German is widely spoken in Europe: Count the 80 Million inhabitants of Germany, add Austria, the German-speaking part of Switzerland plus Luxemburg, and German-speaking minorities in Northern Italy, Southern Denmark and the Alsace in France, and you get the picture. Of course, there is more than just the holiday aspect since Germany is not exactly renowned for its glorious holiday resorts by the sea. It is more the practical aspect: think of all the business opportunities. You need not be fluent, but a few basics could open doors and make business in Germany a little easier.
Were you thinking of studying in Germany? This may sound like a distant dream to any UK student, but there are universities in Germany that charge no tuition fees (Berlin is only one of them). Typically the cost of living is comparatively low in Germany unless you live in Munich, Hamburg or Baden Baden. Therefore, you may not be burdened with huge debts to pay off after graduation.
German and English go back to the same West Germanic dialect. Can you believe that at some point in history, a person from, let’s say, Hamburg probably would have had only minor trouble understanding a person from, let’s say, Winchester? “Funny accent”, they would have thought about each other…Unfortunately, this was a long time ago and is not the case anymore. But a few centuries, a significant vowel shift plus a few French and Scandinavian invaders later, we can still find evidence in the vocabulary: House – Haus, beer – Bier, wine – Wein being the most obvious ones. The list could be extended with verbs like make – machen, say – sagen or adjectives like small – schmal, round – rund.
Does learning German sound like a good idea? Check out our private German lessons and courses in London.