German language

How to raise kids in a multilingual family?

As a parent, you want to raise your children in a multicultural environment. How can you do this without creating too much stress? In this blog post we talk about how to raise kids in a multilingual family!


The global population is growing rapidly. As a result, there has been a rise in the number of families who speak multiple languages at home. According to the United Nations, over half of the world’s population now lives in countries where two or more languages are spoken.


Multiculturalism is becoming the norm today. Parents from around the globe are bringing their children up speaking multiple languages. This means that they should also learn to communicate with each other. If you’re thinking of having children, then you should consider learning a language before they arrive.

Why do you want to raise your kids to be multilingual?

First of all, many believe that multilingual children are better prepared for school and work. They also learn how to communicate with people from different cultures.
However, in today’s world, a lot of parents do not raise their kids to be multilingual out of a choice – they could be immigrants in a new country themselves. It means that, the parents speak another language (or several different languages) at home which is not the native language in the country they live in. Their kids have no choice but to be exposed to different languages at the same time.

Don’t children get confused when they hear two languages spoken around them?

Children are extremely sensitive to the different ways adults speak. Even when they understand only one language, they learn quickly about the differences between how men and women talk, and other differences. Bilingual situations aren’t always a disadvantage. Sometimes it’s an advantage!
Bilingual children may take a bit longer to learn how to speak two languages. Their brains have to work harder to understand both languages. However, bilingual children do develop faster than those who speak only one language.

Raising a multilingual family is hard – what makes it work?

Many books and articles aimed at parents who want their kids to learn languages claim that the best way for them to learn a new language is through OPOL, which stands for “one person, one language.” In this case, both parents speak two languages. One parent speaks English and Spanish; the other parent speaks French and German. In fact, for several reasons, this method isn’t ideal. It is actually found that most children who speak two languages end up using one language exclusively for communication purposes. The success rate was especially high when both parents spoke the home language while the children learned the other language at school. Furthermore, even if the parents were able to speak several different languages, their children would only learn the one they actually use at home. It makes perfect sense because there’s a direct relationship between the amount of time children spend interacting with their parents and the rate at which they learn new words. However, the exact amount of time needed is not known. There is no scientific evidence to back up claims that children need to be exposed to a language for at least thirty percent of their waking hours before they begin to learn it easily (aeon.co).


‘The earlier the better’? Children learn languages best after the age of 12. The current trend in Europe for teaching children English earlier than usual isn’t working well. A child can lose the motivation to learn if starting a language too early – especially if the child is already learning a language at home from one of his or her parents (aeon.co).

How to raise kids in a multilingual family comes with many challenges. If you are a parent living in a foreign land and have to bring up your children with a mixture of languages, make sure you do not put pressure on them to learn different languages or stress yourself about not speaking the foreign language, because they eventually catch up with them by being exposed to them.

Do you have to visit your children’s Kindergarten but do not speak German? We‘ve got your back. Simply book a local now!

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Things You Should Know While Renting a Place In Germany

Renting an apartment in Germany can be stressful. From finding a place to going through the tenancy, living there is all about following laws and rules – one has just got to make sure they aren’t doing anything illegal while renting their home! Discover these main things you should know while renting a place in Germany!

Type of rental contracts

It is important to discuss the type of contract that you want before seeing an apartment. Some rental agreements are for fixed terms, which means they have a move-in and move-out date or indefinite with no end date. In both types of contracts you can end your tenancy by giving a minimum three-months written notice. This can sometimes vary depending on the landlord and the agreement. Thus, make sure you discuss this prior to signing the contract to avoid any issue later.

Utilities (Nebenkosten)

In Germany you can either pay a cold rent (Kaltmiete) that is only rent or warm rent (Warmmiete) which includes utilities (Nebenkosten) such as electricity, gas, internet, etc. Make sure you get all these clarified before signing the rental contract so that you know exactly how much rent you will be paying each month or so you can make the arrangements for the other utilities as well in case of a cold rent.

Tenant rights

Another important thing you should know before renting an place in Germany is your rights. Landlords cannot immediately terminate contracts without any notice unless the tenants have committed serious crimes like not paying rent for months or doing something illegal at their apartment complex – but they can end these agreements if they are renovating the place and keeping it personal use only. If you think you are being evicted unfairly, it is recommended to see a lawyer!

Property rules and regulations

As a new tenant, it is your responsibility to visit the property and see if there are any damages before moving in. You should also make sure that all furniture has been moved to its original location before moving out otherwise you may be charged extra rent or deposit for restoring them back again! Landlords are allowed to charge you for any damage of the property, so make sure you return the apartment as it was before you moved in. It is recommended to discuss about all these with your landlord before signing the contract to avoid any unpleasant surprise later.

Subletting

The first thing you should know about subletting an apartment is that there are some rules. You can read more about it in our blog „Can I sublet my apartment in Germany“ here!

