Why Is German such an important language to learn?
“Why learn German?” is a question a lot of people often ask themselves. This is not really that surprising considering the importance of the language throughout Europe. The German language is the official language of not only Germany, but Austria as well. It is also one of Switzerland’s three official languages. German is part of the West Germanic group of the Indo-European language family, which includes English, Dutch, and Frisian.
German is one of the world’s main language and is spoken by around 95 million speakers, making it one of the most widely spoken languages in the European Union, taking second place to English. German is also the second most commonly taught foreign language in the EU following English at primary school level, and third after French and English at lower secondary level.
Some people ask why German is an important language to learn. One of the best reasons for learning German is that Germany is the one of the biggest trading partners in the EU with the United States. The fact is that Germany exports an amazing array of products ranging from machines to vehicles to metals and chemical products. This trading ability in itself is a good reason to learn German.
How German can be easy to learn
It’s much easier today to learn a language than it’s ever been. This is mainly because there are so many apps and online resources that have been developed to meet the needs of all types of language learners.
It’s a good reason to learn German, as you can sit down comfortably at home and go through a German online course with a personal online tutor. Or you could sit on the train on the way to work going through the German lessons on the app you have downloaded onto your iPhone or Android!
To make the prospect of learning German even easier, if you are an English speaker wanting to learn the language you are at a distinct advantage, as German and English are both in the family of Germanic languages. This means that about 40 percent of German vocabulary is almost the same as English. There are even words we use commonly which are taken from German, such as “angst”, “kindergarten”, and “kaput”.
German verbs may seem quite intimidating at first glance, but in fact they are not that difficult to learn. Following some practice you will soon find that the pattern used in verb conjugation is quite easy to learn.
Plurals often present a problem whatever language you are trying to learn, but when it comes to German there are some shortcuts that can be used. For example, with the majority of masculine nouns the plural has an “-e” at the end (just like the English plural “-s”). An umlaut (e.g., this ä has an umlaut over the letter a) is used in almost 50 percent of the possible nouns, but not over i or e. Most masculine nouns that end in “-el”, “-en”, or “-er” form their plural in the absence of an ending or umlaut, e.g. Onkel, Bäcker, Computer, which are the same in both singular and plural.
With feminine nouns, 90 percent use the plural ending “-en”, or “–n”; e.g. Regel(n), Arbeit(en) and Studentin(nen). Around 75 percent of neuter nouns use the plural ending “-s”, particularly with loan words from French or English: e.g. team(s), chef(s), hotel(s), restaurant(s), tunnel(s).
Advantages of learning German
- German is simple to learn
- German is an important language for both inventors and innovators
- German is used in academic circles
- German speakers are offered world-class higher education
- Germany is a world economic powerhouse
- German companies have proven themselves as global market leaders
- German is spoken more than any other language in Europe
- Germans are everywhere, with high rates of global travel and inter-country migration
- German culture is without a doubt a part of the world’s heritage
- German has a massive online presence
German is simple to learn
Because English and German share the same Germanic root there are thousands of words that are quite similar. For example, the English word chin is Kinn in German. Likewise, water in English is Wasser in German, and father is Vater in German. Fortunately, unlike other languages such as Russian, Arabic, Japanese, Korean and Chinese, the alphabet is virtually the same in both languages.
German is an important language for both inventors and innovators
It is often said and commonly repeated that Germany is the country of both poets and thinkers – Das Land der Dichter und Denker. A large proportion of the globe’s most significant achievements were first seen in the German language. More than 100 Nobel prizes have been awarded to exceptional Germans for achievements in medicine, physics, and chemistry as well as in literature.
German is fundamental in academic circles
Many award-winning scientists come from Germany and the language ranks second as a key global scientific language. This is because the market for German books is high worldwide.
German speakers are offered world-class higher education
In 2011, Germany was the fourth most popular destination for overseas students, with at least a quarter of a million foreigners enrolling themselves in German schools. What is more, the German higher education system does not ask students to pay a tuition fee. Learning German when you are young can help you to study in Germany, and this can save a lot of student debt!
