Sure, it’s possible to get by in Germany without speaking the language, but for those who will be here a while, being able to confidently order food, buy a bus ticket, read signs, ask for directions or just chat with the locals can make for a more enjoyable time.
Many resources can be useful even before moving to Germany, such as online videos, mobile phone apps and software programs, all of which have the advantage of being available at the time or location of the user’s choice.
Once here, community members have access to garrison resources, such as the Wiesbaden Library, Army Community Service conversational classes and the University of Maryland University College.
The Wiesbaden Library offers language resources in a variety of formats including audio CDs, books and online learning, said JoAnn Ogreenc, supervisory librarian.
She recommends using the new language in real life, whether that be out at a restaurant or at the grocery store. “You have to go out and talk to people in German,” she said.
Those interested in the online learning software should set up a user account with the library; then their language database can be accessed at any time, from anywhere in the world. For more information, call (0611)143-548-9821 or visit the library in Bldg. 1029 on Clay Kaserne.
A husband and wife volunteer team hosts free conversation-based classes at ACS. Registration is mandatory, and the classes fill up quickly, said Gigi Wilson, Relocation Readiness Program manager. Classes are held Tuesdays from 7 to 8:30 p.m. in Bldg. 7790, Room 22 on Hainerberg. Call (0611)143-548-9201 to register.
The University of Maryland University College, located in Bldg. 1023 East, Room 12 on Clay Kaserne offers Elementary German I and II and Intermediate I and II.
German certificates are also available, said Anna González, program and National Test Center coordinator with UMUC Europe.
“Soldiers can use their tuition assistance to pay for this Foreign Language Area Studies Certificate. Usually, TA cannot be applied if a Soldier has not been out of AIT for over a year,” she explained. “But, TA has a separate pocket of funding designated for host nation language certificates and will pay for the courses that fall under the certificate even if the Soldier graduated from AIT under a year ago.”
For more information, visit their office, call (0611)143-548-1316 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit them on Facebook at UMUC Europe Wiesbaden.