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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, Germany has overtaken the US in 2014 as the world's most popular country.

Latest News

Annual Schröder Event MT 2020

3 November 2020

You are warmly invited to the German and Dutch Section’s annual Schröder event, ‘From the Classics to Covid: Theatre Practice Today’, at 5 pm on 25 November 2020. This year we will have the opportunity to participate in a conversation with Thomas Ostermeier, hosted by Dr Annja Neumann with Prof. Andrew Webber. Thomas...

Women in German Studies Essay Prize

2 November 2020

Congratulations to Catriona Corke on being selected as runner-up for the WIGS essay prize! Catriona's essay was titled 'Protecting the Public Sphere(s): The Campaign for Peter-Paul Zahl'.

New monograph by Section member Simone Kügeler-Race

6 October 2020

We are happy to offer our congratulations to section member Simone Kügeler-Race for her publication of her new book, entitled: "Frauenmystik im europäischen Kontext: „The Book of Margery Kempe“ und die deutschsprachige Viten- und Offenbarungsliteratur des 14. und 15. Jahrhunderts". Köln/Wien/Weimar: Böhlau 2020 (...

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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