Culture: Why study German?
Size of the German-speaking population
Today German is the first spoken language in
Germany, Austria, and the largest portion of Switzerland, as well as Liechtenstein, Luxembourg,
and areas of Northern Italy, Eastern Belgium and Eastern France.
More than 100 million Europeans are native speakers of German. Thus German is by far the
most spoken language of the European Union followed by English, French, Italian (~60 million each)
and Spanish (~35 million).
Economics and Business
Literature, Arts, Music, and Science
Without doubt, the German-speaking world has made enormous contributions to music, art,
literature, philosophy, and science.
Einstein's realtivity theory, Humboldt's revolutionary writings about educational theory,
Freud's psychological analyses, Goethe's, Schiller's and Lessing's 'Sturm und Drang'
literature and Mozart's, Beethoven's and Brahm's works of music are just a few examples of
the scientific and artistic productivity of the German-speaking world.
With 10 new Eastern European countries that joined the European Union in May 2004, Germany
is emerging as a new center in the heart of a united Europe.
Germany is the third biggest economy in the world (after the US and Japan),
and every year occupies one of the top three ranks in the list of exporting nations.
Thus, Germany is economically the most important member of the European Union.
But even though it invests heavily in Eastern Europe and is reaching out increasingly to
the Russian and Chinese markets, Germany's economy is also highly intertwined with that of the US.
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