The German language is very beautiful, smooth and melodic. This is my subjective opinion, which has developed more in Almaty while hearing many voices of German speakers (not Austrian) and strengthened after moving to Austria. In German there is “barking” sounds which traditionally can be heard in a parody of German speech, what is in my opinion absolutely wrong impression.
Half of German sounds pronunciation, native Russian-speakers need to learn. But the second-half sounds very similar and familiar. Slavic ligaments can easily imitate them almost with absolute precision. Often, when people talk on the streets of Vienna or someone talking on the phone, with the first sounds, I think that it’s Russian speech (many Russians living in Vienna), but after listening more carefully, I understand that I got confused. English, French, Italian can never be confused like that.
Some people believe that studying in Austrian universities at English-language program, is possible without any German knowledge. However, as I can say, to live in Austria, you need to know the national language. Time has shown that not all employees of the central post offices and consultants of stores speak English. Of course, sometimes in a large shopping centers employees come and help each other and translate the requests of foreign customers. Even owners of small bakeries, or clothing repair store, surprise me with the knowledge of Russian language.
However still, in most cases when dealing with employees of polyclinics, magistrates, insurance companies, you will be able to point out what you need only and only in German. Moreover, street signs, adds and description of products in supermarkets are still not in English 🙂
So don’t fool yourself with false excuses and start learning!