The German language is a West Germanic language mainly spoken in Central Europe. It is the most widely spoken and official or co-official language in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, and the Italian province of South Tyrol. It is also a co-official language of Luxembourg, Belgium and parts of southwestern Poland, as well as a national language in Namibia. German is most similar to other languages within the West Germanic language branch, including Afrikaans, Dutch, English, the Frisian languages, Low German, Luxembourgish, Scots, and Yiddish. It also contains close similarities in vocabulary to some languages in the North Germanic group, such as Danish, Norwegian, and Swedish. German is the second most widely spoken Germanic language after English.
One of the major languages of the world, German is a native language to almost 100 million people worldwide and is spoken by a total of over 130 million people. It is the most spoken native language within the European Union. German is also widely taught as a foreign language, especially in Europe, where it is the third most taught foreign language (after English and French), and the United States
Germany’s economic growth, innovation, and career opportunities are just some of the endless reasons to learn German.
Still not 100% convinced?
Don’t worry, we’ve got 12 more convincing reasons to learn German. Some of which may actually change your life for the better.
Let’s get started!
Reasons to Learn German
1. German comes from the same language family as English
German and English are both ‘West Germanic languages’ and share similar language DNA. This means that as an English speaker, you’re going to have a much easier time to learn German. In fact, over 26% of English vocabulary has shared roots with German, from grammar structure to vocabulary.
It’s the main reason why German is one of the easiest languages to learn for English speakers.
2. Make more money
Now that we have got your attention, let us say it again. One of the top reasons to learn German is to make more money.According to the Economist, German learners will have an accumulated bonus earnings of 125,000 euros. Just by learning the language. As an economic powerhouse, Germany is the largest European trading partner with the United States and many other nations around the world.
Think about every luxury car brand — they were designed and manufactured in Germany!
3. University in German is free!
Wait… first more money, now free education?
Getting a decent education in the US costs upwards of $20,000 a year, but it’s nearly free in Germany. Some institutions charge a few hundred dollars per semester, but that’s a fraction of what most are used to paying.Best of all, German institutions are ranked as one of the top schools around the world.
4. Open up new career opportunities
Given the attractiveness of this country, companies from around the world are seeking out German speakers. In fact, just about any major international corporation will have some affiliation with Germany.
But most importantly, German powerhouses like BMW, Volkswagen, Adidas, and Lufthansa are all established around the world. Stand out amongst the tens of thousands of applicants you’ll be competing with by learning even the basics of German.
5. Get in the linguistic mindset of the world’s greatest innovators
Freud, Beethoven, Nietzsche, Mozart. Any of these ring a bell?
It should because they’re world’s greatest thinkers, innovators, and leaders in our lifetime. Now, we’re not saying that learning German will turn you into a Mozart (although, who knows :))
However, you’ll be able to understand more of their creative and thinking process by learning the language.
6. Discover a completely new Internet
Just after Russian, German is one of the top languages written on the Internet. More precisely, around 6% of the Internet.
This is especially important if you have or plan to have an online presence. Forgetting about your German speakers will mean you’re neglecting millions of potential audience members! At one point, the domain .de used to be only second to .com.
7. German is the second most common language used in Science
At one point in the 20th century, German was the official language used in the world of Science. However, given the events of WWII, German scientists were ostracized from the community.
German still remains as the second most important language in the industry, despite these circumstances. Learning the language will give you an advantage if you’re serious about making a difference in the field.
8. Adopt a new way to connect and travel
Germans are literally everywhere. Even within the US, over 15% of Americans have German heritage which is over 60M people in the USA alone!
More importantly, because the average income in Germany is higher than most other countries, many of them travel abroad. It’s likely that wherever you go in Europe, North America, and other parts around the world, you’ll run into a German speaker.
9. Berlin is a hot spot for entrepreneurs
Looking to build the next billion dollar app and disrupt an industry? If you’re an entrepreneur, digital nomad, or an ambitious professional looking to strike gold in the startup industry, welcome to Berlin. The European market is ripe for disruption and begging for new ideas to come to fruition.
As the economic powerhouse of Europe, starting your company in Germany is likely going to give you the highest chance of success. Especially in Berlin.
10. The culture of widely recognized globally
Does Oktoberfest ring a bell? How about a BMW? Or sausages?
From food, events, to globally recognized brands, German culture is widely adopted around the world. It’s a force to be reckoned with. By learning the language, you’ll start to become part of this culture as well.
11. Most common language used in the European Union
Given the economic powerhouse and control that Germany has in Europe, it’s also the language of choice in the European Union. If politics is a future for you, German is a great bet to place your investment in.
12. 1 out of 10 books in the world are written in German
Hey bookworms! Did you know that there’s more to books than ones written in the English language? As we mentioned above, some of the greatest thinkers and artists are from Germany. There’s a whole new world for you to discover in the world of books.
Germany has an enviable position geographically within the EU (dead centre), but that doesn’t stop them from travelling nearly everywhere else in the world – Africa, Asia and the Americas.
If you work within the tourism industry, speaking German will give you a big advantage.
And if you suffer from a severe case of wanderlust? You’ll have more opportunities to make friends with the German speakers you bump into on your travels.
However, there are good reasons why this language is a good investment. Not just from a linguistic point of view, but also in terms of economic opportunity, networking potential and cultural gain. German is a worthwhile choice.
So why are you waiting??