Why learn German?
Did you know?
- 95 million people speak German as a native or official language in five European countries: the Federal Republic of Germany, Austria, Switzerland (46% speak German), Liechtenstein, and Luxembourg.
- Over 25 million people around the world study German as a second language.
Economy and Global Trade
Knowledge of German increases your job opportunities with German and foreign companies in the US and abroad. Proficiency in German helps you to function productively for an employer with global business connections.
A few facts highlight the significance of US-German economic relations: EU Member States are collectively the United States’ biggest trading partner, and Germany, as Europe’s largest economy, is at the heart of that relationship. After China and the United States, Germany is the world’s third-largest exporter. U.S. affiliates of German firms employ over 692,000 U.S. workers. (Source: US State Department) BMW Spartanburg is the leading US automotive exporter by value. (Source: US Department of Commerce). Given this context, German is considered to be one of the two most important languages in international business. An employee’s ability to communicate in the language of the employer is essential. Understanding foreign business practices is crucial to success in the international marketplace.
Study Abroad, Student Exchange, and Work in Germany
Knowledge of German increases your opportunities to study and work in Germany and to participate in exchange programs.
A wide range of exchange programs exists for both school and university students and for professionals between the US and Germany. Many of those programs are either free of charge or provide scholarships. They provide high quality programs of study, professional development opportunities and expand one’s horizon, fostering life-long learning and personal connections across linguistic and cultural boundaries. Work visas are offered to skilled workers and professionals.
Knowledge of German allows you to embark on a teaching career.
German teacher shortages often result in program closures. Becoming a teacher, and teaching German is a viable and highly rewarding career choice. Interested in learning more? Take a look at the resources provided by the American Association of Teachers of German to help you get started.
Knowledge of German increases your job opportunities in the hospitality industry in the US and abroad and provides you with cultural understanding vital to enhance your interactions with German speakers, including on your own travel to German-speaking countries.
Tourists from German-speaking countries travel wide and far. They appreciate encountering German-speaking staff and tour guides. Speaking German provides you with a deeper insight and promotes cultural understanding and cross-cultural dialogue. German is widely spoken in Europe, facilitating your own travels.
Arts and Culture
Knowledge of German allows you to access art and to join a vibrant global art scene, whether you are an art connoisseur or an artist.
German is the language of Goethe, Kafka, Mozart, Bach, and Beethoven. Indulge in reading and/or listening to their works in their original language. Germany provides a stimulating and supportive environment for all artists.
German is for All Students
Learning a language and speaking a range of languages is a civil right. The bipartisan America’s Languages Caucus is Congress’s New Language Policy Forum. The America’s Languages Caucus Co-Chairs, Representatives David Price (NC) and Don Young (AK), established the America’s Languages Caucus in November 2019 in order to develop a national strategy to raise awareness about the importance of world language learning and international education, particularly as it relates to our nation’s economic and national security. In addition to ensuring that adequate resources are directed towards the study of world language learning, the caucus also seeks to improve access for students and educators who wish to participate in these fields of study, including world languages, Native American languages, and English for English learners. To learn more, please follow this link: https://www.languagepolicy.org/americaslanguages