Language learners choose a German course for different reasons, and it is a fact that knowing this language can bring a number of benefits. Naturally, any person who intends to learn German would consider several questions before beginning with studies. What are the long-term benefits? Is the language difficult? What type of German course is best? This article aims to help the prospective learner make a decision.
An introduction to the language begins with the setting of the anthropological and linguistic context. German is a representative of the Germanic group of the Indo-European language family. As such, the German language is a close relative of Dutch, Swedish, Danish, Norwegian, Icelandic, and English. These languages are descendants of ancient Germanic dialects spoken by the peoples that populated Western Europe in the Antiquity. The German language developed in several stages. Old High German, the Early Medieval version of the language, had morphed into Middle High German by the High Middle Ages. Middle High German was a major vernacular language of that time. An important phase of the history of the German language was the eighteenth century when the modern literary language began to emerge. The following centuries were a major period of German cultural and literary history, and many famous works of literature, philosophy, and science were written in the language.
Unlike English, French, Spanish, and Portuguese, German has not expanded much overseas and is spoken primarily in Europe. Aside from Germany, other countries where German is a national or one of the official languages are Austria, Switzerland, Belgium, Luxembourg, and Liechtenstein. However, the language is divided into dialects, some of which differ significantly from literary German. A textbook example is the dialect spoken in Bavaria which contains many colloquial words and grammatical divergences from the literary form.
People who learn German can later see the benefits of knowing the language. The German-speaking countries have well-developed economies, and this is a fact that doesn’t go unnoticed in the global market. It is common to see job adverts stating that knowledge of the German language is a requirement or a strong advantage. Knowing some German can also be handy during a holiday in the Alps, Cologne, or Vienna. Many people learn German due to their interests in German culture: German is the language of Goethe, Wagner, and Hegel.
Though German is not a hard language to learn, some of the language’s traits can be tricky. Each possessive case has its own ending; they need to be memorised well or can lead to learning related difficulties later. Some students can also experience problems with the correct pronunciation of some words, especially those containing vowels with umlauts.
Babbel’s German course is flexible, allowing the user to choose the best time for his studies. The interface is ad-free, user-friendly and easy to navigate. You can monitor your progress, and within the Babbel community other German learners and even native speakers help with tuition. With Babbel you will be able to learn German from scratch with the beginner courses, where the basic grammatical rules and the most common language expressions are explained simply and clearly. The platform offers grammar courses at different levels, as well as various thematic modules for those who are interested in particular topics, such as idioms or customs and traditions. German is not a hard language to learn, but the benefits of taking a German course can be huge.