There are many reasons for you to learn German. Some students want to be able to communicate with their relatives, others would like to work for a German company or move to Germany for university studies.
I decided to put this list together, just in case you need some reassurance in your decision to learn German or the final push towards taking the plunge. So here are the five reasons why you should start your learning adventure today:
1. Knowing German creates business and employment opportunities
From an employer's perspective, you will have a competitive advantage over candidates who have the same professional qualifications but don't speak German. If you are in international business, you should know that many Germans are very successful in doing business worldwide, but when it comes to business at home they prefer their native language. As the saying goes: “Germans sell in English, but they buy in German.”
2. German and English are similar
Many words in German sound or look the same as equivalent English words. Both languages have evolved from a common ancient language and there is a similarity in vocabulary and grammatical structure. For example, look at these words: Haus = house, Finger = finger, Hand = hand, schwimmen = to swim, kommen = to come, alt = old. There are many more examples like these, which helps a lot when you learn German.
3. German-speaking countries have a rich cultural heritage
Germany is often referred to as the land of poets and thinkers. German is the language of Goethe, Nietzsche and Kafka, of Mozart, Bach and Beethoven. Einstein, Kant and Freud spoke and wrote in German. Nowadays 18% of the world's books are published in German and with 8 million Internet domains, Germany's top-level-domain .de is second only to the extension .com. A high percentage of Japanese students learn German. What do they know that you don't?
4. German is the most widely spoken native language in Europe
Germany is the most populous nation in the European Union with more than 80 million inhabitants. In addition, German is an official language in Austria, Switzerland, Belgium, Luxembourg and Liechtenstein. It is also the native language of a significant part of the population in northern Italy and eastern France. In total, knowing German connects you to about 120 million native speakers.
5. Germany has the 4th largest economy in the world
Last but not least, Germany is among the world's most important export nations. From cars to machinery and industrial equipment, from pharmaceuticals to household goods, you can find it all. Its economy is comparable to that of all the world's Spanish-speaking countries combined. Germany is also home to numerous international corporations (e.g. BMW, Siemens, SAP) that are constantly looking for international partners.
So, are you convinved that you should begin to learn German? If so, italki is the right place for you! Please feel free to share in the comments below.