How big is the difference between formal German and everyday casual German? Will it hurt me to learn formal German?
I ask because the audio CD I'm trying to learn from is teaching me to say some uncommon things. For example, "Wie geht es ihnen?" When I know that it is commonly just said "Wie gehts?"
If you're good at the German you're learning, I'm sure the formal one won't be much different. They are all in the same context, but formal may be just more polite. Either way, when someone speaks to you in German, if it's formal, you'll get the main gist of what they are saying, so I don't think it would hurt to learn either form, as they are rather close.
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