Languages Matter: Why we learn German (Erin Guth, German 203)

Submitted by Michael Neininger on
Erin Guth

“Why German?” That’s the number one question I’m asked when I say I’m a German major. My typical answer is usually something sarcastic along the lines of “why not German?” But truthfully, I have a lot of reasons for why I chose to study German at UW. The biggest reason is that I wanted a link to my family’s past, since my heritage is very German, with both sides of my family originating from Germany. The first foreign country I can remember visiting was Germany, attending a family friend’s wedding in Potsdam, outside Berlin. I think this sparked a sort of fascination for me with the German culture. I wanted to study German in high school, but never had the chance, so studying the language in college made sense to me. Furthermore, I’ve always dreamed of working overseas and hope that my language skills will help me get there. When I enter military service upon graduation, I hope to get stationed in Germany. I hope my language skills and knowledge of the culture through my study of German will help me get an assignment there and help me be an asset to my unit.