Bairisch is the difference between morgen and ming. It is the difference between passt schon and basst scho. That may not sound bad but when almost every word is that different it can be a challenge. The older people in this village when they talk to one another in “German” I can’t understand a word.
It’s not even a dialect really but an entirely new made up language that a bunch of old men came up with one night at a pub somewhere. They like to add long a’s, random umlauts, grunts, y sounds, and o’s that shouldn’t be there. Some of the words aren’t even close to Hochdeutsch. It is as drastic as the difference between english english and scottish english.
The old men at the pub look at me and sputter of a sentence to which I haven’t the slightest understanding. Then I say genau or ja then they either laugh heartily because they just asked me something ridiculous or they say ja ja basst scho. When they make an effort to speak in an understandable manner I don’t have as much of an issue but after they have been drinking for a while all understanding is thrown out the window.
In Dingolfing the Bairisch sounds different than it does 30 km away in Reicheneibach ( to me at least). Certain people are easier to understand than others. The level of comprehension has gotten much better then when I first got here but it is still isn’t easy. Most people at work know that if they want me to converse with them they have to hold back on the made up Bavarian words. All I hear when they just let loose is “Du Chris, jenä ooda walla walla runa anawüal order?” Then they smile because they just asked me something ridiculous and they are hoping that I just say yes. I have learned the hard way never to just say yes!!!
Certain people just have an accent which isn’t a problem for me but the people like the fork lift drivers and the truck drivers I have to talk to daily who speak “bairisch bairisch” I have to ask constantly wie bitte? I don’t have a problem with speed or vocabulary it’s just all the made up Bavarian words they use to set themselves apart from the rest of Germany that is the issue.
German overall for me has gotten astronomically better and I’ve still got a lot of time left. I had a call from Bremen on Friday at work and I COULD UNDERSTAND EVERY WORD BECAUSE THEY WHERE SPEAKING GERMAN it was amazing…
Last Sunday the family I’m staying with was extraordinarily nice and took me on a trip to Salzburg. I had a great time even though it was bitterly cold. There is so much to see in Salzburg. I think … Continue reading →
The first thing I noticed is that the Germans work together in a giant room (even upper management). It is nothing like I had expected it to be. I was expecting a cubicle what I got was much better.
It can be hard to get things done at times though. Your thoughts are constantly interrupted by Bayerisch being shouted across the room. You also can hear every phone call anyone makes so it can be a bit distracting. It hilarious though. At least to me. They joke with each other it makes me laugh. I also think it’s funny how direct they are with each other. You insert name here I need _______. There is no beating around the bush.
I think the openness of the workspace increases cooperation. It is much easier to talk with a colleague when all you have to do is shout. It creates a we are all in this together atmosphere and when you have a problem all you have to do is ask someone. You always know what is going on too which is nice.
My colleagues have been very welcoming to me and I am grateful. Watching them they are very friendly with one another. Always greeting everyone when they come in in the morning and when they leave at the end of the day. (as is customary) That is something important to remember about working here. If you don’t greet everyone in the morning you are perceived as cold and distant. Having a good relationship with your coworkers is valued very highly here. Everyone seems to get along. They all go to lunch at the same time and eat together. When it’s someone’s birthday they all celebrate together. All this is in stark contrast (at least in my opinion) to the US.
The Germans unlike the Americans don’t work themselves to death. After 5 they are done which is how I think it should be. They see taking work home or working overtime as a lack of efficiency. They don’t work as much but they work enough (efficiency). Work to live not live to work. I like it.
Every day I get to see a new part of the factory, meet new people and solve new problems. My German has gotten astronomically better. Speaking is still difficult but I can understand most of what is being said now when I focus. The good thing is they usually treat me like a normal German speaker. They mostly talk at normal speed which has been good for me. At times though it is frustrating when I can’t understand what they are saying. Every day though it gets a little easier.
Sorry no pictures. Taking pictures at the plant is strictly verboten…
Last Friday night the family I’m staying with was nice enough to take me out on the town in Reicheneibach. We walked across the icy road over to the local town hall where we witnessed an interesting game being played. … Continue reading →
Hello my name is Chris and I am spending the semester (and hopefully the year) in Bavaria. With the help of the international studies office, the Hochschule in Landshut, and BMW Dingolfing I’ve managed to get an internship at … Continue reading →