Foreign language theatres and shows
On the capital city’s stages, German is not the only language on display: English, Turkish, Russian, French, Spanish or Polish are represented as well. At Kulturbrauerei the Russian Theatre shows classics and excellent modern drama in German and Russian. The Turkish theatre Tiyatrom has its base in Alte Jakobstraße since 1984. The company performs its own productions and welcomes other Turkish companies from time to time. In „Teutoburger Kiez“, the Spanish theatre tallercito stages socio-critical plays and hosts story-telling events with traditional tales from Spain and Latin America for children and adults. Bergmannkiez is the home of the English Theatre Berlin. Its schedule includes international guest performances and its own English language productions.
In other performances they don’t need many words. Friedrichstadt-Palast prides itself in being „Europe’s Show Palace“ and is courting the favour of an international audience with lavish, colourful shows of artistry. For those who may find their shows too pompous, there is the Chamäleon Theatre nearby. They not only place emphasis on great artistry but also on modern, original productions – in a comparatively small hall with a static stage and cheaper admission prices.
International visitors and expats can savour foreign language films on the big screen at a multitude of festivals. Here is a small selection: British Shorts (January 2016), Alfilm – Arabian Film Festival (April), filmPOLSKA (late April), Black International Cinema Berlin – Films from the African diaspora (May), Down Under Berlin – Australian Film Festival (September), Spanisches Filmfest Berlin (Spanish film festival, October), Afrikamera (November), Russische Filmwoche (Russian film week, late November), Französische Filmwoche (French film week, mid-December).
At some Berlin restaurants you don’t get very far with speaking German. At Australian Melbourne Canteen the staff speaks English only. At White Trash Fast Food they take your Burger orders preferably in English too, although you can try German or French at a pinch. For Russian, Greek, French and Italian native speakers, we have already compiled lists with restaurants where you will be able to converse in your mother tongue or at least pronounce the names of the dishes properly.
If you’ll ever get homesick in Berlin or if you like participating in an international event, it’s worth having a look at the programme of the respective country’s „Kulturinstitut“ (cultural institute). They usually show films, celebrate folk festivals and organize international encounters. Not only that, but your German-speaking friends can catch up with some of the language courses on offer. Some amazing events and exhibitions are being organized by Instituto Cervantes, Polnisches Institut Berlin (Polish Institute), Italienisches Kulturinstitut (Italian cultural institute) and Institut Francais.
Do you like to connect with Berlin visitors from all over the world? Try this website for the Couchsurfing network as a start. Here people arrange to discover Berlin together or watch big events from home – like the Super Bowl – with other fans.