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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

Orli Vogt-Vincent wins German Historical Society's national Undergratudate Prize

11 January 2023

Congratulations to former History and Modern Languages student, Orli Vogt-Vincent, who has just won the German Historical Society's national Undergraduate Prize.

Major research award for Professor Mark Chinca

7 December 2022

The Faculty and German Section are delighted to announce that Professor Mark Chinca has been awarded a Major Research Fellowship by the Leverhulme Trust. Mark will be using the three-year fellowship to work on his project “The Formation of Medieval German Literature, 750–1250,” a re-evaluation that will situate early...

New Publication: Ab Initio Language Teaching in British Higher Education

7 December 2022

We are delighted to announce the publication by UCL Press of a handbook on German language teaching with contributions by 7 Cambridge based authors. Co-edited by Silke Mentchen , and with contributions by Alexander Bleistein, Maren de Vincent-Humphreys , Daniela Dora , Kasia Lanucha, Annemarie Künzl-Snodgrass and Theresa...

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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