We've lived in Vienna for about 8 months now, and every now and then, people ask how our language skills are coming along. I've taken one intensive class and Hubs has been learning online. Reading it is definitely easier than speaking it, or even listening to people speak. Collectively, I think we've got our basics down. We do well in a restaurant setting, shopping for necessities, and making appointments/reservations. There is definitely room for improvement, but I think for being here less than a year, our language skills are already pretty impressive. Especially since our only interactions with locals are pretty limited.
Originally, I was going to enroll into another class for October. But it didn't make any sense to learn German for four weeks and then leave the country for another four immediately afterwards to Taiwan. Then, we get our first visitors a week after we get back and then leave again. Suffice it to say, it just wasn't going to work with the rest of the year being crazy busy. My goal is to definitely get back at it in January. Hopefully I won't have to start over, but we'll see.
For now, I think our German is coming along slowly and steadily. After all, I feel the Austrians are grateful that we are trying. Even today, I walked into my hair appointment speaking entirely in German, but the guy answered me in English. From what I heard from a local, when you speak in German and get the answer in English- take it as a compliment. It means that the other party is meeting you half way. That made me feel really good. Little victories are what my life is all about now.
1 of 16 reasons why German is hard for non-native speakers. Makes you want to bash your head into the wall!