skip to content
 

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

The 2024 DH Green Lecture

13 February 2024

The German Section was delighted to welcome back Dr Simon Pickl, from the Paris Lodron Universität Salzburg, to give this year’s D H Green lecture.

Ninety Year 12/13 students attend German Study Day

30 January 2024

On Saturday January 27th, Professor Silke Mentchen joined colleagues from Kings' College London, Bristol University and Leeds University as well as a team of teachers from St Paul's School for Girls for a German Study Day. Year 12 and Year 13 students (approx. 90 students in total) from 19 different schools, including both...

February 5: A German Railway Worker Decides, 1933–2022

24 January 2024

All are warmly invited to the annual collaboration of the Cambridge German Graduate Research Seminar and Section Research Colloquium, who are joining together this Lent term to welcome the distinguished writer Esther Dischereit to Cambridge for a reading and discussion (in English) about her current exhibition on Fritz Kittel

Applying to Cambridge

Information for prospective applicants thinking of studying German at Cambridge.

Find out more

Cambridge Online German for Schools

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

Find out more

Let's be friends