Deposit (Kaution)

Being a tenant in Germany, you should also know about how deposits work. Questions that come up frequently are what exactly are tenants paying when they hand over a deposit and when do they get the money back? Read this blog post to go over the basics of how it works so you know what you’re getting into before signing on the dotted line!

Having guests over

Different landlords have different rules about guests at your place. Some allow guests only during certain hours while others charge a fee for each night that someone stays at your place – even if they’re just passing through! The conditions for these are normally written in the contract so make sure you know about the rules properly before inviting anyone over. In case of doubts, it is better to talk to your landlord to clear things out and avoid troubles. Do not hide anything concerning guests in your apartment as it might lead to serious problems with your landlord!

Are you having some issues with your landlord and need someone to converse with them in German? Book a local to help you out!

Sundays in Germany

Things You Can Do On Sundays In Germany

Sundays are considered as a day of rest in Germany. While most people tend to stay at home on these days and catch up on chores around the house; there’s always those who want some excitement! It’s always nice when one has something planned though because not only does doing nothing make Sundays drag but also sometimes boredom gets too much and who wants to bore themselves?! Here are few things you can do on Sundays in Germany:

Visit a Museum

Germany has over 6,200 museums full of culture and histories. Visitors normally have to pay a fee (which varies depending on the museum) but they are open Sundays! You can visit them without getting into physical activities if you want and spend a calm Sunday while enjoying. You can also learn more about Germany by visiting these historic sites with their own unique stories to tell – don’t forget your camera either because there’s plenty worth capturing from inside or outside the building!

Visit a Castle

Home to more than 20,000 castles, Germany is in the list of the countries with the most fascinating castles and palaces in Europe. While some are free to visit, others require an entry fee. If you are fond of fairy tales and histories, then German castles are your go-tos. You can easily spend hours visiting them while learning about German past stories. You should however keep in mind the Covid-19 rules before going to any castle.

Visit a Market

You really want to go shopping on a Sunday in Germany but the shops are closed? German markets are the solution. There you can find all kind of stuffs, from fruits and vegetables to clothing and souvenirs. They are open in almost all cities in Germany on Sundays.

If you live in Berlin or are just visiting, you might want to check this list of markets located there.

Go For a Walk

If you need to relax, the best way is by taking a walk in an open space. There’s nothing like winding through green landscapes and breathing fresh air with nature all around! If that sounds too daunting for your tastes then why not head into town on a Sunday morning when there‘s less people and less noise?!

Go Hiking

Hiking is a great way to get outside and enjoy nature. In Germany, there are many trails that you can explore with friends or family members who also want an adventure in the outdoors! You’ll find yourself far from city life up on top of mountain ridges where it’s quiet enough for some peace & quite time – if only we could all have such adventures every day…

Get Brunch

Germans know how to have a good time. German folklore says that on Sundays, it’s best for friends and family members to enjoy great food together! You can have brunch with your flatmates or invite your friends over. If you do not want to cook then you can go to restaurants or cafes which are normally open middays on Sundays – just make sure not wait until last minute!

Do you want to know what else Germans say they do on Sundays? Check out our free ‚Ask the Locals‘ book here!

Go On A Trip

Germany is full of wonderful sightseeings whether they are in small towns or big cities. You can catch buses or trains that operate on Sundays too and visit a new place every weekend. If you want to travel outside Germany, you can visit the neighbouring countries – The Netherlands, Poland, France, Switzerland, etc, where shops are open.

Go To The Cinema

Cinemas are fortunately open on Sundays in Germany. The German Sunday cinema bill is a mixed bag of international flicks and dubbed blockbuster hits. But don’t let the language barriers stop you from catching your favorite movie! You can find out if there are any original versions playing by checking online to not be disappointed later. Also, make sure to buy your tickets beforehand as cinemas tend to be full on Sundays.

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Streaming in Germany- 11 ways to do it legally

German copyright laws are very strict. Videos should only be streamed or torrented in Germany if the user has registered with a streaming service like Netflix and is aware of its terms, otherwise they might receive big fines (>1000 Euros) and face legal consequences. This blog talks about safe ways to stream to avoid any mishaps. Here are 11 ways to do it legally in Germany:

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How to find English speaking jobs in Germany

If you want to find a good job in Germany without speaking German or with littleproficiency, it is possible. However, this will be difficult for some whose fields of expertiseare not in demand. For example, Germany hires a lot of internationals to work as engineers because of the lack of local engineers here. You can still get an English job if you use the proper application ways! Here are some tips on how to find such jobs in Germany:

How to write a German CV

Learn How To Write a German CV

A German CV (Lebenslauf) is an absolute must when you are in Germany, whether it is for studying or work purposes. It is always better to give your German employers a CV in a style they are already familiar with to increase your chances of getting noticed. While German CVs are not too different from those of other countries, it is important to keep in mind that they have their own nuances. Although it does not have a specific version, we created a general guide on how to write a German CV:

Personal Information

This section requires your personal details. Make sure to add the following:

  • Full name (First and last name)
  • Address
  • Date of birth
  • Nationality
  • Marital status
  • Contact information (Email & Telephone number)
  • Passport-size photo
  • Profile – a short description of yourself and your skills / experience / qualifications

Education

In this section, you will write the details about your studies focusing on your secondary and tertiary education. Make sure to include the name of your university and degree/s earned; it is also helpful if you mention modules that have relevance towards the position you are applying for. Students normally add more details about their modules when applying for internships.

