View Poll Results: Which of the following European Countries would you move to? (multiple choice)
Scandinavia (Norway/Sweden/Denmark/Finland) + Iceland 104 16.22%
German/Austria 153 23.87%
Switzerland 68 10.61%
Spain/Portugal 252 39.31%
France 165 25.74%
Italy/Greece 121 18.88%
Holland/Belgium 107 16.69%
Balkans 22 3.43%
Czech Republic 39 6.08%
Other Eastern Europe 41 6.40%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 641. You may not vote on this poll

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05-03-2021, 09:13   #61
Real Life
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Id definitely consider Holland, Germany or Finland. Im basing that on what I hear from friends who live in those places. Theres probably a few other countries in Europe that I would be open to too if I had a chance to get to know them.
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05-03-2021, 09:17   #62
 
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I speak fluent French but I’m just wondering how people have gotten on without initial language skills in other countries.

I lived in Spain (northern) and *really* struggled with it to get fluency in Spanish, despite really trying very hard with it. I could understand TV and radio, read the paper and all of that but I’d get totally lost when people were speaking to me. I held down a job, but it was 90% in English and it would be a little unusual to find anything similar again.

My hearing is a bit weird due to history of ear surgery, so when I’m in a bar (even in English) it’s often a bit of a mess as I can’t really grasp what’s being said if people are talking across each other, so I end up sitting there a bit baffled - that’s sort of why I’m a bit concerned about moving but at the same time I wouldn’t mind spending some time abroad again.

Maybe I didn’t give Spanish enough time but I thought after almost a year, not being able to strike up a conversation was really a dead end for me. It became very isolating.

I could go to France but it’s just not a new experience and while I like aspects of it, it’s not really for me. I lived in Belgium too but it’s again not that different and afaik Switzerland has complications around work permits?

I’d be keen to go though after Covid-19 calms to the point we can start travelling again. At the moment it still seems a bit of a mess.

Last edited by NeuralNetwork; 05-03-2021 at 09:23.
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05-03-2021, 09:58   #63
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Depends where you are and what the job is - ECB in Frankfurt would be fine, some small engineering place in a village in Saxony not so much
If you to have a good experience it will be better with the language.

Germans, no matter how good their English is will always prefer to speak German.

A group of Germans will speak German together and you'll be excluded from that.

Your life there will be a lot better and enriched if you make attempts to learn the language.

I don't get this "would be fine" attitude, sounds lazy and ignorant to me.
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05-03-2021, 10:28   #64
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I work for an American company with an office in Cologne. There's a large mix of nationalities in that office - Germans probably only make up half the staff. They use English as their day to day language in the office, so technically maybe you could "get away" with not speaking German - at least in your professional work. And you'll be able to get a taxi and order in a restaurant in English. And do your shopping.

But every single non-German I know in the office has begun learning, or improving, German within a year of moving there with formal lessons.

I knew someone else who moved to France (they had retired relatively young, so working wasn't an issue). They had a small bit of French, and used it and tried to improve it a bit, but really they were "getting away" with a very poor standard of the language, complemented with English and lots of pointing, and thought they were doing OK for the first few months.

But one day there was a problem with their electricity bill, and had to get on to the utility company. Even though the people they were talking to in there were actually helpful and tried to use a mix of English and simple French, my friend quickly realised that in in order to actually get through normal life there and deal with real-life problems (not just tourist life), you'd need a relatively good standard of French. For dealing with utilities, banks, local authorities, government departments, etc.

Last edited by Gregor Samsa; 05-03-2021 at 10:33.
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05-03-2021, 16:19   #65
 
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That was the problem I had in Spain a few times, I wasn't able to deal with technical support with an ISP at all and even things like filling in forms for various state services needed someone to help me translate.

I'd have zero issue with any of that in French, but it becomes quite challenging in Spanish.

Belgium is almost too forgiving about not speaking Flemish or French and will default to English almost too easily to the point you can't practice your target language. I found the Netherlands similar too.

It does show though there's a major difference between the EU and US in terms of internal mobility. You can pack your bag and move to another part of the US, which is as far away as another European country, without any real complications at all.

Last edited by NeuralNetwork; 05-03-2021 at 16:23.
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05-03-2021, 16:28   #66
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Germany - Berlin or Dresden would have most appeal.

