German is the official language in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Luxembourg. German is the second most popular language to learn in the EU and ranks among the top 10 most frequently languages spoken in the world. It plays an important role as a foreign language in many countries, particularly in Central and Eastern Europe. Almost 20 million people learn German worldwide.
Enhance your employment opportunities in the global economy
Germany has the largest economy in the European Union and the third largest in the world. It is the world’s leading exporter and importer. Germany is home to numerous international corporations, including such well-known names as Bayer, BASF, Siemens, Daimler-Chrysler, Mannesmann and Thyssen-Krupp.
Get to know one of the great European cultures
German is a leading language of science, literature, philosophy, theology, history, music, film and art. Becoming acquainted with artists, composers, scientists, great thinkers and their contributions is very rewarding if done in their language. German is, for example, the language of Goethe, Kafka, Kant, Hegel, Nietzsche, Mozart, Beethoven, Luther, Marx, Freud and Einstein.
Over 78,895 new books are published in Germany each year, 18% of worldwide publishing, making Germany the third largest publisher of books in the world after the USA and Japan. German is important to gain wider access to the cultural and scientific world. This is illustrated by the number of German winners of the Nobel Prize: 27 Nobel Prizes in Chemistry, 15 in Medicine, 22 in Physics, 7 in Literature, 4 Nobel Peace Prizes and 1 in Economic Sciences.
Have a chance to study or research in Germany
The German education system has a long tradition (the oldest German university, Ruprecht-Karls-Universität in Heidelberg, was founded in 1386) and a good international reputation. Foreigners like coming to Germany to study. In the ranking of the most attractive countries for foreign students, Germany takes third place. A total of 224,000 foreigners study and conduct research at 350 research institutes and institutions of higher education in Germany every year.
Travel in Germany and other German-speaking countries
Millions of foreign tourists visit German-speaking countries every year. They want to see and experience King Ludwig’s castles in Bavaria, the Austrian and Swiss Alps, German beer at the Oktoberfest or the stunning Rhine river. Speaking and understanding German will give you a chance to get to know Germans, their culture and their history at first hand.
Germans are some of the most travelled people in the world – therefore, knowledge of German will also give you a great advantage with employment in the travel, hospitality or airline industry.
Surf the internet
Of course, the internet speaks English - but German ranks as the second most frequently used language on the internet. According to “Netz-Tipp-Studie”, 56.4% of web pages were in English, in second place were 7.7% web pages in German (which amounts to 156,200,000 web pages, excluding PDF-formats). While surfing the internet, you can take an advantage of many websites which give you a chance to meet Germans your age, with similar interest - and you can practice your German while chatting with them.
And to encourage you to start learning German..
.. please keep in mind that German is as easy to learn as any other language. You already know much more German vocabulary than you think: Professor, Kindergarten, Angst, etc. In fact, German and English come from the same Germanic language family. Basically, they both started out as the same language and still share thousands of the same words, word origins and grammar characteristics –e.g. Sommer=summer, Vater=father, Mutter=mother, Haus=House, Apfel=apple, Winter=winter and so on.