German is one of the most useful languages you might consider learning. It is one of the official languages in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Luxembourg and Lichtenstein. In addition, such countries as the USA, Argentina, Canada and Russia have large numbers of German speakers. It is estimated that the total number of German speakers in the world is nearing 100 million. Although this is a very impressive number, the importance of the language stems not just from the number of speakers. Germany occupies a very significant place as the worldwide center of science and technology. Many of the world’s scientific and academic books and articles are published first (or only) in the German language. Many world-renowned German universities, such as the Technical University in Munich, the Humboldt University in Berlin, the Karlsruhe University of Technology, and others attract a great number of international students from different countries. It should be noted that higher education in Germany is nearly free of charge, even for international students (only a small flat administrative fee is charged every semester). Proficiency in German, however, is often one of the admission criteria.
German is the language of exceptionally rich literature. Thirteen laureates of the prestigious Nobel Prize winners in literature wrote in the German language (the third highest result after English and French). Such famous writers as Thomas Mann, Hermann Hesse and Gunter Grass are among the Nobel laureates. The names of Goethe, Heine, Schiller, Erich Maria Remarque, Rainer Rilke and many others belong to the treasury of world literature and poetry. To know German is the key to this treasury in its original language.
You may want to familiarize yourself with German to get back to your roots. For historical and economic reasons Germany has long been the source country of immigrants to the USA, Canada and elsewhere. According to some data, in the USA there are more people of German ancestry than of English or any other nationality. President Dwight Eisenhower, writers John Steinbeck and Kurt Vonnegut, General John Pershing and many other well-known people who helped to shape the American nation were of German ancestry. If you are one of the German Americans or Canadians, learning the language of your forefathers may allow you to learn something new about yourself.
Learning any foreign language is a challenge. As you move forward and can increasingly express yourself in the language of your choice, you will feel a sense of accomplishment. German is not an easy language to master. It is known for its somewhat complex grammar rules and formidable extra-long words. The longest of them has as many as 63 letters: Rindfleischetikettierungsüberwachungsaufgabenübertragungsgesetz. This impressive word means “law for the delegation of monitoring beef labelling”. Don't let this intimidate you. German and English have common ancestry, which is reflected in a number of similar-sounding basic words, such as Vater for father, Bruder for brother, Milch for milk, Wasser for water, trinken for to drink, hundert for hundred, and many others. This should make the task of learning German easier, at least at the initial stage.
Whatever your reasons for wishing to learn German, this will certainly be a rewarding experience. Please let us know if you need any help with grammar, vocabulary, proofreading, or any other requests. We are here to help you!
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