By Kelli Drummer-Avendano
You might be thinking about learning German, but still aren’t sure whether it’s worth your time and effort. I’m here to say, Ja, so ist es! Yes, it is! Here are the top five reasons you should make German the next language you learn.
1. German is the second most widely spoken language in Europe
It should come as no surprise that approximately 95 million people in Europe speak German, since it’s the official language of Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Luxembourg, and Liechtenstein. Additionally, a large portion of the population in the Netherlands, Denmark, the eastern parts of France and Belgium, Poland, the Czech Republic, and Russia speak German as their native language.
2. Business opportunities abound
Just in the U.S. alone, German companies account for about 700,000 jobs. Likewise, many U.S. companies do business and have offices in Germany or other German-speaking countries. Knowing German would surely give you a leg up against the competition when trying to get a job at these firms. Furthermore, the U.S. does more trading with Germany than with any other country in the E.U.
3. Germans are innovators and creators
Mozart, Bach, Schubert, Beethoven, and Wagner are all composers whose native language was German. You can also enjoy the original written works of Goethe, Kafka, Brecht, and Mann. Interested in philosophy? Kant and Nietzsche are two world-renowned scholars who’ve had a significant influence on modern thought. Innovation is a German specialty. Each year, Germany hosts the majority of the world’s trade fairs, including the largest trade fair dedicated to communications technology.
4. Speak German, will travel
If you’re interested in working in the travel and tourism industry or if you just enjoy traveling yourself, being able to communicate in German is a huge advantage. In fact, if you’ve been abroad, no doubt you’ve run into some tourists from Germany, given that 75% of their vacations are spent in other countries. Moreover, Germans make up the third largest group of visitors to the U.S. each year.
5. Discover your cultural roots
About 16% of people in the U.S. claim German ancestry. However, even if you don’t, learning about the German language and culture can help you understand American culture and history. German immigrants have been arriving in the U.S. for almost 400 years. You can find their influence in everything from the names of towns and cities to the perennial tradition of the Christmas tree. In fact, German-speaking immigrants had such a large presence at the time the United States was founded that a copy of the Declaration of Independence was printed in German.