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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

Why Study German?

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In an increasingly interconnected world, a degree in German allows access to language, culture and a marketplace of leading German-speaking countries in the heart of Europe: Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. German is one of the most widely spoken languages in Europe and the second most commonly used scientific language in the world. Over 100 million people speak German worldwide. Since Germany is the third largest economy and the world’s largest exporter of goods, speaking and reading German allows for global job opportunities and higher compensation in career oriented jobs.

German is the foundation of the liberal arts and is vital for the study of philosophy, music, literature, art history, religion, film, physics, and many other subjects. It is a language most often recommend or required for graduate studies. It is also closely related to English and other Germanic languages like the Scandinavian languages, Dutch, Afrikaans, and Yiddish. The study of German improves students’ understanding of the history and structures of English and other languages. A large number of Americans claim German ancestry, which makes German Americans the largest single heritage group in the U.S. Here in Minnesota and Wisconsin, many family names, names of towns and cities and German traditions are still strongly represented in contemporary American life. Students are often personally motivated to pursue German studies in order to understand and research their ancestry and origins.

Learning a foreign language will expand your horizons and allow you insight into the life and cultural socialization of another culture. Learning linguistic practices and discourses leads to a deeper understanding of how language development has lead to shared, cultural identities and cultural models of the world. Words hold complex and multiple meanings – understanding concepts and meanings in other languages transforms the learner into a global citizen. Understanding oneself as a global citizen in a global community through collaborations and partnerships allows for opportunities for cultural enrichment and continuous learning.

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