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10 Reasons to Learn German

A woman types on her laptop which shows a flag of Germany.
© iStockphoto

From personal to professional life, learning German will give you more options. The Goethe-Institut has devised 10 compelling reasons to learn German:

1.) Business relationships: 1,000 German companies are world leaders in their businesses. They employ 7 million people in the world and have a turnover of 1.7 trillion EURO. Want a piece of the cake? Having the ability to communicate with your business partners and stakeholders in their language will greatly increase your professional relationship and improve communication. Even if you are not proficient in German, a basic knowledge of the language will help you understand the business and communication culture of the company and integrate better.

2.) International career opportunities: With German, you may have the opportunity to not only work in Germany or Europe, but there may be opportunities for you to work in your own country at a company that has international relations with Germany or other German speaking countries.

Did you know that there are more than 600 German companies in South Africa?

3.) Science and Research: Internationally, Germany occupies a leading position in science and research. In the last 100 years, Germany won more than 70 Nobel Prizes in natural science and medicine only. Stefan Hell was the last person to win the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2014. Furthermore, Germany has many research centers that conduct research on a truly international level. The Max Planck Society, the Frauenhofer-Gesellschaft or the Leibniz Association employ 80% of international researchers. That goes along with the German High Tech Strategy that states: Global challenges like climate change, food security or war prevention cannot be solved on a national level anymore. What we need is collaborative international research.

If you come to do research work in Germany, you will be able to build up your own professional network with contacts not only in Germany, but in other European countries and beyond.

4.) Art, music and philosophy: German is the language of Goethe, Kafka, Mozart, Bach and Beethoven. Indulge in reading and/or listening to their works in their original language. Having even basic language skills will allow you to understand the classical music on a whole new level and in an unexpected depth.

5.) Cultural understanding: The doorway to another culture is through its language. Learning German will provide you with insights into the culture and way of life of German-speaking countries. It will allow you to understand yourself and your language environment better as well. It is an exciting journey to expose yourself to new experiences and to see the world through a different language glass.

6.) Tourists and the international traveling German: You may be in a situation to host tourists from Germany. Being able to look after your traveler by speaking their language will be highly advantageous and appreciated.

Did you know that Germany is the nation that travels most?

7.) Communication: Germany is ranked as number 5 when it comes to the annual publication of new books. Learning German gives you an excellent opportunity to gain access to the latest information, education and entertainment.

8.) Travel: If you see yourself as a traveller, you can make the most of your travels by being able to communicate in the language of the country you visit. German is not only spoken in Germany, but also in Austria, Switzerland, Belgium, Luxemburg and many neighboring countries in Europe.

9.) Opportunities to study or work in Germany: There are almost 20,000 degree programmes offered at nearly 400 accredited universities across Germany. Most Universities in Germany are publicly funded, which means these institutions normally waive tuition fees. Germany provides excellent opportunities for international students to study in Germany and special visas are offered to skilled workers and professionals.

10.) Opportunities for exchange: There are a wide range of school and university exchange programmes between Germany and many other countries of the world. German Institutions of Higher Education have more than 20,000 cooperations in 155 countries. You can be sure to meet the world when studying or working in Germany. Knowledge of German will make this experience more impactful and enjoyable as this will be the common language of exchange.

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