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Why Learn Languages? - Why Learn German?

Scientific Reasons:

  • German-speaking scientists are in the forefront of engineering, pharmaceuticals, environmental sciences and natural resource management.
  • German is in second place as language of scientific publication after English.
  • German and American researchers collaborate on many international projects, such as SPACELAB, the International Nautical Almanac, and JOIDES (Joint Oceanographic Institutes for Deep Earth Sampling).

Academic Reasons:

  • Many of the greatest thinkers and artists of the modern era thought and wrote in German
  • 18% of all books published world-wide every year are published in German
  • American undergraduate and graduate programs most often require or recommend that their applicants learn German
  • German is closely related to English and 36 other “Germanic” languages – learning Afrikaans, Danish, Dutch, Icelandic, Norwegian, Swedish, or Yiddish is therefore easier after you have learned German.

Economic Reasons:

  • After the U.S. and Japan, Germany has the third largest economy in the world.
  • Germany is the U.S.’s largest European trading partner: more than 1000 companies do business in the U.S., and more than 750 American companies do business there.
  • Next to China, Germany hosts more trade shows than any other country in the world.
  • Alongside Russian, German is the most frequently spoken Native language in Europe.
  • German is the most widely spoken second language in Europe, and is especially important as a language of business in the emerging Eastern European markets, where 13 Million students are learning German, and not English, as their second language.
  • More than 25% of all foreign tourists visiting the U.S. each year come from German-speaking countries.

How you get started?

If you have never had German before, you can enroll either in GER 101 in the first, and GER 102 in the second semester (8 credits) and continue in the second year with GER 203 and GER 204, or you have the option of taking the entire elementary and intermediate sequence in one year, by enrolling in GER 121/223: Schnelldeutsch (12 credits).

If you have had German before, your best course of action is to take the placement test first and then enroll in the appropriate class.

After you have completed the intermediate level, you are eligible to spend up to a year studying German in Austria at the University of Salzburg.

Planning to pursue a job or internship in a German-speaking country? GER 307: German for the Professions will help prepare you to succeed in a professional environment.

 


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