In this blog series, I will post interesting facts about the German language. Today, I will tell you why the language is more important than you may have thought.
Not many people are aware of the fact that German is spoken by approximately 135 million people as their mother tongue or second language, making it the 13th most widely spoken language in the world. If you add to that an estimated 300 million who people speak the language to different degrees of fluency, German is a more important language than you may have thought. It is also the most widely spoken language in the European Union– ahead of Spanish, French- and the official language in Germany, Austria and Liechtenstein and one of the official languages in Switzerland, Luxembourg, and Belgium.
Unsurprisingly, German is also an important language of business and finance, and speaking the language can open up many opportunities to work in large companies all around the world. In addition, German is the second most spoken language in scientific research.
Historically, many great writers and philosophers came out of Germany in the 18th, 19th, and early 20th centuries. Owing to its vast tradition, the German language has often been referred to as the language of “Dichter and Denker” (poets and thinkers). Most famous among them is Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (well known for his masterpiece “Faust”) who is often compared to Shakespeare and Dante. Other highly influential German writers and thinkers were (in alphabetical order) Bertold Brecht, Heinrich Heine, Herman Hesse, Franz Kafka, Immanuel Kant, Thomas Mann, Karl Marx, Friedrich Nietzsche, and Rainer Maria Rilke. However, Germany still produces internationally renowned authors that are widely read today such as Günther Grass, Patrick Süskind, and Bernhard Schlink.
In Part II, you will learn why English and German are estranged sister languages
In Part III, I discuss why the German language loves compound nouns
Part III reveals the longest German nouns
Part IV explains why all German nouns are capitalised
Part V concludes this blog series with German words that don't exist in English
Are you curious to learn German or improve your existing skills in the language? Then check out our small-group German courses, many of which start in the New Year. We also offer private German tuition, corporate German courses, and German exam tutorials taught by experienced native tutors.