Languages like Spanish and Chinese are becoming more and more popular to learn, and languages that were mainly taught in the UK like French or German seem to be becoming less popular as second languages. But we think that German is an incredibly useful language to use, and it’s also pretty cool too.
Let’s look at some of the reasons why you should learn German.
About the German language
German is (obviously) a Germanic language, which comes from the Indo-European languages. The oldest forms of the Germanic languages can be traced back to the 6th century.
Where is German spoken?
Most people think German = Germany, but in fact, German is an official language in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Belgium and Luxembourg. Which are not only countries in central Europe, but are also wealthy countries, with high GDP and lots of job opportunities that play a big part in Europe and the EU.
Why learn German
German is the second most widely spoken germanic language (after English). Which if you’re interested in learning languages for fun or intellectual pursuits, makes it seem the most logical option. You would be reaching the most speakers of the Germanic world (after English of course), and it would make it easier to learn other Germanic languages in the future.
Germany has the 4th biggest GDP in the world after the USA, China and Japan. Meaning if you want to learn a language for business or career opportunities, German could be the language for you. If you wanted to live in Germany, there are lots of jobs with high paying salaries, and if you don’t, then there are lots of foreign countries that want German speakers because their clients or trade partners are German. So learning German for this instance, would put you at an advantage.
German is an official language of the EU. If you want to work in the EU, or have a political career, German is very useful to learn as it is one of the official languages of the EU, and let’s face it, Germany is one of the most (if not the most) powerful country within the EU. So learning German is always going to be an advantage in that circumstance.
You would be able to understand Rammstein songs. Let’s face it, Rammstein are one of the coolest metal bands, and anyone who is into this genre sings along, without really understanding what they’re saying. Learning German would enable you to understand what the hell you were singing. It might weird you out a bit though, because some of those lyrics are pretty strange.
German has words that we don’t have to represent common ideas. There are lots of words in German that would be very useful in English and we just don’t have. For example, you know when you get a song stuck in your head that you just can’t get out, well in German that’s ohrwurm. Or you get some joy out of the misery of others, yep got a word for that too and that’s schadenfreude. Another one we like is Kummerspeck, which translates to grief bacon, meaning the weight that you put on when you’re sad or grieving something.
German grammar is pretty consistent. You know if you learn French, English or Spanish, you learn a rule or a conjugation and then there are hundreds of exceptions to that rule? Well German isn’t like that. The grammar is difficult, maybe more so than the romantic languages, but the rules are consistent. So once you’ve learned the rules, you don’t really have to worry too much about exceptions to that rule.
Reasons not to learn German
Of course, there are some reasons you might want to avoid the German language. We personally believe that the reason to learn it outweigh this, but we thought we should warn you. There are some sides to German that make it less desirable to learn.
German grammar is pretty difficult. Although the rules may remain relatively consistent, that doesn’t stop the fact that Germany is a difficult language. One of the things that makes it tricky, is that German has three genders, not just the usual two that the romantic languages have. In addition to male and female, German has a neutral gender as well. Which makes learning nouns a lot trickier. Of course, if you use the wrong gender, people are still going to know what you’re saying but it’s frustrating for you as a learner.
Everyone speaks pretty good English already. In other countries like France or Spain, the level of English isn’t that good, meaning learning the language is easier because you have more uses to practise it and it’s also needed more. In Germany, people’s levels of English tend to be a lot higher, meaning that when you go and try to learn, you’re going to have a lot of occasions where people reply to you in English, or at least until your level is pretty high. This can be pretty discouraging to a lot of people, but if you’re persistent, you keep trying and you tell people you really want to practise, you can still get somewhere with this.
German is a fantastic language with lots of practical as well as fun uses. Learning German can give you more insight into English and the history of the Germanic languages, as well as helping you get ahead in business and teaching you some really cool words in the process.
Anyone wanting to learn a foreign language, we would highly recommend you trying to learn German. The only problem you might face is that everyone in Germany speaks such good English it might be difficult for you to get enough practise in.
We gave you some reason you might not want to learn German because it’s important to consider all kinds of things when you’re picking which language you want to learn; it can be a big commitment. But we do really believe that the benefits of learning German really outweigh any reason you might have for not choosing to.
Have you learnt German? Or do you have any experience with the language? Leave your thoughts and comments below so we can see what you think of learning the German language.
Now we’ve convinced you to learn German, take a look at some of the movies we would recommend to help you learn.