Why study German?
There are many reasons to start learning German. We in the German Studies Department have boiled down the many reasons to four main categories, the four C’s:
- German is the language of Goethe, Marx, Nietzsche, Kafka, Bachmann, and Mann, of Brecht, Grass, Müller, and Jelinek. Mozart, Bach, Beethoven, and Schubert, Brahms, Schumann, Wagner, Mahler, and Schoenberg spoke and wrote German, as did Freud, Weber, Einstein, and Heisenberg, Kant, Hegel, Heidegger, and Arendt.
- 22 Nobel Prizes in Physics, 30 in Chemistry, and 25 in Medicine have gone to scientists from the three major German-speaking countries, while many laureates from other countries received their training in German universities. Eleven Nobel Prizes in Literature have been awarded to German-language writers, and seven Germans and Austrians have received the Peace Prize.
- The German-speaking world has produced some of the most revered filmmakers of the 20th and 21st centuries – from Fritz Lang to Rainer Werner Fassbinder to Wim Wenders to Magarethe von Trotta, not to mention a new generation of transnational directors such as Tom Tykwer, Maren Ade, and Fatih Akin. German and Austrian filmmakers such as Lang, Billy Wilder and Ernst Lubitsch also shaped the history of Hollywood.
- German is the 3rd largest language market for new published books.
- German is the most widely spoken language in the Europe Union with over 120 million native speakers worldwide.
- German is the official language of Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Luxembourg, and Liechtenstein.
- German is the 3rd most popular language taught worldwide.
- There are over 8 million Internet domains with .de, which is only second to the extension .com
- Germans are major travelers and their first travel destination overseas is the USA.
- German Americans make up the single largest heritage group reported in the US (approximately 15%).
- German immigrants are responsible for thousands of mainstay products and cultural characteristics in the USA. These include Levi’s jeans, ketchup, the Christmas tree, kindergarten, hotdogs, hamburgers, Bratwurst, Hershey’s chocolate, multiple breweries, and the “American” image of Santa Claus just to name a few.
- Germany has the fourth largest economy in the world and is the world’s second largest exporter.
- Germany’s trading relationship spans the major trading countries in Europe and around the world—more than 1,000 German companies do business in the US and more than 2,000 major American firms do business in German-speaking countries.
- Well known German firms with subsidiaries in the US include Adidas, Aldi, Audi, Bayer, Braun, BMW, Daimler Chrysler, DHL, Hugo Boss, Lufthansa, Mercedes-Benz, Puma, T-Mobile, Porsche, Siemens, Volkswagen, Continental Tire, and Deutsche Bank, to name a few.
- Germany ranks 3rd in the world for patent applications.
- Germany is the third most popular destination for international students, right behind the US and Great Britain. There are almost 250,000 young people from around the world currently studying and researching in Germany, and they are all enjoying no or very low tuition fees combined with outstanding academic programs, especially in science and research, engineering, architecture and other subjects.