#12 Neil Ian Parker: Lifelong Learning & Language Adventures with Berta and Paula

One Day in Vienna

#12 Neil Ian Parker:

Lifelong Learning & Language Adventures with Berta and Paula

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We’re excited to introduce Neil Ian Parker, originally from Canada. Since relocating to Vienna in 2019 to finally close the distance in his long-term relationship, Neil is enriching his retirement by diving deep into the Austrian way of life and language, embracing his new city with open arms. Among his favorite spots is the lively Yppenplatz, a melting pot of multicultural interactions, culinary delights, and educational opportunities. Neil’s quest for mastering the German language took a charming turn when he enrolled at the INNES Language School. Here, he’s an ambitious learner, often engaging in extensive conversations with INNES teachers on all sorts of topics (Tip from Neil: talk, talk, talk!). 

Despite attempting to learn German 50 years ago, Austrian German presented a delightful set of challenges, from the complexities of spelling to the nuances of local dialects. Indeed, grappling with words like “Oachkatzlschwoaf” (squirrel’s tail) proves that learning can be as challenging as it is fun. Neil has stepped out of his comfort zone in the most extraordinary ways. His engaging interactions range from discussing the best reads with eight-year-olds to debating the most fearsome animals with six-year-olds and giving the elderly directions without relying on the U-Bahn, possibly aided by his wise and (already) Viennese appearance. Moreover, Neil serves as the minister of the Vienna Community Church, holding services every Sunday in the Innere Stadt (Dorotheergasse 16, 1010 Wien). He continues taking courses at INNES in order to provide better instructions to people who ask for directions.

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