke entirely in German and the German cashier spoke only English — even after I pointedly continued to speak German. :lol: I guess Germans just don’t expect English-speakers to be able to manage very well in German.


Hi Amy, I take you have been meeting Germans who were brought up in the west? I’m asking because I could imagine that in many parts of East Germany you simply have to be able to speak German, even in tourist areas.[YSaerTTEW443543]

TOEFL listening lectures: A lecture from a social studies class[YSaerTTEW443543]

I know an Italian girl living in Hungary, she speaks at least five languages, including English and Hungarian.
She sometimes complains about Hungarians who never let her speak Hungarian and always switch to English.
The funny thing that even I can’t talk to her in Hungarian, whenever she speaks to me in my language I respond in English, although she asked me not to.
In her case I found two reasons why I speak to her in Hungarian:
She wants to learn my language, but I want to practice English whenever I get a chance.
Amy,you want to use what you learnt but those people want to use what they learnt ,too.
Besides they have less oppurtunity than you have, 'cause they live in their own country.
The other reason why I want to speak English with that Italian girl is because she’s much hotter speaking English than speaking that funny Hungarian of hers. :slight_smile:
I know it’s not nice, but it’s a reason all right.