It’s always thrilling to learn a new language, isn’t it?
The thought of being able to communicate with a whole new set of people is very intriguing. Today, if you had to pick a new language to learn, it would most definitely be German. If we begin to look at Germany’s contribution to the world, we see that the country has excelled marvellously in all strata. There is a whole world within the world wide web that’s in German. There are over 15 million important websites that are in German, so it’s no surprise that knowing the language will open new avenues for you. The German online presence is the second largest, globally. Their offline presence isn’t far behind; Germany ranks fifth when it comes to publication of new books annually, proving that they are way ahead in their communication and media game.
If this doesn’t impress you, you should know that German is the widest spoken language across Europe. So, if you know German, you’re not tapping only into the German market, but into the entire European market, allowing you to widen your business connections. It’s the land of innovation; there’s an endless list of ideas and solutions across industries like technology, medicine, automobile, pharmaceuticals, home appliances, etc. that have emerged from Germany. Germany is where you will find platforms to present your ideas, and investors to transform them into reality. Not one to leave the arts behind, they have practically outclassed the world in music with works by Mozart, Beethoven, Bach and Schubert, the literary pieces by Goethe and Kafka took the world by storm, and Kant, Hegel and Nietzsche; the pioneers of revolutionary philosophy, also come from Germany. With its cultural history being so rich, it’s no wonder that the German language is so renowned worldwide.
Are you motivated to get a foreign education or build a career in Germany? Let’s take a look at the various benefits that come with knowing the German language:
1. Foreign Students
If you’re in Germany on a student visa and hope to make a living there after you’ve earned your degree, it goes without saying that life will be much easier if you can speak the local language. Please remember that English may be paraded around as the global language, but it really isn’t. That is just an illusion. Majority of Germans will understand English, but it is not their first language or their preference. As a student, you will be visiting banks, supermarkets, train stations, bus stations, malls, restaurants, hospitals, calling a cab, talking to neighbours, reading official notices, etc. All these tasks, with some difficulty, can be done in English. But it will be a struggle. If you want the ease of living, it’s best to be able to understand and speak German.
2. Job Opportunities for Foreign Students
Even if you manage to get by as a student without learning German, there’s still the task of landing a job after completing your education. It’s not impossible, just difficult. Even if you do land a job, you’ll be like a fish out of water because everyone around you will be speaking German. If you know the language, your chances of getting a job scale up. You will be able to impress the interviewer, share a bond with fellow colleagues and put forth your ideas effectively. Knowing the language is especially important if you are in industries like media, advertising, entertainment, retail, etc where communication and brainstorming sessions are a vital part of the role.
3. Professional Growth
This is for everyone, living in Germany or not. It goes a long way to be prudent. German companies are partnering with numerous companies across the globe and are entering international waters. In India, we see companies like Siemens, Bayer, Bosch, Volkswagon, Allianz, etc expanding and creating several job opportunities. If you are employed with a German company or play a role as an external counterpart, you can build excellent professional relations if you know German. You can take it in your stride to ensure that you don’t stagnate professionally. Also, Berlin is the hub of innovation and start-ups. So, if you want to explore your entrepreneurial side, learning German should be your first step.
4. Science and Research
Now, unless you’ve been living under a rock your whole life, you will be aware that Germany has been making breakthrough after breakthrough in the world of science. It is the third largest contributor to scientific research and development. So, if your field of work has anything to do with science, research, medicine, etc, there is a high chance that, at some moment in life, you will have dealings with German professionals. You may go for a research study programme to Germany or you may be working on a common paper with them over digital platforms. Either way, you will come across as more approachable, and will have effective communication if you are able to speak their language.
While learning the language, you must know that there are three levels and 2 sub-levels within each level.
- Level A1 and A2 are for beginners to comprehend and speak basic German. This level allows you to be proficient in simple conversations that involve personal details, family details and basic questions and phrases that will help you get by. You will understand basic German that is being spoken to you slowly.
- The second level i.e B1 and B2 includes the pre-intermediate and intermediate courses. This level is ideal for students as it goes a step ahead in understanding and being able to speak. With this level, you will have a larger vocabulary, and will understand how to frame complex sentences. You can make yourself understood at university and work.
- Finally, C1 and C2 is the advanced level that will allow you to master the language. This is required only by those who are looking at jobs that require you to speak, read and write German full-time – translators, government jobs, emergency services, etc.