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Important facts about the German language:
- German is the native language of more than 90 million people worldwide and mainly in the European Union. It is the 2nd official language of 10-15 million people and it is spoken as a foreign language by nearly 75 million people.
- It is widely used in the capacity of an official language in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. And it is an important languagein some parts of Italy, Belgium and Luxembourg.
- The German language originated from the Germanic branch of the Indo-European language family. The vocabulary of German is a mixture of Latin, Greek, French and English. A person speaking German as a native language or by his/her choice is referred to as a “Germanophone”.
- Germans are the world leaders in the field of scientific research; hence many scientific magazines and manuals are published in German. Among the number of books and e-books that arepublished each year in a non-English language, German language books stand in the 5th position and it is one of the most frequently used languages on the Internet.
- German is one of the most widely pursued foreign language in the US and EU followed by Spanish and French. In Asia, especially in India due to the fact that many Indian students are opting to study in Germany as compared to US or UK, the demand for the German language is ever increasing.
- There are more than 26 alphabets in German as compared to the English language. There are 4 extra alphabets: ä, ö, ü and ß. The pronunciation of alphabets is also completely different from English like for ex: the German ‘W’ is pronounced like ‘V’ and the letter ‘V’ is pronounced like ‘F’. The English hard ‘C’ is replaced by ‘K’ which dominates the German vocabulary.
- The German language has many dialects that vary from country to country and region to region. There are nearly 50-250 different dialects, but the 6 major dialects identified by linguists are:
- Middle German
- Bavarian – Austrian
Standard German is used for all official purposes and also taught inschools and universities.
Why should you study the German language?
- First of all, German is not a very difficult language to learn, although someone who hears a native speaker for the first time might think that it is a very complex language to comprehend.
- Knowing a foreign language is an added benefit for career growth and it also looks impressive on a resume. Moreover, German-based multinational companies are expanding their businesses into India, so someone with German language proficiency has more chances of ending up with a job in one of these companies.
- German is widely spoken in Europe followed by Spanish and French, soknowing it could prove beneficial for businessmen and tourists, as it helps them to communicate and negotiate with the native speakers easily.
- The door to accessing 100’s of books, e-books and online content on the internet becomes wide-open with German language knowledge.
- Germans are inventors and researchers, each year the government spends millions of Euros on scientific and technological R & D. More than 10% of the world’s patents are registered by them, as a result every year a new product is introduced into the world market by nearly 200,000 German companies.
- Germany is believed to be the land of thinkers and poets. Great musicians like Mozart, Beethoven, Bach, Strauss and Wagner are of German origin. Dozens of Nobel Prize awards in the field of science have been awarded to Germans.Anyone with the knowledge of German, can access the original works of great scientists, philosophers and listen to hundreds of original musical compositions in the German language itself.
Benefits of studying in German:
- German higher education system is considered to be meticulous and world class. Germany has more than 45 top-ranking universities in the world with excellent infrastructure and facilities. A degree obtained from one of these universities is highly recognized and respected by many companies globally.
- Each year these universities invite application from International students for the Bachelor’s, Master’s and Doctoral degrees.The application process is online and acceptance criteria and procedure are very straight forward. Among the maximum number of applications received each year, those from Indian students rank at the top. The number of Indian students choosing Germany for their higher educationhas doubled by 100% over the last 5 yrs.
- The tuition fees per semester (approx., 200 – 300 Euros) is very low in most of the German universities while in some others there is no tuitionfees at all. Students with consistently good academic background become eligible for a scholarship sponsored by DADD.
- Students can start doing part-time jobs as early as 3-5 months of commencing their course. They can also do internships during the semester breaks in reputed companies through campus placement drives conducted by these companies. The pay for such jobsvaries from 7-10 Euros/hr and this acts as an extra income to the student.
- Germany is an affordable country to live for any student, as the cost of everyday life is not too expensive compared to other European countries. A student having an international student id card can avail discount on tickets in trains, buses, metros, cinemas, theatres, sports clubs, public swimming pools etc., throughout Europe. There are student dormitories and university hostels where the rent is very low for students. Concessions on other basic amenities like food, clothing etc., are very common in Germany.
- The number of subjects offered in the Bachelor’s, Master’s and the Doctoral degree is enormous. There is literally some specialization to suit every student’s needs. The subjects offered are Natural Sciences, Engineering, Medicine, Law, Economics, Arts & Music, Computer Science, Sports, Agriculture etc., and in each subject there are sub-specializations that the student can choose from.
- Students can explore the whole of Europe; get to know different cultures, traditions of these places. They can visit many touristic spots of historic importance, meet people from many countries and take part in various cultural events / festivities during their vacations. Also Germany is a very safe country to live, to work and to travel.
- Most of the Universities offer their courses in English especially for Master’s degree program,so there is no compulsion that an international student must know German to apply for these courses.However, it is advisable that a student learns at least elementary German before immigrating to Germany or they could also enroll in German language classes simultaneously with their studies.