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Warum lernt man Deutsch? (Why Learn German?)

  1. To land a better job. Germany is the second largest exporter in the world and ranks number one economy in the EU. Home to many international corporations, Gennany bas opportunities for work. Skilled workers are in demand and this need is expected to rise, especially in the healthcare, engineering, Internet technology, and other commercial sectors.
  2. Because it's easier than you think. The language shares many of the same Germanic roots with English, so it's not so hard for English-speakers to guess what many words mean. e.g. Vater (father), Familie (family), Freund (friend), Haus (house). A walk in the park compared to Spanish or French.
  3. For the sense of accomplishment. Some easier words aside, mastering the complexities of German grammar is a mighty achievement. After thuteen years you might still find yourself choosing the wrong form of the sixteen different words for the. But look on the bright side, just think how smug you'll feel slipping words like Bezirksschornsteinfegermeister (district chimneysweep master) into conversation.
  4. To get a roof over your head. Moving to Germany? Good luck finding a flatmate without German. Competition is fierce - especially in the cities - and it is common in Germany to have an interview with the current flatmates. Sometimes - horror of horrors - you might even have to go to a casting side-by-side with others who are interested. Brush up on that German and seal the deal.
  5. To study. Germany offers various scholarships and support for foreign students. Lower fees than much of Europe and many student perks make Germany an attractive place to learn. Yet the number of courses offered in English is still very limited - so dust off those dictionaries.
  1. To look clever. German, the language of some remarkable people: Goethe, Marx, Kafka, Brecht ... Wouldn't it be impressive to have read their works in the original? It may be a long-off goal for some, but you could strut with a bite-sized German quote. Try this: Wer kämpft, kann verlieren. Wer nicht kämpft, hat schon verloren. Bertolt Brecht.
  2. To make your life easier. lf you go ahead and make the move to Germany, it won't be long before you come up against that world famous love of bureaucracy. You didn't expect all those forms to be in English, did you?
  3. To talk to people. It might seem obvious, but it's worth remembering that learning Genuan will unlock a whole world of new people to meet. lt's true that many Germans do speak Englisb, but by speaking in their own language you're sure to create much deeper, lasting connections with the natives. German is also more useful than you might think. The language has the largest number of native speakers in the EU and it is widely spoken as a second language across the world, often turning up in the remotest places. Germans are frequent travellers too - so a few words auf Deutsch will do wonders for anyone working in the tourist or service industry.
  4. Because it's sexy. And Spanish is so out. It's so narrow-minded to always go on about German being harsh. Here at The Local, we reckon German can be sexy. Warum nicht? (Why not?)
  5. Because it's cheap. Seriously, stop the excuses. Learning German isn't even expensive. The state run Volkshochschule (Adult Education Schools) offer integration courses open to all at the bargain basement price of €150 for 100 hours. And if you complete all their levels and take a test you get 50% of your money back. So go on, book an evening course now.