Monday, October 02, 2023

On being an immigrant to Germany and Switzerland

Unlike many immigrants to Germany and Switzerland since the 1990s, my skin has meant that I can pass as a local as I walk down the street. And in Germany, especially after I'd lived there for a year or two, I could often pass even when I spoke to people; after all, even before I moved to Berlin I was a fluent reader of the language, despite my relative lack of experience speaking. When I moved to Basel, then, I did not speak Basel German, so even brief conversations could out me as an outsider. But as a white speaker of English who also speaks German, I've rarely felt discriminated against. (Andrew Shields, #111Words, 2 October 2023)

No comments: