Working and living in Germany | advice in spanish

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Manuel Soria had neither a permanent job nor any concrete plans for the future when he moved from Buenos Aires to Berlin in August 2017. His basic attitude was: “OK. Let’s see how it works. He had studied German in his home country and had simply decided to try living in Germany. And because he has Argentinian and Spanish nationality, he was able to enter Germany as an EU citizen without a visa.

He had calculated that his savings would last six months. After only a month, he managed to find work as a photographer. And now he makes very successful videos talking about life in Germany and helping people who want to come to Berlin or other German cities. We asked Manuel the following five questions.

What is your most important advice?
The most important thing is to keep an open mind. It’s important to understand that some things are just different, but that doesn’t make them better or worse. The different kinds of experiences in different countries enrich my own life.

What impressed you the most when you arrived in Germany?
The very first time I came to Germany in 2014, I was surprised to find out how green even the big cities are. I am delighted to be able to live in a city where there is so much nature. It is also interesting to discover that it can sometimes be very quiet in a big city. Other than that, I feel very safe here. In everyday life, I noticed that cars generally stop for pedestrians at crosswalks, and that red lights are obeyed.

What do people ask you when they want to come to Germany?
The focus is often on German language skills. Many people want to know if speaking fluent English is enough, or even only Spanish. Apart from that, people naturally ask about job prospects.

And how important do you think it is to speak good German?
Ideally, you should be able to understand a few words. Thus, you will not be totally helpless in everyday situations, for example if you want to know where the exit is. Germans open up much faster if you speak the language a bit. But usually in big cities like Berlin it’s easy to get by with English. But for me, German is a charming and attractive language.

But people often say that German is complex and difficult. What do you think?
I can’t say German is easy. And it is certainly complex. But it also has very logical constructions and clear rules. It helps when you learn a language. When I started learning, I wanted to be perfect and speak without making mistakes, but that put too much pressure on me. Now I just tell myself that my German will never be as fluent as my native Spanish. And it’s good.

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