German is the twelfth most widely spoken language globally, with over 135 million
native and non-native speakers. It is also the most commonly spoken language in Europe.
So why should you become the next learner? What good reasons are there to learn German?
In this article I will tell you about my six best reasons to learn German.
1. Sense of Achievement.
This is my number one reason to learn German, or any foreign language.
About fifteen years ago, I took a group of 30 teenagers on a school trip to Germany. On the first evening, one of my pupils asked me to get some more water. I replied she should do it herself.
“Just say mehr Wasser, bitte”. Off she went, and I said to the other kids, “When she comes back, not only will she have more water, she will also have a smile on her face.”
I was right. Chloe (not real name) was so proud of getting what she wanted in a foreign language.
Isn’t that one of the best reasons to learn German? Being happy with your achievement?
In the case above, it was just a short phrase to get more water. Chloe wanted something, and she got it by saying three simple words, “Mehr Wasser, bitte.”
It’s not always as easy as that, but it’s a good start. Chloe was motivated to learn more German words and get further achievement and happiness.
2. Working in Germany.
If you seek achievement and hope for great success in your future career, my next best reason to learn German is the job market.
Germany has the largest national economy in Europe by nominal GDP. It is a social market economy with excellent work conditions. Most workers get 30 days annual leave, good salaries, and unions and works councils protect workers’ rights. Most importantly, once you have a permanent position, it is tough for your boss to fire you.
If you are an engineer, scientist, or in the medical sector, Germany is the place to be.
Maybe it’s not necessary to work and live in Germany. But having some knowledge of the language will advance your career at a German company, anywhere else in the world.
Any foreign language looks good on your resume, yet German stands out in the industries mentioned above.
3. Living in Germany
Fairy tale castles, beautiful countrysides and sea resorts, as well as the beer culture, are just three reasons why Germany is a great place to live.
And if you live in Germany, you want German friends and small talk with the locals, don’t you? I’ll be honest here. It’s not easy making social contact with Germans, particularly in bigger cities.
However, once a German considers you to be a real friend, no longer an acquaintance, they are some of the most loyal and trustworthy friends you can ever make.
Life in Germany is also stress-free. The infrastructure of transportation is top-notch. You can get around easily on public transport, it’s not that expensive, and you won’t be left waiting for hours because the busses and trains are largely punctual.
Understanding the announcements at train stations would be difficult if you haven’t learned them. So, learn some useful phrases at the train station and get traveling.
4. German Language
Some aspects of the German language are relatively easy for English native speakers to learn.
Mark Twain may have penned an essay entitled “The Awful German Language.” Indeed, at times, you might wonder why there are so many different ways of saying “the.”
Nevertheless, getting started is relatively easy, which brings us back to Chloe’s sense of achievement and motivation to keep going.
English is originally a Germanic language. That means a lot of basic vocabulary, essential words, such as trinken, Wasser, Wetter, etc., are similar to the English drink, water, weather.
Additionally, German pronunciation is not difficult for English native speakers. It is a phonetic language, which means there are sound patterns. When you learn the sound patterns, they are correct 99% of the time (unless it is a loan word from Latin, for example).
If you would like to learn more about the ease of learning German, have a look on: Is German Easy to Learn for English Native Speakers?
5. Learning German Keeps Your Mind Active.
Learning any foreign language keeps you mentally fit. Yes, you need time and dedication. But research shows that continuing to learn in adult life can prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.
Your health and well-being are of the utmost importance. So, learn German and stay healthy!
6. Germany Rich Cultural History.
What are the top names you think of when I say, “Classical music”? Mozart, Schubert, Beethoven? They are all of German or Austrian origin.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful to see “The Magic Flute” (“Die Zauberflöte”), in its original, German version? A fan of the opera would surely love to watch it at the famous Semperoper in Dresden.
Or you’re a fan of classical literature. Then think of Goethe, Schiller, Brecht. Don’t let things get lost in translation. Learn German and read these classics in the language they were first written.
Philosophy? Again, a wealth of ideas came from great German minds. Kant, Freud, Nietzsche, Marx, to name the most influential men in this field.
There are also some excellent, modern movies coming from Germany. “Run, Lola, run!”, “Das Boot,” “Goodbye Lenin.” It’s so much more realistic watching scenes with German soldiers or a Berlin backdrop when the language fits the picture.
But I’ll be honest here. I like to read and watch TV or movies for pleasure and relaxation. It can be mentally draining to concentrate for two hours on a blockbuster in a foreign language.
However, when it’s over, you can have that rewarding feeling and that smile on your face again (think back to my first best reason to learn German.)
Those are my thoughts on what are the six best reasons to learn German. I hope I have persuaded you to consider it. If so, I would like to end this article with a big “Viel Erfolg!” (good luck in your endeavors).