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Why learn German?

Speakers of German are the largest linguistic group in the European Union and have played a central role in European history and culture for nearly two thousand years. Germany's geographical position has made it a natural mediator between east and west, north and south. In the periods of Reformation, and of Romanticism and Modernism, the German lands saw the birth of literary, artistic, theological, philosophical, musical and visual cultural movements which continue to shape the world we live in today. Writers such as Goethe, the brothers Grimm,  Kafka or Brecht have had lasting impact, while German-language recipients of the Nobel Prize for Literature include Thomas Mann, Günter Grass, Elfriede Jelinek and Herta Müller. Thinkers such as Luther, Kant, Marx, Nietzsche, Freud and Arendt rank among the most influential figures in Western thought. And the German cinematic tradition, from the birth of film to the present day, is of international significance.

German remains an important language in the twenty-first century. Germany has the third largest economy in the world and is the world's most successful exporting nation. Roughly 10% of all books published worldwide are written in German and there are more than twice as many German websites (.de) as British (.uk). German is spoken by over 100 million people in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

Read more from the Goethe-Institut here.

AND read how a researcher at Cambridge University has shown that Germany is the happiest country in the world

AND according to an international study, Germans have a strikingly optimistic view of the future.

Follow @DeutscheWelle on Twitter for more stories like this

Austria does even better on happiness measures than Germany, something which this article suggests is partly attributable to an enthusiasm for cycling.

https://www.cntraveler.com/gallery/the-10-happiest-countries-in-the-world

Latest News

Event: ‘Deutschland 83’ - Comparing British and German TV awards

24 November 2021

DAAD Cambridge and the Grimme Institut invite you to attend an online debate (3 Dec) featuring the team behind 'Deutschland 83' on the similarities and differences between British and German TV and its awards.

German Academics on The CLC News Podcast: The German Election

26 October 2021

Two affiliated lecturers at the Section of German, Dr Darren O’Byrne and Dr Tara Talwar Windsor, talk about the September election on the Cambridge Collective Language podcast. 'In this episode, the results of this election and the prospects for Germany’s future are analysed in depth along with an exploration of the...

German Academic on CRASSH Podcast

25 October 2021

Thoughtlines podcast episode 10: Charlotte Lee – We are what we read 'From the Ancient Greeks to nursery rhymes to hip hop, literature is always moving to the beat. But we’re only just discovering where it could take us.' https://www.crassh.cam.ac.uk/gallery/audio/thoughtlines-podcast-episode-10-charlotte-lee-we-are-what-...

Applying to Cambridge

Information for prospective applicants thinking of studying German at Cambridge.

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Cambridge Online German for Schools

Cambridge Online German for Schools (COGS) is a core element of the Cambridge German Network

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