By sueli Last updated:
Fall is the perfect season to start learning the powerhouse language of Europe.
First and foremost, you’ve got to get yourselfready for Oktoberfest in Munich.
But the value of learning German isn’t just seasonal.
If you’re headed back to school now, or are simply planning to turn over a new leaf this autumn, you should seriously consider the long-term benefits of learning German. As the days get shorter, darker and colder, take refuge indoors and curl up with German language learning materials.
Now, the big question: why the heck should you finally commit to learning German? We’ve created this list of advantages for learning German that you might not have thought of before. Take a look to discover all the fun times and real-world value that German skills can open up to you.
Download: This blog post is available as a convenient and portable PDF that you can take anywhere. Click here to get a copy. (Download)
5 Big Benefits of Learning German
1. German Pays Off.
Why are so many Spaniards, Greeks, Italians, and others all across Europe moving to Germany? It’s because they want to live and work in a country with one of the strongest economies in Europe. For some, knowing German in their home country can be a job in and of itself. To unlock job opportunities located in Germany, most companies require at least some basic knowledge or proficiency in German.
For example, take a look at this job description below for a user experience designer. One look and it might be easy to say, “It’s all Greek – I mean, German – to me!” But don’t let the majority of jobs in Germany’s young, vibrant capital slip away just because the job description looks like gibberish.
- Mind. 1,5 Jahre einschlägige Berufserfahrung im Bereich Interaction Design / User Experience
- Erfolgreich abgeschlossenes Studium
- Erfahrung im Umgang mit Design & Prototyping-Programmen (z.B. Balsamiq, Axure, Photoshop)
- Erfahrung mit der Methodik im User-Centered-Design-Prozess
- Erfolgreich abgeschlossene Projekte im Bereich Web & Mobile
- Hoher Qualitätsanspruch & Zuverlässigkeit
- Teamgeist, schnelle Auffassungsgabe
To begin, make sure you have the right Berufserfahurung, or work experience, to qualify for the job. Check to ensure your Lebenslauf,yourC.V. or resume, reflects the experience asked for in the job description – whatever that is!
So, how to go about deciphering the rest of this posting? Luckily, there are many words in German that are similar to English, or words taken directly from English as seen inDesign & Prototyping-Programmenor User-Centered-Design-Prozess. But what is an abgeschlossenes Studium or Zuverlässigkeit? Regardless, a solid Kenntnisse – or understanding – of German will secure that coveted spot.
2. The Locals Aren’t Half Bad.
Tall, blonde, and well-dressed? Girls, welcome to the men of Germany. Okay, so they may have a few too many Weissbiere sometimes, but on the whole of it, German guys are an attractive bunch. Culturally, they’re raised to work hard, be respectful and have a “do it yourself” mentality. But to strike up a conversation with a German in his native tongue, you’ve got to learn a little bit of the language before any tongue action is happening.
And the women? Did I mention that they are also tall, blonde, and well-dressed?
Now that I’ve piqued your curiosity about the German dating scene, here are some phrases to get you started:
Wie heisst du? What is your name?
Freut mich dich kennen zu lernen. Pleased to meet you.
But Germans aren’t always very direct. Before you say the following:
Du hast wunderschöne Augen. You have beautiful eyes.
You might want to simply ask:
Möchtest du was trinken? Would you like something to drink?
Asking someone what they would like to drink is a great conversation starter in Germany, which leads me into the next great reason why learning German is an enjoyable and rewarding experience.
3. You’ve Already Got Liquid Courage.
What could be more enjoyable than practicing conversation over a delicious beverage? In Germany, beer is an important part of the culture – one of many true German stereotypes. In some places beer, which is traditionally considered aErnaehrung(source of nourishment),is even cheaper than water.
But drinking is not limited to just alcoholic drinks. Germans also delight in the wide range of beverages that can be consumed from Saft (juice) to a variety of Kaffee (coffee drinks) and the occasional fruity alkoholfrei Cocktail(alcohol-free cocktail). The amount of bubbliness also varies. From stilles Wasser to Wasser mit Kohlensäure (carbonated water) and fizzy Schorle (usually a combination of apple juice and sparkling water), Germans never seem to quench their thirst for a good drink.
If you really want to fit in with the locals, try a refreshing Club Mate, a carbonated yerba tea drink, popular in the Internet start-up world for its mild Cola taste and high caffeine content.
And don’t forget to say Prost! Cheers!
4. We’re All a Little German.
Germans compose 15% of the ancestry in the United States, making it the largest heritage group in the nation. German immigration in the 19th century brought many cultural mainstays, like kindergartens (das Kind = the child), the hot dog (naturally, from the wurst), and many Christmas traditions such as the Christmas tree. Have you ever sang O Tannenbaumat Christmastime and wondered who the heck was Tannenbaum? You were actually singing to the German fir tree, or der Tannenbaum, the whole time.
