A language is always a part of home. If you speak German, you will see how quickly you feel at home in Germany. Before or after arriving in Germany, over the Internet, in a language school, watching TV or cooking with German friends – there are all kinds of ways to learn German. You can find out more about language-learning and the German language here.
Shopping, discussions about work – once you have arrived in Germany, a large part of your everyday life will involve speaking German. No doubt you already know how to say a few words, such as “danke" and "bitte". Use all the words that you already know. And you will see that German is not half as hard as many people say. And many Germans will be delighted if you are able to say a couple of words or sentences in German. If you don’t know the right words, just say it in English. Nearly all Germans have learned that at school.
The best way is to start learning a bit of German before you leave your home country. Many language schools provide help – and even run special courses for your later professional career in Germany. The best-known language service provider is the Goethe-Institut, the official cultural institute of the Federal Republic of Germany. The Goethe-Institut offers German courses in 92 countries all over the world – from intensive courses or courses for business German right through to learning German while cooking. Like a few other institutions, the Goethe-Institut also offers online courses with exercises and drills, even specifically for German language at the workplace, as well as forums for learning German and information on chats.
And on the subject of chatting: make German a part of your everyday routine even before you board the plane. Read the newspapers, watch TV and listen to the radio in German. Or simply stick a few Post-its on your furniture or other objects with the German name for that particular item. Perhaps you already know some German people with whom you can talk a bit about the language and the country. All that will help you to master everyday German faster. That way, you'll soon be able to answer the question "Sprechen Sie Deutsch?" with: “Ja, natürlich”.
To help you learn German better, you have the possibility of getting funding to attend a language course. You could start by asking your employer. If your company is large enough to have its own personnel department, this might be able to tell you more precisely which language courses are suitable and whether it is possible to be funded by the company. You will also find reasonably priced language courses at the "Volkshochschulen", the state-run adult education institution. Besides this, integration courses are an excellent means for you to acquire German language skills and at the same time get acquainted with German culture.
German is the language spoken by the largest number of people in Europe. 120 million people describe German as their mother tongue, because it is not only the official language in Germany, but also one of the official languages of Austria, Belgium, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, and Switzerland. Germany is also recognised as a minority language in the EU member states of the Czech Republic, Italy and Slovakia, as well as in Hungary and, outside the EU, in the Central Asian republics of Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan and in Russia. Besides these countries, German is also one of the national languages of Namibia. German binds many people all over the world together as you can see.
And if you don’t make yourself understood immediately every time, despite all your grammar and vocabulary drills, it might not be your fault: some very distinct dialects are spoken in the different regions of Germany.
Free German language courses by the German international broadcaster (German, English, French, Spanish, etc.)