Whatever you study, learning German will increase your future opportunities, as you acquire a range of skills which can improve the quality of your work and life. If you are still not convinced, here are ten reasons why learning German is a great idea:
1. German is the most widely spoken language in Europe
More people speak German as their native language than any other language in Europe. There are of course the Germans, but also the residents of Austria, Switzerland, Luxembourg, and Liechtenstein who speak the language. It is also the native language of many people living in northern Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands, Denmark, France, Poland, Czech Republic, Romania, and Russia. Thus learning German can connect you to 120 million native speakers around the globe.
2. Your opportunities to study in Germany
There are more than 400 universities in Germany and foreigners can pursue their undergrad and postgrad studies in Germany for free. Germany also awards a generous number of scholarships and other support to study in Germany. Having learnt German to A2 Level is a major bonus and might be the decisive factor to be accepted by a German university. Moreover, NTU offers a wide range of exchange programmes with German and Swiss universities.
3. Your Career
Learning German opens new job opportunities, as many German companies prefer to employ people with an understanding of the German language and culture. Thus, learning German makes graduates more employable in a globalised economy.
Germany has the third largest economy in the world and is the economic powerhouse of the European Union. For enlarge Germany is the #1 export nation in the world and 1 in 4 jobs depend on exports. Also, two-thirds of the world's leading international trade fairs take place in Germany, including CeBIT, K, Medica, and the IFA consumer electronics trade fair.
5. Research and Development
German is the second most commonly used scientific language and the third largest contributor to research and development. Therefore, Germans are on the frontline of new technologies; with more than 600 firms active in the field of biotechnology, to name just one example. Thus, knowing German gives students access to important research published in German books and journals.
Knowing German you can make the most of your travels in Europe. Moreover, Germans are the biggest spenders of tourist dollars in the world, so wherever you are in the world, you are certain to encounter Germans.
Germans love hot weather and many visit Singapore. Yet, while tourists from German-speaking countries travel a lot abroad, they appreciate to be looked after by German-speaking staff and guides. Singapore is expanding its tourism sector, which will create more job opportunities for German-speaking graduates.
From Gutenberg's printing press to Hertz' discovery of electromagnetic waves and from Einstein's theory of relativity, to Brandenburg's creation of the MP3 digital music format, Germans have proven themselves to be great innovators. Today four of the world's ten most innovative companies are located in Germany.
9. Cultural Heritage
Be it music, literature or philosophy, the names of Mozart, Bach, Beethoven, Strauss, Wagner, Goethe, Kafka, Kant, Marx, and Nietzsche are just a few that are well-known internationally. 10 Nobel prizes for literature have been awarded to German-speaking authors and thousands of timeless musical pieces have been composed. Knowing German allows you to read/listen to these works in their original language.
10. German is actually quite easy
If you speak English you already have an advantage when it comes to learning German, because both languages have the same Germanic roots. Hence, when you read “Mein Name ist Susanne”, you will know what it means. In addition, German is spelled phonetically, so it is very easy to predict how the spoken word is written and how the written word is pronounced.
For more information, please contact the German language coordinator at German2@ntu.edu.sg
and join our facebook group German@NTU