Speaking German in Austria

Hi everyone,

It is widely agreed that speaking German is essential for a successful integration in Austria. Do you agree? Share your experience!

Do you speak German? If so, where did you learn this language? Where can one attend a language course in Austria?

If not, how do you cope with daily activities? Is it easy to communicate in a different language with Austrians?

Thank you for sharing your experience.


Absolutely essential if you are seeking work in Austria to have a grounding of German. I was brought up bi-lingually so was born with a silver spoon...a lot of local colleges have various German courses available, as well as the AMS - the employment agency in Austria, so help is at hand for those who require it.


Absolutely essential without german no chance except in a very few very specific situations.
A lot of youngsters are coming to Austria hoping to get a job but without a word of german and it ends most of the time as a catastrophy


Hello Priscilla
Thanks for your message, I have been working in Austria since 10 years and still at beginner level. I don´t need much German due to my job in an international company where whole business is in English. But now I feel that I should improve my German so I am having some lessons from a colleague.
Best way to learn German would be to join regular classes in an institute but my working time dont allow it. I still exploring more options to learn German in a better way. If you come across any ideas, please share with me too.
Take care and regards

I think that German is a good way to integrate into the Austrian society. From my point of view is quite important to speak german, first of all, to show that we want to be part of their society and also as a show of respect.
Hence, this gives you a bunch of opportunities to have jobs and for sure to speak with other people!
There are many ways to learn and easily -as long as you are utterly willing to learn- :)

Its very important to express yourself in german. Locals want to see you how good you blend into their society.
And I am going to start a german course in 1.5 months.

Yes i speak German and i Love it. I attended German courses to learn how to read ans write because one can't learn much talking in the course.

One must go our there ans socialise with people so that one can improve in the Language  (spoken).

I find it quite ok when am the streets because i can already understand much whats written on the sign boards.

Also when one learns the Language its easier to go shopping or in Restaurants coz one can ask for help or can or can give orders in the Restaurants without much difficultly in the Language.

The biggest disadvantage of Learning German is that i can no longer write or speak in perfect English like u used to.  One time or Another u find yourself writing the wrong spellings or wrong word Order.

My German is not that good but yes it's  very important to express yourself in german. Locals want to see you how good you blend into their society.

There are several international companies where you can speak english and have no problem whatsoever, there are also a few international schools and kindergartens, However, in order to communicate on the streets it is important to be able to speak at least some german. It is also important in normal logistics such as going to the bank, buying a bus ticket. In the larger cities as well as in very touristic places most people speak english (Most young people do as well). Once you leave those urban areas, evn for midsized, more rural towns, that ability almost disappears. The older generation also have a much lower ability to speak english. English knowledge is definately linked with education her, anyone who went to gymnasium, and or university should know quite a bit, so communicating with you doctor, lawyer, dentist, etc... shouldnt be any issue, the level drops in the demographic who work in more blue collar jobs, so without german knowledge you may find yourself in difficulties with the postman, bus driver, sales clerk, hair dresser, waitress (not applicable in high tourism areas), etc...
  There is also a strong desire in the austrian population to see people 'integrated' which can go to the point of wishing them to become more austrian than an austrian (this is again especially true in more rural areas), Dont overlook the fact that although austrians are quite nice people and friendly they are also not very open to foreigners or alternative lifestyles, the extreme right party does suprisingly (alarmingly) well in every election.  Some of this tendency can be softened a bit by speaking german (at least making an effort).
   Most universities offer an entry level german course for a reasonable price. I would recommend taking at least one year (A1 and A2) in order to communicate), a second if you would like to sound a bit more professional at you job (B1 and B2), and you will need  a third (C1 and C2) in order to enroll at university.  You can just take a placement test if you know some german already or are studying online, although I do recommend attending a course as it will provide contact to others in the same situation. Again although austrians really are friendly and polite (most of the time), this is a very family oriented culture and at holidays, many weekends, etc... many will spend the time with their families making it all the more important that if you dont have family here you know others who are also available.
   There are of course language schools such as berlitz and a number of others but their fees vary. Berlitz, for example probably costs areound 800 euros for a course whereas couses at D.I.G. are between 160 and 400. Urania is about 130, University courses are closer to 100 if I remember correctly,

https://www.berlitz.at/Gruppenunterrich … L_00010685
https://sprachportal.integrationsfonds. … XcQAvD_BwE
https://treffpunktsprachen.uni-graz.at/ … nsivkurse/

Or the AMS offer free German courses at a local WIFI or BFI college if you are unemployed.

If you prefer to learn German on your own instead of attending classes, Fluenz offers probably the best course available with grammar instruction as a foundation for the entire course.

You can review the offerings at the following link..  Fluenz Language Training


If you're at least A2 take a look at these self-organized conversation groups in Vienna at the bottom of this page. They're mostly free of charge, without any obligations and some are even supported by a German teacher: https://www.ungarischunterricht.at/germ … versation/

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