I thought I should write this post because I’ve been asked different times why I could speak German before moving to Germany. However, I never found the time or inspiration until I told the story to a friend and said that was a “serendipitous occasion”. And it sounded so good as a title I couldn’t miss the opportunity to use it. So here it is:
When I started my PhD I was in a long distance relationship (when I say long, I mean looonngg: 2 different continents) so there was not a lot of reason and/or motivation for me to stop working in the lab and go home. After several months, I decided that was not good for my health: PhD was a part of my life, not my life (work for life, not life for work!). I needed some fixed-point activities to force me to leave the lab. So I went to the official language school in Cadiz and apply for a course. Because I was really late on my inscription, only the German course had free spaces so I said “Why not?”
It turned out to be a nice experience with really nice people but every time I needed to inscribe for the next course I was unsure, I had a lot of work and questions like “why I am doing that to myself? It is useless, I speak English, what else do I need?”… But my mum always said: “Keep going, it’s good for your brain” I should say my mum loved language and if she had had the opportunity to study herself or to choose my studies she would have choose “Translator”.
So I did indeed keep going until 2011, when I did not pass B2 test (because it required more time than I had while finishing my thesis and doing a master and studying Galician and an endless list of “ands”). I then moved to Southampton and stopped going to language schools.
Although I had forgotten a lot when we arrived to Wilhelmshaven in 2014 (that was more than 3 years without saying a work of German and immersed in another foreign language), it helped us to survive.
Now I am going twice a week in the afternoon and this Friday I will take B1 test again.
So the lesson is: keep going no matter what or why, some day you might say “it was worth it”