Heard of Goethe? Einstein? Bach? German has huge influence on westernized culture, including many great works of art, literature and music. Its language pervades so much of modern society and we use German so often in our every day lives that we often don’t even notice it – or that we’ve been pronouncing things incorrectly.
Did it ever occur you, for example, that some of Beethoven’s most famous compositions were FürElise– for a woman named Elise? If you’re like me, you’ve been saying the title of this song incorrectly for most of your life.Für in German means “for,” and it is NOT pronounced like the dog’s “fur.” The umlaut, the two little dots above the u, changes the ersound in “fur” to the oosound in für.
Here’s another example:Do you like to identify different colored Volkswagen Beetles, or own one yourself? As one of the largest car manufactures in the world, Germany has spread its language through some of its famous automobiles.However, the V in the Volksis not pronounced like the “V” in “vulture” either. Volks, meaning “belonging to the people” in German, is actually pronounced with an F, making it sound more like“folks.” The Win wagenis pronounced like an EnglishV. So next time you hit your friend and called “Slug-Bug!” for spotting that pea-green Folks-vagen, remember that you are actually identifying “the people’s car.”
5. The Best Things in Life are Free (or Nearly So).
There are plenty of free and low-cost resources both online and offline.
There are many Sprachschulen (language learning schools) with very reasonable rates if you’re interested in formal classroom instruction to complement your informal learning at home. Volkshochschulen, or community colleges, offer cheap, public alternatives for private German courses as well.
There are also many free online resources and podcasts provided by German news and media organizations, such as Deutsche Welleand Spiegel.
And finally, get out there! The only way to improve your ability to speak a language is to actually speak it. Try to locate a local language learning roundtable, more formally known as a Stammtisch, through Meetups and other organizations.
You could even organize one yourself and support others in learning German. After all, one of the best ways to learn anything is to teach it to others.
Until next time, happy language learning!Tschüss! See ya later!
Vocabulary from Today’s Blog:
Want to review some important concepts you’ve learned from reading this blog? Here’s a summary of vocabulary from each section – with three most useful key takeaway words. If you remember anything from this blog, try to remember at least how to say “Nice to meet you.” It will take you far.
die Kenntnisse (knowledge, experience, or background)
die Berufserfahrung(work experience)
der Lebenslauf (resume or CV)
Getting to Know You
Wie heisst du? (What is your name?)
Freut mich dich kennen zu lernen.(Pleased to meet you.)
Möchtest du was trinken? (Would you like something to drink?)
Drinking in Germany
der Saft (juice)
die Kohlensäure (carbonation)
German in Westernized Culture
FürElise (Literally, “for Elise.” Song by German composer.)
Volkswagen (Literally, “the People’s car.” German car company.)
Der Tannenbaum (Literally, fir tree. A Christmas tree.)
Free or Low-Cost German Learning Resources
die Sprachschule (Literally, “speech school.” Language learning school.)
die Volkshochschulen (community college / vocational school)
der Stammtisch (language learning roundtable or meeting)
Download: This blog post is available as a convenient and portable PDF that you can take anywhere. Click here to get a copy. (Download)
Why should anyone learn German in 2022? ›
Having German language skills will boost your employability, as foreign language skills have become a top priority for many employers with German being high on the wish list. On top of being able to communicate with your business partners, you gain transferable skills, intercultural awareness and confidence.What are the best reasons to learn German? ›
The global career: Knowledge of German increases your job opportunities with German and foreign companies in your own country and abroad. Tourism and hospitality industry: Tourists from German-speaking countries travel wide and far, and are the world's biggest spenders when on holiday.How useful is it to learn German? ›
German is an important language in academia
In fact, it ranks second as the most commonly used scientific language. One of the reasons for this is that the German book market is the third largest in the world, right after the Chinese and English publishing industries.
As you begin learning the German language, your brain starts understanding the complexity involved memorizing those words and starts developing a pattern. As your brains channel the complex words to the process of communication, you tend to develop cognitive thinking skills and carry out effective decision-making.Why should Americans learn German? ›
German Is A Vital Language In Academics
With so many award-winning researchers in its native nation, it's no wonder that the German language is immensely prominent in educational institutions. Moreover, when it comes to scientific languages, German comes in second.
Connecting to German connects you to much of the American past as well as the American present. Education: Germany sponsors over 60,000 international exchanges each year. No other country invests so much in international education! Communication: German is the most widely spoken native language in the European Union!What are the benefits of German? ›
- A gateway to great economic powers. ...
- Access to Top-Ranked Universities. ...
- A language of high-end business. ...
- Large speakership. ...
- Easy to learn for English speakers. ...
- Plenty of culture in the German language. ...
