Languages Matter: Why we learn German

Submitted by Michael Neininger on
Learn German: Cameron Vohr

I began studying German in the third year of my bachelor's degree in preparation for applying to master's programs in Germany. Now in my first semester as a master's student at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater München, I'm grateful to receive a world-class education free of tuition fees. Aside from practical considerations, I believe the value of learning any language reveals itself in the imprecision of translation. Does the German word lebensbejahend really just mean "optimistic," as a typical German-English dictionary would have one believe? Does Verklärte Nacht, Arnold Schoenberg's Opus 4 inspired by Richard Dehmel's poem of the same name, really only express a "transfigured night?" To learn a foreign language is to broaden one's perception of the world, and in the context of interpersonal relationships, to understand and be understood beyond just the implications of the words themselves. -- Cameron Vohr