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When someone asks me “why learn German?”, my answer is always the same: well… why not?! Germany is an incredibly beautiful country and the German language is gradually beginning to be considered a lingua franca almost all over Europe. Learning German is actually an excellent opportunity for self-development in today’s social and economic context.
And if that’s not enough, here are 10 more exciting reasons why you should learn German.
1. You will make friends everywhere in the world
With 20 days to almost six weeks of annual leave and a higher average income than most other countries, German people are the ultimate globetrotters. They are literally everywhere in the world!
This means that there’s a great possibility you’ll run into a German speaker in your business travels or during your vacation. Thus, if you want to be able to communicate and make friends everywhere you go, learn German.
2. You will be able to enjoy Dark, the mind-bending German series, to the fullest
About how the German series Dark is going to make you love and learn the German language, I wrote a while ago. But now that the second season is available on Netflix, I’d say it’s an absolute must to go watch this masterpiece now. You don’t have to be a movie geek to like it. If you know how to appreciate good stories, amazing acting, and beautiful cinematography, Dark is definitely what you should binge-watch this weekend.
I remember having one of the best feelings in the world back in 2017 when I watched the first season and understood the first German words on my own. Just give it a try! I, for one, plan to watch season 3 without subtitles!
3. German is the most spoken native language in Europe
The same as French – the language of love, German is a very notorious language worldwide and an official language of the European Union.
Our top 15 most spoken languages in the world, puts German on the 15th place with 100 million native speakers and around 56 million people that speak German as a second language. Add a few more millions of people that speak it as a third language and now you understand why German is slowly becoming a lingua franca.
And there’s more! The German language is the most widely spoken and official or co-official language in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, South Tyrol (Italy), the German-speaking Community of Belgium, Liechtenstein, and it is also one of the three official languages of Luxembourg. In other words, in all these beautiful countries you’ll be able to travel without worrying you won’t be able to ask for help, directions or advice.
4. The economy of Germany is the largest national economy in Europe
And the fourth-largest by nominal GDP in the world. Apart from that, Germany remains the European Union’s most influential member nation – politically and economically speaking. Especially now, in the Brexit context.
That certainly makes Germany a top choice for countries to live in. Besides, as I already mentioned, in Germany, employees are rewarded in full measure for their hard work with a higher average income than most other countries and up to six weeks of annual leave. Well, I would want to live in Deutschland! Wouldn’t you? And learning German would surely help you adjust there faster.
But even if you don’t want to move there, the fact that Germany is an economic powerhouse increases the possibility of you doing business with German people. And learning the language greatly improves your professional relationship and the chances of a positive outcome.
5. Learning German will boost your career opportunities
As you can see, everything is connected. The economy, as well as the fact that German is the most spoken native language in Europe, will make your resume stand out when you’ll mention German as one of your language skills. Moreover, it is actually estimated that the ability to speak German could come with a wage increase of about 4%.
6. Germany is the land of poets and thinkers
Some of the world’s greatest innovators spoke German and created their works of art in German. Goethe, Kafka, Mozart, Bach, Beethoven, Schubert, Brahms, Schumann, Wagner, Freud, Nietzsche – just to name a few.
If you love German literature, music, art or philosophy, exploring your favorite work of art in its original language may offer you a different angle and a sense of great self-accomplishment. The same kind I had with understanding my first German words in Dark.
7. German is easy to learn by native English speakers
Contrary to preconceptions, German is actually similar to English and consequently easier to learn than you may think. The Foreign Service Institute of the US Government claims that a native English speaker would need about 750 hours or 30 weeks of practice to reach a professional working proficiency level of German.
8. Berlin is one of the European capitals of innovation
Home to a lot of international corporations such as Volkswagen, Birkenstock, Adidas, Mercedes-Benz, Siemens, Allianz, Audi and Beiersdorf, Germany and particularly Berlin are great incubators for innovation.
If you have a great idea, Berlin may be the city where your idea could catch wings. With a low cost of living and high quality of life, headquartering your start-up in Berlin may prove cheap and successful!
9. German universities offer a top-notch education with zero costs
Great news for future students! With German fluency comes free education.
It costs hundreds of thousands of dollars to study at a top university in the US and thousands of pounds to study in the UK. But in Germany? Well… surprise! Tuition is free in most German universities (even for foreign students), but that doesn’t mean you won’t get a top-notch education. German universities like Technical University of Munich, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München or Ruprecht-Karls-Universitat Heidelberg are all in World’s Top 100 Universities.
10. German is the second most commonly used scientific language in the world
Last but not least, the German language is the second most common language used in Science and Germany is one of the largest contributors to research and development.
In 2016, the public sector in Germany provided approximately 27.5 billion euros for research and development in Germany. Naturally, such a big investment also makes possible research fellowships for foreign scientists such as… yourself?! The idea is that you don’t want to miss this opportunity.
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