I am living in Germany. In the university which I am working, there are some presentation events where people describe what they have done in front of different groups of professors/people. The German colleagues talk in German (I am the only one in our group which cannot talk in German). What is the best way to inform the audience that I am going to change the language from German to English?

Before, I was starting with "Let's change the language to English", and then start talking. Is that good?

3 Answers 3


It would be polite to indicate the reason for presenting in English to your audience. "I am presenting in English as (unfortunately) I do not speak German (sufficiently well)" is far more polite than what you are starting with. "Let's change the language to English" is rather abrupt.

The wording in brackets is optional depending on your exact circumstances. You may not feel that it is unfortunate and you may not speak German at all.


That seems a bit rude, since you're changing the language to a non native one in a what seems a forceful way. You'd be much better off with something like, "I would like the permission of audience to change the language to English".


Usually it is a nice gesture to learn how to say in German

I apologize my German is not very good.
I will be presenting in English.

to warn your audience. At least they will know you've made an effort.
I'm sure one of your fellow students will be happy to teach you.

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