Why learn German
German has traditionally been a very popular language in New Zealand. German is the main language of Germany and Austria. It is also spoken in: Switzerland (most of the country), Luxemburg, in small pockets in countries neighbouring Germany or Austria (Belgium, Italy etc.), Namibia; and widely spoken in eastern Europe and the Balkans as a second language
The number of mother-tongue speakers worldwide total about 110,000,000.
Here are some key reasons why New Zealanders should consider learning German.
- German is the most widely-spoken first language in the European Union.
- Germany has the largest economy in the EU, and is an industrial giant on the world stage. Companies and organisations from Siemens to Carl Zeiss, BMW and the Deutsche Bank have formidable reputations world-wide.
- German technology and know-how are widely respected around the world, and organisational skills are immediately apparent when one visits any of the German-speaking countries.
- New Zealand has to engage more with the German-speaking world if it is to establish a stronger base for its exports in Europe.
- Young Kiwis can go and work in Germany for oneyear under a working holiday scheme. A knowledge of the German language would obviously help enormously on this particular OE!
- Some of the big cities such as Berlin are among the liveliest in Europe, with an enormous range of events throughout the year, many of them geared to the younger population.
- Young people in Germany seem to be on the same kind of wavelength as young Kiwis; they usually get on well.
- The Germans and the Swiss come to New Zealand in large numbers – and usually love it!
- Germans are usually very environmentally aware, and are often innovators in green
- Germany has a rich cultural heritage, and has made huge contributions to world literature, painting, music and philosophy.
- The German-speaking world has produced thinkers whose ideas have changed the way people look at the world: from Luther to Marx, to Einstein and to Freud.
- People are often surprised by the beauty of the German countryside, with its dense forests and deep valleys, also by the charms of its many historical towns and villages. Austria and Switzerland have wonderful mountain landscapes. And with extensive hiking trails, all three countries are a tramper’s paradise!