- Inexpensive education. ...
- Start young!
With an interesting and rich history narrated by the old-fashion and colorful architecture, castles, palaces, cathedrals and monuments themselves, its landscapes, mountains and forests, delicious food and beer, Germany remains one of the top destinations in the world for travelers.What makes German unique? ›
German has a unique letter
German uses the Latin alphabet. It has, however, an additional consonant: the ß, called "Eszett". The letter never stands at the beginning of the word and, following a long vowel or diphtong, takes the form of a double-s.
Best Way to Learn German. As with any language, the fastest and best way to learn German is through total immersion, preferably through living in a German-speaking country.
How long does it realistically take to learn German? ›
German is rated as a category 2 language and considered to be similar to English. The FSI estimates that German takes approximately 30 weeks, or 750 classroom hours to learn. This study was conducted on a group of language students who spent 25 hours per week in class, and three hours daily on individual practice.How many years does it take to learn German fluently? ›
So, how long do you need to learn German if you want to reach this level of fluency? According to the U.S. Foreign Service Institute (FSI), you'll need about 750 hours of study to become fluent in German. This means that if you study 12-15 hours a week, you'll be able to speak like a pro in just a year!What is the German mentality? ›
Generally speaking, Germans are considered to be well-organized people who love rules and prohibitions and are punctual, hard-working, disciplined, reliable, but also comparatively humorless. In fact, many Germans strive to do everything thoroughly, well and precisely.What is the hardest part of learning German? ›
Because there are few pronunciation rules
Unlike English, for instance, where every word is pronounced in its own way or French, where to rules are so severe and dictations are done even in the most progressed course levels.
Why the Germans Do It Better: Notes from a Grown-Up Country is a 2020 book by British journalist John Kampfner. Publication rights in the Commonwealth of Nations, excluding Canada, were acquired by Atlantic Books in March 2019.What are Germans known for in America? ›
German Americans established the first kindergartens in the United States, introduced the Christmas tree tradition, and introduced popular foods such as hot dogs and hamburgers to America. The great majority of people with some German ancestry have become Americanized; fewer than 5% speak German.What is a German American called? ›
The Transatlantic Relationship. Famous German-Americans. German-Americans (Deutschamerikaner) can be described as citizens of the United States with German ancestry, or people from Germany who have since become naturalized US citizens.Is German hard for Americans? ›
With plenty of straightforward rules, German is not actually as hard to learn as most people think. And since English and German stem from the same language family, you might actually be surprised at the things you pick up without even trying! And on top of it all, it's definitely a useful one, too.What is most useful language to learn? ›
- Spanish. Spanish is the second most commonly spoken language after Mandarin, and not a surprise at the top of languages to learn. ...
- German. ...
- Arabic. ...
- Mandarin. ...
- Portuguese. ...
- Russian. ...
"Do what you want if it makes you happy." in German
Des Menschen Wille ist sein Himmelreich.
What are 5 important facts about Germany? ›
- The largest train station in Europe is in Berlin.
- Berlin is 9 times bigger than Paris.
- There are more than 20,000 castles in Germany.
- Germany is the EU's largest economy.
- German is the third most widely taught language in the world.
- The German language has 35 dialects.
- 65% of the highways in Germany have no speed limit and are called the Autobahn.
- Germany sells around 6 million cars a year, making it one of the largest car producers in the world.
- The first book ever printed was in German, and the first magazine was launched in Germany in 1663.
The longest word in the standard German dictionary is Kraftfahrzeug-Haftpflichtversicherung – which is the word for motor vehicle liability insurance. But at 36 letters, it's rather puny. Rechtsschutzversicherungsgesellschaften, a touch longer at 39 letters, is the language's longest non-dictionary word.What are Germans most proud of? ›
- Bread. ...
- Feierabend. ...
- Our public transport system. ...
- Curing headaches. ...
- Gummy bears. ...
- A functioning welfare system. ...
- Our national soccer team. ...
- Dealing with our past. Germany has, without a doubt, quite a dark and violent history that no one should be proud of.
- Germany Has 1,000 Varieties of Sausages!
- The Most Popular German Surname is Müller.
- Beer is a Food in Bavaria.
- Germany Loves Bread.
- Gummy Bears are a German Invention.
- The First Oktoberfest Was a Wedding.
- JFK Was Not a Jelly Donut.
- Germany Has the World's Largest Cathedral.