South of France - near to Montpellier as it is fairly central point for access to Toulon / Toulouse / Clermont
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05-03-2021, 16:33   #67
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...
Belgium is almost too forgiving about not speaking Flemish or French and will default to English almost too easily to the point you can't practice your target language. I found the Netherlands similar too.
...
Similar in Sweden.
I lived there for a year and made a big effort to learn Swedish before I went, "Forlat, ja pratar mycket liten Svenska"
But when I got there, everyone socially wanted to practice their English with me.
At work, all meetings were in English.
The lads at work suggested that the only way I was going to learn Swedish was to get a Swedish girlfriend.
Never one to ignore helpful advice, I duly got a Swedish girlfriend that weekend.
She was an English teacher.
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05-03-2021, 19:58   #68
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Similar in Sweden.
I lived there for a year and made a big effort to learn Swedish before I went, "Forlat, ja pratar mycket liten Svenska"
But when I got there, everyone socially wanted to practice their English with me.
At work, all meetings were in English.
The lads at work suggested that the only way I was going to learn Swedish was to get a Swedish girlfriend.
Never one to ignore helpful advice, I duly got a Swedish girlfriend that weekend.
She was an English teacher.
I was told by www.reddit.com/r/svenska and learners of other Scandinavian languages they will speak to you in their language if you politely ask or tell them you want to practise speaking Swedish etc.
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05-03-2021, 20:59   #69
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If you to have a good experience it will be better with the language.

Germans, no matter how good their English is will always prefer to speak German.

A group of Germans will speak German together and you'll be excluded from that.

Your life there will be a lot better and enriched if you make attempts to learn the language.

I don't get this "would be fine" attitude, sounds lazy and ignorant to me.
I explained that to a friend who was living abroad. In a country with probably one of the easiest languages to learn coming from English. I told him the locals probably find him quite rude and ignorant "Nah sure they all speak English" he says. Couldn't understand why he couldn't get more than 2 dates with local girls. I tried explaining that it's probably because he doesn't speak their language. Are they want to go somewhere on a date where they have to do the talking to wait staff or whatever? Or if they're thinking down the line about hanging out with friends.
I'd be embarrassed to constantly be asking people serving me to repeat stuff in English after a few months let alone a few years.
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05-03-2021, 21:24   #70
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If I was single id live in Lithuania.
Polands little brother
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05-03-2021, 21:25   #71
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Portugal all day long..
+ 1

i adored Lisbon , Portugese people are lovely
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05-03-2021, 21:28   #72
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I'd be open to it - France, Germany or Austria as I studied French & German at 3rd level. They're a bit rusty, but I would prefer to ramp up
French or German than learn a new language from scratch. I do like the idea of spending a year or two in Vienna.

I don't want to be out in the sticks, I don't see the point in moving to the French equivalent of Carlow (don't @ me) or wherever. I would want to be in or near a decent-sized city where there are good connections for travelling, and doesn't have a massive Anglophone ex-pat scene.
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05-03-2021, 21:32   #73
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Switzerland.
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05-03-2021, 21:38   #74
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Would love to live in France for at least a few years of my life. We go there as a family most years and I love the way of life over there. My French is OK and I can get by in most situations that I’ve encountered so far, but overly willing and as me to improve my skills which is easy when your around it all the time. A few years ago I was speaking with a native and he was impressed that I had some French but kept laughing when I spoke, eventually he told me that the French I had learned in school was actually an old way of speaking akin to us speaking Shakespearean English.
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05-03-2021, 21:39   #75
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Originally Posted by Buttonftw View Post
Are they want to go somewhere on a date where they have to do the talking to wait staff or whatever? Or if they're thinking down the line about hanging out with friends.
I'd be embarrassed to constantly be asking people serving me to repeat stuff in English after a few months let alone a few years.
Oh same here! I knew plenty of Irish people when I lived in Munich who had feck-all intention of learning German beyond "ein Bier bitte", and who had lived there long enough that there was no good excuse.

It's all very well handling the orders when you're on holiday, but to do it all the time when you're in their country is going to get seriously annoying. That's a lot to ask of a non-native English speaker every day, on top of the romantic relationship.
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