German is the native language of well over 100 million people worldwide and the most commonly spoken language in the European Union. It is the official language of the more than 80 million inhabitants of Germany, but also of Austria and Liechtenstein, and is the main language of Switzerland, where nearly two thirds of inhabitants speak it as mother tongue. Also many other countries in Europe have German-speaking communities, such as Belgium, France, and Italy, and millions of people outside Europe speak German as well, from South America to Canada, from Australia to Africa.
The modern German alphabet is a Latin-based alphabet consisting of the same 26 letters found in English letters. Besides these 26 letters, German uses only four extra letters: ä, ü, ö, and ß.
Why Study German?
- Close to one-third of the EU inhabitants are able to converse in German.
- Germany is one of the world's leading economies and home to numerous internationally operating organisations. In Europe it is the clear number one, producing more than one quarter of the European Union's gross domestic product. At the moment, Germany is crying out for qualified personnel in a wide range of sectors.
- With ever more organisations operating on the European mainland and with German-based organisations so firmly rooted on the international scene, learning German is becoming an ever smarter career move.
- German is the second-most commonly language used in scientific publications and on the Internet. Germany itself is the world's third biggest producer of books and more than one-tenth of all books published in the world is written in German.
- Learning German provides deeper insights into a region that plays a vital role in the intellectual, economic, and cultural life of the Western world. German is the language of writers like Goethe, Schiller, and Kafka; philosophers such as Kant, Nietzsche, and Schopenhauer; painters such as Durer, Kollwitz, and Klee; musicians such as Bach, Beethoven, and Mozart; and scientists such as Einstein, Kepler, and Planck.
- German as a foreign language is rising in importance in the countries of Middle and Eastern Europe, where students increasingly choose German over English and Russian.
- German and English belong to the same West Germanic language family and share thousands of similar words and phrases.
- Speaking and understanding German will deepen your knowledge of the culture and improve your employment opportunities. Whatever your particular objectives, learning German will enrich your experience.
Discover why German is one of the most widely taught foreign languages in the world. Learn German and access a new world of opportunities!