German people tend to be thrifty, be sensible, and respect one another's privacy, and they typically respect the structure and laws of society to an above-average degree. There is no place that this sense of 'order' is more apparent than in German business culture.How many words does it take to be fluent in German? ›
In order to feel comfortable speaking German, you really only need to learn about 3,000 words. In contrast, being fluent in German is defined as understanding 10,000+ words.What should I learn first in German? ›
So, if you're wondering how to learn the German language if you're a complete beginner, we recommend you start with the alphabet. The German language has 26 letters, just like English.Can I learn German in 3 months? ›
You need more than 3 months to be fluent. But even with such a short time, if you adjust your strategy, you can actually learn German and get really close to being fluent. And I don't mean being able to say, 'I'm doing fine' in German as fast as a native speaker or being able to combine words you learned on Duolingo.Is B2 German fluent? ›
B2 is the first level that means that you can speak really fluent and understand 80% of the situations that you find yourself in repeatedly. You can prepare yourself for the exam and even see a sample of the language level here.
How hard is C2 German? ›
The C2 level exam: Think “very hard” & multiply that by a thousand. The Common European Framework of References for Languages level C2 is one of the hardest possible examinations you can do in any language.Can I learn A1 German in 1 month? ›
German is a difficult language! Within a month, you should be able to get a hang of most of the basics, such as haben and sein and using the Perfekt tense, enough to where you'll be able to navigate your daily life with relative ease.What level is duolingo German equivalent to? ›
Whether you're a total beginner or you're looking to brush up, Duolingo's German course is definitely one of the best options currently available. The course is now hitting the same heights as the French and Spanish courses — which Duolingo reckon can get you to a B2 level on the CEFR.How long does it take to get a B2 in German? ›
|Assess your current level & test your German online!||Intensive course (20 lessons/week)|
|B2||upper intermediate||10 weeks*|
Overall, Spanish might be easier than German at the beginning stages, but the two tend to even out in difficulty once learners get to the more advanced stages. German has more complicated grammar rules that need to be mastered early on, but once learners get familiar with them, they find that they're pretty consistent.Does the German language have a future? ›
The German language could grow to be prestige, and continue to be the first language of western Europe in comparison to French. Knowledge of German improves your employment chances in Germany, Switzerland, Austria and other parts of Eastern and Central Europe.Why are Germans doing better? ›
Why the Germans Do it Better: Notes from a Grown-Up Country (Paperback) Blending politics, memoir and travelogue, Kampfner's affectionate and deeply researched volume explores the development of post-war Germany into a stronghold of democracy – and the lessons its story holds for us all.Is German the language of the future? ›
If you want to gain benefit in business or academics in Europe then learning German is a must. The potential of the German market makes it one of the languages of the future. The German language is not hard to learn for English speakers. Both the language share many similar words.Is learning German good for Career? ›
German language skills can help your career in many of these International corporations like BMW, Bosch, Volkswagen, Chrysler, Daimler, Adidas, Siemens, Deutsche Bank, Allianz, BASF, SAP, and Lufthansa which are German powerhouses but established around the world.Which language will dominate in 2050? ›
Mandarin. Mandarin is likely to be the most spoken language in 2050 because of its vast number of speakers. The economic influence of China will also prove vital for the continued use and spread of Chinese languages around the world.
What skills are high demand in Germany? ›
Which is the most demanded job in Germany? Ans- Electronics Engineer, Computer Science, IT professionals, Software Developers, Mechanical Engineering.Which country is better to live USA or Germany? ›
Ans. USA is better in terms of annual salaries and job opportunities. Also, Germany has higher taxes than the US so it is better to work in US after completing your studies.What is the biggest problem in Germany? ›
Germany's domestic intelligence agency put the Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) party under formal surveillance for potential extremist links in February 2021. The agency's chief identified far-right extremism as the biggest threat to democracy in Germany.What language will replace English? ›
The number of Chinese speakers online is estimated at 888.4 million, which has risen an astounding 2600% over the same time period. The Chinese language is catching up quickly and is set to overtake English in the near future. The country also has a lot of room to grow as the internet penetration rate is only 60%.Which language will dominate in future? ›
Hindi, Bengali, Urdu, and Indonesian will dominate much of the business world by 2050, followed by Spanish, Portuguese, Arabic, and Russian. If you want to get more out of your language course, study one of our language programs, probably a safe bet for your future.What percent of US population is German? ›
German-Americans make up the largest self-reported ancestry group within the United States accounting for roughly 49 million people and approximately 17% of the population of the US. The states of California and Texas both have considerable German-American populations.What are the pros and cons of learning German? ›
- It Can Boost Your Career.
- More Companies Would Consider Your Candidacy.
- German Makes It Easy to Learn Other Languages.
- Alter View on Languages.
- German is Difficult.
- There Are Many Versions of German.
- You Need to Hire a Good Teacher.
The German language has 6 CEFR levels – starting with A1 (absolute beginner), and ending with C2 (completely fluent).Is B1 German enough? ›
The third level in the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) for Languages is level B1. It is definitely a step beyond the A1 and A2 exams. Passing a level B1 exam means that you are entering the intermediate level of your journey through the German language.