Find more about the things you should consider while applying for an english internship here.

Work Experience

Here you will list your previous work experience in reverse chronological order, starting with the most recent one. Make sure to add the following:

  • Name and location of the company
  • Dates
  • Title of the position
  • Division, department
  • Key responsibilities

Other skills/achievements

This section will include:

  • Foreign languages (also specify the level)
  • IT Skills
  • Other certifications

Other tips on how to write a German CV:

  • A German CV should be maximum 2-pages long
  • Do not lie and keep it factual
  • List only the experience, skills and qualifications that are relevant to the position
  • Keep it simple and use the same font throughout
  • Bullet points are recommended instead of long paragraphs
  • Check it several times to eliminate any error
  • Adjust your CV for different positions
  • German CVs do not really have a section for hobbies

Here are some online German CV creators that can be useful to you:

Are you a student in Germany who is looking for some fun? Join our Startup Student Contest now and get a chance to win amazing rewards!

Make New Friends In Germany

5 Ways To Make New Friends In Germany

Germany is a wonderful country to live in but it can sometimes be hard to make new friends. Here are some tips on how you can get started and find new people who share your interests:

  1. Learn the German Language

The Germans are one of the most well known groups in Europe and many foreigners find themselves attracted to their culture. However, you might be surprised by how some German people can be reluctant when it comes to communicating with other internationals who don’t speak fluent German yet. This is because they say that no matter what language we’re speaking, communication requires a certain level of understanding on both sides which isn’t possible if only one person speaks fluently.

So make sure before coming over here you learn at least enough basics for your stay or join a language class after arriving as this will undoubtedly increase your chances of meeting locals while also meeting other internationals who are learning the German language as well.

2. Join a local sports club

Joining a local sports club is a great way to make friends with locals and other internationals in Germany. Sports clubs are the perfect opportunity to share an interest, which will help you expand your circle of social connections while fostering new friendships as well! These sports teams generally have annual membership fees available for roughly €50, making it affordable for almost anyone who wants some friendly company on the field or court.

This could be just what you need if you are looking for more ways to meet like-minded people from your area; join one now before they fill up their roster! You can also join your university’s sports clubs which are normally cheaper and also free sometimes. This will help you meet other fellow students from your university.

3. Attend events in your area

As COVID-19 restrictions are slowly being removed from Germany, there will hopefully soon be a resurgence in cultural activities as seen pre-pandemic when they would attract large groups of curious foreigners wanting an inside look into authentic German life. If you haven’t already joined one or two campus organizations we recommend doing so because it provides a great opportunity to meet new friends while also gaining exposure about what goes on outside your school.

You can find the Germany’s most popular cultural festivals here.

Having an international experience in a new city can be hard, but luckily many platforms exist for you to meet and connect with other people. MeetUp is app-based while InterNations has more of a website feel and both offer various events that members organize themselves. The popular activities include drinking, cooking classes or hikes depending on the season (or year!). If meeting up isn’t your thing then creating your own event will let others know about it too!

4. Volunteer

If you want to meet new people and explore your interests, there are plenty of volunteering opportunities in Germany. For example, Sports clubs, charities or animal rescue organizations can all be great ways to make friends with similar hobbies. It is always recommended that if you’re interested in joining these groups it would help a lot if you speak German as most volunteers will also be fluent.

If you want to volunteer for a company and don’t speak German yet, try Booka Local’s Student Ambassador Program. We provide translation services (such as attending appointments, phone calls in German, etc) to those who have difficulties with the German language. This program allows you to be flexible, build your resume and expand your network which is what you want to do. We plan to organize as well as sponsor more events soon as Germany removes it’s COVID-19 restrictions. You will be able to meet more internationals as well as our local helpers. This program can help you make new friends in Germany and increase your skills at the same time.

5. Join Facebook Groups and online forums

Last but not the least, there are hundreds of groups for internationals on Facebook with thousands of members. You often find members posting about events or plans to meet new people. There are normally major groups for each city and town. For example, if you’re new in Berlin, you can join ‘berlin EXPATS’ and ‘International Friends in Berlin’ with members from more than 50 countries. You can post something yourself, asking to meet new people and maybe go for a drink. You can even just connect through group chat features such as WhatsApp messenger.

You can also join online forums like Booka Local’s Quick Question Community, if ever you have questions and want advice on various things.