Why Learn German?

To succeed in school.

To learn your own language better. German and English are both Germanic languages. German and English share many of the same words, word origins and grammar characteristics. That makes German a good choice for English speakers. As Goethe noted, „Wer fremde Sprachen nicht kennt, der weiß nichts von seiner eigenen.“ (“He who knows nothing of foreign languages, knows nothing of his own.”)

To learn about your American heritage. One out of every four Americans nationwide has German heritage. German-Americans are the largest ethnic group in America today. German-Americans have made a lot of contributions to our country. 

To learn the language spoken by over 120 million people. German is spoken in Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Luxembourg and Liechtenstein, as well as parts of other European countries. West of Russia, twice as many people speak German in Europe than any other language. After English, German is the most popular foreign language to learn in Europe.

To participate in an exchange program. Many schools are involved in either a travel abroad or exchange program

To get a good job in the United States. German companies now represent the largest source of foreign employment in the United States today. 

To get a job in the global economy. Germany has the world’s third largest economy (after the USA and Japan). Germany has the largest economic and political influence in Europe. 

To be a scientist. A majority of the world’s scientists have come from or studied in German-speaking countries. Many new scientific discoveries happen in German-speaking countries and much scientific information is only available in German. Universities encourage science majors to learn German. Think STEM subjects – Think German. (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics).

To be a serious musician. Most of the western world’s famous composers and musicians came from German-speaking countries. 

To work in the tourist industry. Germans are the most traveled people in the world. 

The importance of German may not seem as obvious to Americans because we are geographically separated from much of the world. We tend to notice only what’s in our own backyard. Worldwide, German is among the most popular foreign languages to learn. The world sees the importance of German. We really do live in a global society and must look at more than what is immediately around us. We need to see the entire picture.

For even more reasons to learn German, please see the following: