Even Mark Twain said that German is a ‘slippery and elusive language’, so why do people keep advising you to learn it? You may have heard of its endless verb conjugations and four noun cases, and let’s not even talk about how it sounds! German might not be an obvious choice for people deciding to study a foreign language, but ignore the nay-sayers. Here’s why you should:
1. German and English are Closely Related Languages
German is easy to learn if you speak English. Both languages share a Germanic root and have many similar words i.e. cognates.
What’s more, the writing system is actually quite simple and logical. There are just a few extra letters to learn, and everything is written how it sounds.
2. German is Highly Valued in Academia
German is very important in academia, with a large number of awarded scientists coming from Germany. Did you know German is actually one of the top two scientific languages in the world?
Germany has the third largest book market in the world, which is yet another reason for its high rank in academic terms. It is that simple – knowing German opens more opportunities to read and learn.
3. German is the Language of Philosophers and Poets
No wonder people say Germany is the land of thinkers and poets – it is the country with some of the most impressive achievements in human history. German experts in medicine, literature, physics and chemistry have won over a hundred Nobel Prizes, not to mention all those experts who had their training at the universities in Germany.
4. German Has a Great Reputation in Higher Education
A huge reason why German is so popular in the scientific community is the success German universities have worldwide. Only a few years back, in 2011, Germany was listed among the four most popular destinations for higher-education students. And many universities in Germany are free!
5. German Companies are Highly Successful
Many German companies are global market leaders, which means that if you speak German, many doors are opened. With Volkswagen, Siemens, Lufthansa, and Adidas all being German companies, Germany is the home of some of the most widely recognized brands in the world.
6. Germany is One of the World’s Largest Economies
Not only is Germany the largest economy in the EU, but it is actually the fourth largest economy in the world! Chances are you will need German to build stronger professional relationships, work with some of the most biggest corporations, and understand the latest technology.
7. Its Online Presence is Huge
Next to English, German has an enormous presence on the internet. To access that huge resource, you will need to know some German!
On the worldwide web, ‘.de’ websites are the second most commonly registered domains. That makes German websites some of the most popular domains in the world, without even taking into account German sites that end in .info, .com or .org!
8. German is the Second Most Widely Spoken Language in Europe
Did you know German is the second most commonly spoken language in Europe, after Russian? It also has the largest number of native speakers in the EU! German is also still commonly used as a lingua franca in parts of Eastern Europe, where older generations might not have learnt English. German is still the third most taught foreign language in European schools.
9. German Speakers are Everywhere
The best thing about learning German is that you don’t have to visit the country to practise speaking it. There are so many people who speak German, that you will never have trouble finding someone to hone your speaking skills with. Germans are also quite voracious travellers, famously possessing one of the world’s most powerful passports, so you will find them everywhere!
10. German Culture is a World Heritage
Germany has created some of the world’s greatest music, literature and art, as well as gifting the world with the fiercest philosophers in human history. It has one of the richest cultures in the entire world, which is why you should immerse yourself and start learning German!