Why learn German?
Facts and ideas for learning German as a foreign language
Many learn German just for the fun of it and
to widen their experience of the world.
There is no doubt that nowadays knowledge of a foreign language is taking on a greater significance. Knowing German will benefit you in many areas in both your private and your business life.
The advantage of learning a foreign language has already been the subject of several research papers. Below you will find the five aspects most often discussed with our course participants.
|In an overview:||German ... for career ... for competitive advantages in sales and marketing ... as a hobby ... for travel ...for self-awareness|
to improve your career opportunities
German is the mother-tongue in more European countries than English, French, Spanish or Italian. After English, German is the second most important language worldwide for business, tourism and diplomacy. In central and Eastern Europe, German is the most important foreign language.
With German as a foreign language, you can improve your career chances. In particular, German is, after English, the most important language for youth qualifications in the fields of biology, chemistry, pharmacy, electrical and electronic engineering, mechanical engineering, vehicle manufacture, finance, diplomacy, sports, tourism and the whole area of training.
Worldwide there are about 130 million people who speak German as their mother tongue and about 15-18 millions who are learning German.
According to a study in 1994 by the German-American Chamber of Commerce, around 65 % of the firms asked said that they treated English-German bilingualism as an important factor in selecting new employees.
This applies equally to many technical developments, their names and their explanations.
advantage to international companies
German is the most important business language in the European Union and a bridge to the emerging economies of Central and Eastern Europe.
Here are some key figures that clarify the global position of the German-speaking market:
Moreover, high investments in foreign countries and the number of joint ventures between German and foreign companies show the importance of German in the business world.
German speakers are the biggest group of potential business partners in the European Union, forming around one third of the population.
Also, the German language often plays a more important role than English in the developing markets in Central and Eastern Europe: German is an important language in many parts of Poland, Hungary, Romania, Russia, the Ukraine, the Baltic states and the Czech Republic.
It should also be mentioned that the knowledge of foreign languages is valued highly in Germany. Being able to speak the language of the target group can have a big influence on successful marketing. Although roughly 50 % of all Germans can make themselves understood in at least one foreign language, when it comes to selling goods and services, most of them are lost. But: every customer expects the product to be presented in his own language.
The advantage of bilingual employees to an export-oriented firm is obvious. Any company seeing a target market in Europe will be working to improve the bilingual ability of its employees ... and German is the language behind the biggest group of buyers!
A Danish saying goes:
"The Germans sell in English, but they also buy in German."
And you shouldn't forget the significant number of German-speaking Nobel price winners that give German an important place in the scientific community: 30 Nobel prices for chemistry, 25 for medicine, 21 for physics, 10 for literature and 8 peace prices.
Learn German and you'll tap one of the most important markets in the world, because nothing convinces a customer more than when you speak his own language!
is a living language - Learn German for "fun and
enjoyment" and for cultural, business and political
There is a wide field of personal interests and hobbies that can benefit from a knowledge of German:
your hand at German when you travel round Europe!
Learn German in order to make you trip through Central Europe an intensive and personal experience.
German is the most widely spread and spoken language in Europe and a knowledge of German will therefore make your travel in Europe a lot easier. In the tourist centers in Italy, France, Spain, Portugal, Turkey, or Greece you can often make yourself better understood in German than in English. One reason for this is that many southern Europeans came to Germany, Austria and Switzerland in the 1960s and 70s to work as "guest-workers". Another reason is that Germans have a long tradition of travelling to the Mediterranean, so the local tourist industry has adapted itself to its German-speaking guests.
So, when you find that English is not understood at your holiday destination, try a bit of German: In Eastern Europe almost half of the children learn German in primary school. In Japan 68 % of all students learn German.
German to learn the history of your ancestors
Over the last 400 years many people have emigrated from central Europe to North and South America and Australia. Many of their descendants are now taking an interest in the surroundings and culture in which their grandparents or great-grandparents lived. Anyone who is seeking their roots and really wants to get to know their "old home", can hardly hope to do this without learning German.