Germany is an economic powerhouse
The business world is attracted to Germany because the country is the European Union’s biggest economy and the fourth largest worldwide. It is not only the home of many international corporations but is also up-front with new technologies.
German companies have proven themselves as global market leaders
If you have German language skills on your CV you might be able to get a job with a lucrative German company. Germany acts as a base for a large number of global businesses such as Adidas, Siemens, Volkswagen and Lufthansa. The country also hosts some of the largest international trade events and fairs such as CeBIT, the globe’s biggest expo for information technology, and also the IFA’s trade fair for consumer electronics.
German is the most widely spoken native language in Europe
French, English and German are the three official languages of the European Union. In numbers, German is the second most widely spoken language on the European continent, but when native speakers of Germany are counted, German comes first. It is also a second language in use in eastern and central Europe. In countries that are English-speaking, German is the third most widely taught language. Furthermore, it takes 10th place among world languages. In summary, knowing the German language gives you access to at least 15 million websites.
Germans are everywhere
If you have travelled overseas as a tourist you must have already met some Germans, as they are voracious travellers. This is partly because they have up to six weeks of annual leave and a lot of money to spend. For many years Germans have invested more in world travel than anybody else, and in 2012 they spent 84 billion dollars on traveling alone. Germany also has a high rate of inter-country migration, especially amongst the younger generation, with classic immigration countries such as the USA, Canada, and Australia being popular destinations.
German culture is without a doubt a part of the world’s heritage
German is the language of well-known written works by such writers as Mann, Kafka, Goethe, and Brecht. German was the native language of composers such as Bach, Mozart, Wagner, Schubert, and Beethoven. Revolutionary philosophy was first seen in German written by Hegel, Kant, Nietzsche, and Heidegger. If you learn German you can appreciate these philosophers far more easily in their native language than from any translation.
Resources and apps for learning German:
Here are some of the best resources for learning German for learning how to speak German:
How German Can Be Easy – A five-day email course that shows how to learn German in just three months with the best language tricks available. fluentin3months.com It’s one of the best tools to learn German.
Why German is Easy – This is a guide for German learners that’s packed to bursting point with great ideas for learning German quickly and speaking German as soon as possible. Courses.Fluentin3months.com
Language Hacking German is a German course for beginners published by Teach Yourself that will have you speaking German from day one. Languagehacking.com
More favourite courses & apps to improve your German
GermanPod101 is one of the favourite German audio courses because it is more effective than other courses Germanpod101.com
Coffee Break German is a more structured audio course which is a teacher’s favourite. It will guide you from the basics of German up to an advanced level, with very user-friendly teachers. Radiolingua.com
German speaking tools that involve practicing with native speakers
“Speak it from day one” is anyone’s approach to a new language, and you can do this with the following tool:
Italki connects you via Skype with native German speakers for speaking practice. You can pay for a German tutor at quite affordable rates for one-to-one lessons, or find you may be lucky and find a free language partner! The link below takes you straight to the German tutors on their site. Italki.com
German listening and pronunciation resources
Mimic Method German emphasises accent training with Idahosa Ness, and is designed to assist you to sound much more like a German native speaker. This is one of the best online courses. Mimicmethod.com
FluentU German comprises of German videos with both English and German subtitles. Fluentu.com
German learning websites you should bookmark today
You’ll without a doubt go back to these German resources time and time again in your German study programme.
The website Forvo.com tells you how to pronounce a word – you only need to type the word required in German into the search bar. It is one of the best German resources.
This is probably the best online free German dictionary. It gives you examples of sentences, so that you are able to see words as they are used in context: Dict.cc
Deutsche Welle Dw.com is a massive database of visual, audio, and text-learning resources just for German learners.
By reading the above content you will without a doubt have been persuaded that German is one of the most widespread languages on the planet, and virtually anyone who talks about it knows this. Whether you are a traveller, a student, or a business person, operating in or out of Europe selling your product to the German market will open doors for you. You should consider learning German now while there are so many openings for German speakers.
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