If you’re thinking about learning a new language, German could well make an excellent choice. It may not leap to mind as an exciting language to have in your arsenal, but hear us out… While German doesn’t have the romantic allure of French, or be considered a business asset like Chinese, the language wins hands down once you start considering its other strengths.
If you’re worried we going to say you should learn German because 120 million native speakers worldwide, fear not. Below, we’ve covered the five most interesting reasons why German should take pride of place on your skills list.
German has an enormous cultural heritage
There’s no getting away from the fact that a large percentage of the world’s most impressive achievements were first conceived of in the German language.
Everything from music to science and literature to opera has deep roots in this rich and flexible language. Musically, German can lay claim to most of the classical greats, including Beethoven, Bach, Handel, Mozart and Brahms. Vienna, the capital of Austria and a German-speaking city through and through, has long been considered the world’s musical heart.
German is a very distinctive language
Although there are several languages that have Germanic roots, none are quite as distinctive as German itself. One of the main reasons for this is the language’s common use of extremely long compound words. Today, the longest of these is ‘rindfleischetikettierungsüberwachungsaufgabenübertragungsgesetz’, an impressive 64 characters long – which translates into English as “beef labelling supervision duty assignment law”. (If you’re wondering, ‘Rind fleisch’ means beef flesh, ‘etikettierungs’ means labelling, ‘Überwachungs’ means supervision, ‘aufgaben’ means duties, ‘Übertragung’ means assignment and ‘gesetz’ means law). Try slipping that into conversation!
German is beating everyone else online
The Internet has a lot to offer the fluent German speaker. After the .com domain, those websites ending with .de (the German equivalent of .co.uk) are the most populous. In fact, since .com doesn’t really ‘belong’ to one country (although it’s obviously the token domain of America), that makes Germany the country with the largest number of national domains.