You want to learn a new language but not sure which one to start with? Many people are simply attracted to a particular language, so choosing a language to learn is a no-brainer for them. Maybe they have friends from this country, they are interested in the culture or just fell in love with the sound of the language. Others think more about the practical benefits of learning foreign languages and don’t want to spend their time learning a language that they might never use. No matter how much I love the German language, I am not insisting that this is the best language for everyone everywhere in the world to learn. Depending on where you live, which job you have and your future plans, it could make more sense for you to learn Spanish, Chinese, Russian or some other language. But for everyone who is thinking to learn German, in this post, I attempt to answer why learning the German language might be an especially good idea for you.
1. German is one of the most widely spoken languages in the world.
When you think of German language, the first country that usually comes to mind is Germany. But German is also an official language in Switzerland, Austria, Liechtenstein and Luxemburg which makes it the language with the most native speakers in Europe. Also, don’t forget the number of people around the globe who learn German as a foreign language. If you went to school in Europe in a non-German speaking country, chances are you learned German as a foreign language in school. To be fair, German scores rather low in the number of native speakers compared to English, Spanish or Chinese, but you can find German speakers everywhere in the world. It means that knowing German can benefit you no matter where you currently live.
2. Life in a German-speaking country is easier if you know the local language.
Germany, Austria, and Switzerland constantly appear in the lists of the countries with the highest standard of life. No wonder it makes them one of the most desired places to move to. If you are planning or dreaming of moving to one of those countries, you better start learning German soon. I am not saying you can’t leave there with English only. Talking from my own experience, people in Switzerland and Germany know English really well. I also have friends who lived in Switzerland and Germany for a long time without learning a language. But believe me, your life will be so much easier and fun if you learn the local language. Even if you have a job that only requires you to speak English or your native language, German will be very handy in your daily life.
3. You have better job opportunities with German all over the world.
Germany is the world’s third largest economy and the world’s largest exporter. Switzerland and Austria are smaller countries but their economy is stable and growing. They are also home to many international companies that keep growing and opening their offices everywhere around the world. So if you are not thinking about moving, German can help you to land a better job in your home country too. If you are running your own business, knowing German can offer you opportunities for connecting and working with German speaking clients. I want to mention tourism industry because this is something I personally had experience with. If you travel a lot or work in the tourism industry, I am sure you have already met many German speaking people. They love to travel and have means to do so, that’s why for everyone working in tourism industry German is a very useful language to learn.
4. German is the second most commonly used language in academia.
German speaking countries do very well in scientific research. And even though English is without a doubt the main academic language for worldwide communications, German is still important in the academic community. If you are thinking of inquiring your bachelor degree in science in Germany, it will be more difficult to find a program in English than in German. And if you want to stay and work in the German speaking country after you have finished studying here, the employers will expect you to know German even if you studied in English.
5. You can study in Germany almost for free.
One of the reasons why German speaking countries do so well in science is the high level of university education. Getting a degree in German speaking country might be a great investment in your future. High education in Germany is extremely affordable compared to other countries, that’s why there are so many foreign students studying here. Of course, it is not completely free. You need to pay some semester fee that depends on university but is usually around 300 euro, stay somewhere and eat something. But you are also allowed to work or apply for a scholarship to cover your expenses. However, for most undergraduate courses you need to know German on a required level.
6. German is relatively easy to learn.
If all the reasons above still didn’t convince you, here is the last one. This will not apply to everyone, but if you are a native English speaker or are advanced in English (which I assume you are if you are reading this right now), the German language will be not so difficult for you to master. I hear it all the time from people that German is difficult to learn, but seriously those are the people who didn’t even try to do it. German and English share the same Germanic language roots and that’s why so many words are similar in both languages. There is no new alphabet to learn and even grammar that is so dreaded by many people who are just starting to learn, is not so scary. There are lots of resources available on the Internet if you want to try learning by yourself. And once you mastered the basics of German language and want to practice speaking, it will be easy to find a native or advanced speaker to practice with.
Do you know some other good reasons to learn German? Let me know in the comments.