German has the largest number of native speakers in the European Union (far more than English, Spanish, or French). German is among the ten most commonly spoken languages in the world. It is also a lingua franca of Central and Eastern Europe.
The German-speaking world has produced some of the most revered filmmakers of the 20th century – from Fritz Lang to Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Wim Wenders, and a new generation of transnational directors such as Tom Tykwer and Fatih Akin. German and Austrian filmmakers such as Lang, Billy Wilder, and Ernst Lubitsch also shaped the history of Hollywood.
Things to keep in mind
German is easy to acquire
This is because German and English share the same Germanic root. Consequently, there are many thousands of words that are closely related known as “cognates.” For example, the English chin is Kinn in German. Water becomes Wasser and their father turns into Vater. Not so hard, after all, is it?
Furthermore, unlike Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Russian, or Arabic, there is no new alphabet to learn, only a few letters to add. If you already know Latin script (and if you do not, I am incredibly amazed you have been following the article this far) the only new arrivals will be the umlauts ä, ö, and ü as well as ß which is just a fancy German.
German is the language of inventors and innovators
It is said that Germany is the country of poets and thinkers – Das Land der Dichter und Denker. There is definitely no denying the second part. A large percentage of the world’s most impressive achievements were first conceived of in German.
Over one hundred Nobel Prizes have gone to brilliant Germans for accomplishments in physics, medicine, chemistry, literature, and other areas. That is not even counting the prizes awarded to people from the other two major German-speaking countries Austria and Switzerland.
German is an important language in academia
With that big number of award-winning scientists from its home country, it might not come as a surprise that German is very important in the academic community. In fact, it ranks second as the most commonly used scientific language.
German is the gateway to a world-class higher education
One of the reasons why German has such a high standing in the science community is the fact that Germany’s universities have an excellent international reputation. In the year 2011, the country was the fourth most popular destination for students from abroad with more than a quarter-million foreigners being enrolled in German schools.
Germany is an economic powerhouse
German is not only an interesting option for academics but also those in the business world should consider brushing up on their Deutsch. Germany is the biggest economy within the European Union and the fourth largest worldwide. It is home to numerous international corporations and on the front line of new technologies.
German companies are global market leaders
Speaking of German companies: want to work for a business that is an international market leader in its field? Having German skills on your resume might be able to help you get in the door.
German is the most widely spoken native language in Europe
English, French, and German are the three official working languages of the European Union. In absolute numbers, German is the second most spoken language on the continent of Europe. However, when it comes to native speakers, German is number one.
German has a big online presence
Knowing German gives you access to an additional 15 million websites and that is not even counting the German sites ending in .net, .org and .info. Of course, in terms of absolute numbers .dee takes second place to .com which is way ahead of everything else. Second place in the whole world wide web? Not bad at all, Germany, not bad at all.
Germans are everywhere
Even if you are not planning on going to a German-speaking country or are reluctant to stalk German speakers on the internet, don’t worry: they will find you. If you have traveled abroad, you have likely witnessed this phenomenon firsthand. Germany’s citizens are some of the world’s most voracious travelers. With almost six weeks of annual leave and plenty of disposable income, you can run into them all over the globe.
German culture is part of the world heritage
Learning German gives you the opportunity to appreciate the masterpieces of these artists in their original form. It lets you tap into parts of the world’s cultural heritage in a direct and unfiltered manner. Goethe’s “Faust” alone, which is written completely in rhyme form, is well worth the effort.
Many of the Western world’s most important works of philosophy, literature, music, art history, theology, psychology, chemistry, physics, engineering, and medicine are written in German and continue to be produced in German.
Using a class like this one can speed up your language learning process and help you reach your goals faster than you think.