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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

Congratulations to Charlotte Lee

29 April 2022

The MMLL German Section would like to congratulate Dr Charlotte Lee, who has been awarded a British Academy Mid-Career Fellowship for the academic year 2022-23.

New Part II papers in German to launch in Michaelmas 2022

19 April 2022

Part II papers in German will be revised and refreshed from Michaelmas 2022. You can read short outlines of the new papers and further details will be circulated to returning Part II students to inform their choices.

Cambridge Undergraduate Conference in German Studies

11 February 2022

'Optimism in the German-speaking world' 18th & 19th February 2022 With a keynote from Kübra Gümüşay Panel discussions: 'Building optimistic societies' 'Optimism in entertainment' 'Sensitive optimism: memorial work' 'Optimism in thought and literature' Careers panel with German studies graduates All German studies...

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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