English, German and French are the three official working languages of the European Union. In absolute numbers, German is the second most-spoken language on the continent of Europe. It continues to serve this purpose as an important second language in central and eastern Europe.
German is easy to acquire
Let’s start off by debunking the myth that German is especially hard. Despite all the jokes that are being made about it being an impossible language, if you are an English speaker, you are actually already quite advantaged. This is because German and English share the same Germanic root. Consequently, there are many thousands of words which are closely related known as “cognates.” For example, the English chin is Kinn in German. Water becomes Wasser and father turns into Vater. Not so hard after all, is it?
German is an important language in academia
With that big a number of award-winning scientists from its home country, it might not come as a surprise that German is very important in the academic community. In fact, it ranks second as the most commonly used scientific language.
One of the reasons for this is that the German book market is the third largest in the world, right after the Chinese and English publishing industries. Since the percentage of these books that are being translated into other languages is fairly limited, only a knowledge of German will give you access to them.
German is the gateway to a world-class higher education
One of the reasons why German has such a high standing in the science community is the fact that Germany’s universities have an excellent international reputation. In the year 2011, the country was the fourth most popular destination for students from abroad with more than a quarter million foreigners being enrolled in German schools.
What’s more, the German system for higher education boasts a number of universities with a very low or non-existent tuition fee. No wonder scholars and researchers are flocking there! Learning German to save on student debt sounds like a pretty good return of investment.
German is the most widely spoken native language in Europe
English, French and German are the three official working languages of the European Union. In absolute numbers, German is the second most-spoken language on the continent of Europe. However, when it comes to native speakers, German is number one.