German Studies  


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Learning German is increasingly meaningful and useful in today’s global economy.
- Germany ranks 5th in the world on the Global Competitive Report, 2010-2011 (for specifics on Germany see pp. 164-165).
- Germany ranks 10th in the world (out of 169 countries for comparable data) for the Human Development Index with a score of 0.885.
- German is the language of social media.
- German language experts have more job opportunities abroad.
- German job opportunities for various academic and professional fields.
German is the native language for over 120 million people in Europe.
German is spoken in Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Luxembourg, and Liechtenstein, as well as in parts of other European countries such as Northern Italy, France, and Belgium. Twice as many people speak German in Europe than any other language, and after English, German is the most popular foreign language to learn in Europe.
German is important in the global economy.
Germany also has the world's third biggest economy (after the USA and Japan). Germany is the largest economic and political influence in Europe. Germany has the highest paid workers in the world. Germany is also the leading export nation in the world in proportion to its population, and Switzerland is the world's richest country. The standard of living in German-speaking countries is among the highest in the world.
German is very important for business.
On the Virginia Peninsula there are several German companies, i.e., Siemans, Liebherr, and Faber-Castell. More Americans have lived and worked in Germany than in any other foreign country since the end of World War II in 1945. Germany and the United States invest $40 billion in each other's businesses per year. Many companies name German as the language they would most like their employees to know. When Chrysler and German Mercedes merged, many Chrysler employees had to learn German.
German is important for science.
Many of the world's scientists came from or studied in German-speaking countries. Many new scientific discoveries originate in German-speaking countries, and some scientific information is only available in the German language. The newest elements added to the Periodic Table were recently discovered by a German scientist. Universities encourage science majors to learn German.
German is important in music.
Most of the world's famous composers and musicians such as Mozart, Beethoven, Bach, Brahms, and Schubert came from German-speaking countries. Vienna, the capital of Austria, has been the world center of music for hundreds of years. Many classical musicians learn German.
German is important for the tourist industry.
Germans are the most traveled people in the world. You will find German tourists everywhere. In the United States, they will especially frequent the top tourist spots like California, Florida, New York, and Williamsburg, Virginia. Many American tourists visit German-speaking countries. German is widely spoken throughout Europe.
German is one of the most popular foreign languages worldwide.
In Europe it is the second most popular after English. We live in a global society, and the United States is not necessarily the center of the world.
German is an important language for communication in Europe.
Anyone who can speak German can easily communicate with around 100 million people in their own language for German is not only spoken in Germany but also in Austria, in large parts of Switzerland, Liechtenstein , Luxembourg as well as areas of Northern Italy, Eastern Belgium and Eastern France. Alongside Russian, German is the most frequently spoken native language in Europe and is one of the ten most frequently spoken languages in the world.
Anyone interested in literature cannot avoid German.
Over 60,000 new books are published in Germany each year, equivalent to 18% of books published world-wide, making German the third largest publisher of books in the world. Translations can never fully reproduce the cultural depth of German literature.
Doing business with Germans.
German is the most important trading partner for almost all European and many non-European countries. The ability to speak German improves business relationships with partners in the third largest industrial nation and one of the most important exporting countries in the world. Knowledge of German is a big advantage in business, as negotiations in a third language can easily lead to misunderstandings with costly consequences.
Experiencing success.
Learning and speaking German is no harder than English, French or Spanish. Thanks to modern communicative teaching methods it is possible to achieve a high level of communication skills in a very short time.
Advantages for tourism.
In many countries visitors from Germany, Austria and Switzerland make up the largest and most important tourist groups. Knowledge of German is therefore a great advantage for many people working in the tourist industry.
Opportunities on the job market.
Knowledge of German improves your chances on the job market. Many German companies abroad, many foreign companies in Germany and companies with close business connections with the German speaking countries all look to recruit workers with language qualifications. Within the European Union it is not only specialists but also students and scientists with knowledge of German who can find many interesting training, study and job opportunities.
German prepares you for Europe.
Knowledge of foreign languages always broadens both your intellectual and professional horizons. Those who learn German gain access to an important intellectual, economic and culturally historic area of Central Europe.
Source: AATG Listserv