This article is adapted from the script I wrote for this video for my Explore Learn German YouTube channel, launched 9.1.2019. Using bilingual headings I outline 11 reasons why it’s a good idea to learn the German language.
1. Viele Leute sprechen Deutsch! – Many people speak German.
In fact German is the most widely spoken language in the EU. Over 100 million people speak German as their first language in Germany, Austria Switzerland, Liechtenstein, in the east of Belgium, in the north of Italy and in Luxembourg. German will take you from the border with Denmark in the north, down to Vienna in the east of Austria, or from the border with France in the south west to Berlin, Leipzig and Dresden next to Poland and the Czech Republic. That’s a large part of Europe.
2. Deutschland ist ein fantastisches Land – Germany is a fantastic country.
Here’s my photo of Dresden on the River Elbe. And this is the Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg. Here’s Köln – Cologne, the magnificent view across the Rhine to the Kölner Dom – Cologne Cathedral. This is an attractive corner of Leipzig and here’s the skyline of Nürnberg, Nuremberg with its cathedral and this is Schloss Neuschwanstein – Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria. Germany has many amazing attractions you probably don’t know about, like Miniatur Wunderland in Hamburg or the Einstein Tower in Potsdam. It’s all there to discover and your knowledge of the language will help you to discover it.
3. Man kann einen Job finden – You can find a job with German. For most jobs in the country, a good knowledge of German is essential. There are some areas, for example IT and Travel where you might be able to get by with just English, but it’s much better if you know the language. Ihre Karrere startet hier! Your career will take off here. This advert says Wir suchen Verkäufer und Verkäuferinnen in voll- und Teilzeit – We’re looking for sales people, male and female, full and part time. For these jobs, German is essential. Startbahn für Ihre Laufbahn – runway for your career. This leaflet has informaiton about jobs and training at Hamburg Airport. In general people who know Fremdsprachen – foreign languages – have better job prospects.
Die Deutsche Sprache ist eine wichtige Sprache – The German language is an important language for art music culture philosophy science. Here is a list of some famous German scientists. Alois Alzheimer, who identified the disease called Alzheimers, Emil von Behring, the Nobel prize-winning physiologist saved children from diphtheria and Melitta Bentz, who invented the coffee filter and Albert Einstein, who needs no introduction. And by the way, this music is by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart born in Salzburg, Austria. It’s Eine Kleine Nachtmusik – a little night music or a small evening serenade. This plaque commemorates Werner von Siemens, inventor of the electric railway. Germany and the other German-speaking countries have played a very positive role in the development of Europe and the world. There is a large but often hidden German influence in the UK and the United States. That’s one of the themes of this channel.
Man kann die deutschen Medien erkunden – You can explore the German media, like these magazines and newspapers. The German media are in many ways superior to the media in the English-speaking countries, with greater choice and better quality – but that’s just my opinion – das ist nur meine Meinung. Nowadays thanks to the Internet its possible to access these media in a way that was impossible before. The more German you know the more you’ll be able to appreciate them.
Englisch ist eine germanische Sprache – English is a germanic language, alongside Dutch, Frisian, Icelandic, Norwegian, Swedish, Danish and of course German. That means that you will know many German words already. For instance Haus, muss, Traum, Mann, gehen, Schwester, Wunder and many more.
Die deutsche Sprache ist eine schöne Sprache – German is a beautiful language.
I love the architecture of the German language, how the sentences are built as well as the sound of the words. The spelling is regular, it’s easy to work out the pronunciation, nouns have a capital letter, and there are many wonderful compound words. But there is a prejudice against German. Many believe it is not as beautiful as other languages, aber das istfalsch! Thats wrong! To me German is like the Kölner Dom – ancient, solid, dominating and with many secrets. The more German you learn, the more you will appreciate its unique quality.
Deutsch lernen ist Gehirnjogging – Learning German is brainjogging. Like learning any other language, it promotes brain power, and studies suggest it can help against Alzheimer’s disease. There are many fascinating studies on how knowing a second language improves your thinking and even your ability to take decisions. You also get a feeling of achievement when you make progress in the language. Learning a language is a form of mental exercise that can benefit you in a similar way that physical exercise helps your body.
Man kann neue Freunde finden und vielleicht auch die Liebe – You can make new friends and even find love, if that’s what you’re looking for. It’s great to make friends with people from a different culture and language and to be able to speak to them in their own language. You can start practicing in your home country. There are local groups with a mixture of German and English speakers who like to meet up and speak German. Many of my students are in mixed relationships. And being with a German-speaking partner will help you learn the language even faster.
Man kann über die eigene Kultur und Sprache lernen. – You can learn about your own culture and language. Another very important benefit of knowing a foreign language is that you can look at your own culture from a different point of view. People who only know English are often less aware of aspects of their culture and language. It’s fascinating to see your own culture through through different eyes. The only way you can really get to experience this fully is to make progress in the language until you start to see things from the point of view of the foreign culture. In fact, it’s no longer is foreign, it becomes part of who you are.
Machen Sie mehr aus Ihren Reisen – Get more out of your trips to the German-speaking countries. Even a small amount of German will make a big difference to your trip, for example to read important signs, ordering things in shops and when travelling by bus or train. Knowing some German can make your trip go a lot more smoothly and help avoid problems. You get so much more out of your visit when you can understand and appreciate the cultural background. A vocabuary of just a hundred words will help you a lot. Thousand will take you a lot further.
And so we come to the Zusammenfassung – the summary
- Viele Leute sprechen Deutsch!
- Deutschland ist ein fantastisches Land.
- Man kann einen Job finden.
- Deutsch ist eine wichtige Sprache.
- Man kann die deutschen Medien erkunden.
- Englisch ist eine germanische Sprache.
- Die deutsche Sprache ist eine schöne Sprache.
- Deutsch lernen ist Gehirnjogging.
- Man kann neue Freunde finden und vielleicht die Liebe!
- Man kann über die eigene Kultur und Sprache lernen.
- Machen Sie mehr aus Ihren Reisen.
If you’re interested in learning German, go to www.aidan.co.uk/german