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Languages Matter: Why we learn German

Submitted by Michael Neininger on December 13, 2016 - 11:11am
Why I learn German - Lydia Castro
Why I learn German - Lydia Castro

We asked students in our first- und second-year language courses why they learn German.

Here are some of their answers:


Lydia Castro

Major: Linguistics with Germanics minor

Why I learn German:

"While it might seem like it makes sense for a Linguist (as someone who studies languages) to study German and other foreign languages, I actually chose to learn German for different reasons. I initially wanted to learn German because it is a language of science and music. I play bassoon (a German instrument) and was studying physics at the time, so it made sense to me to learn a language highly used in both disciplines. But beyond even the immediate practical applications of language learning, I’ve found a different part of myself with each language that I learn, be it Spanish, German, Portuguese, or even American Sign Language. Languages are core to our humanity, and I love that you can learn so much about yourself and the other people in the world simply by deciding to study their language."


Tammy Tarhini

Major: Anthropology / Biology

Why I learn German:

"A large component of my passion for learning German and other foreign languages is my viewing language as the key to bridging cultures. Although technology is making it increasingly easier to communicate via translation software and apps, words that have simply been processed and presented in one’s native language don’t hold the same weight as the original ones. Language reflects the culture from which it has been shaped— whether through unique phrases and idioms, literature and music, and how people express themselves. Learning a foreign language opens up these doors, and even allows one to show respect by engaging in a cultural give-and-take mediated through the language itself."


Cosmo Wang

Cosmo (Yuchen) Wang

Major: Mathematics
Minor: German

Why I learn German:

"I’ve been learning German for over a year. I started because I’m a crazy German soccer fan. But after I really get to know German, it’s the language itself that makes me keep learning it.

People always say that Germans are rigorous and love rules and organizations. I can clearly see that in their language. German grammar is so well structured and somehow complicated that it’s the one of the most fascinating languages to me. And as I continued learning German, I became interested in other different aspects of Germany, such as its culture, history and literature.

I’ve decided to minor in Germanics and will continue to study German all along."


Here you find more quotes:

Languages Matter: Why we learn German (2)