Why you should learn German

Although Germany has been invaded several times in its history by foreign groups speaking a different language, German has always remained the language. No occupier stayed long enough to permanently suppress the language or distort it too much. Today, German is still very closely linked to its origins and word meanings can still be derived.

What frightens many people who encounter the German language for the first time are the very long words. In this way, words can be combined to form a new word, where sentences and paraphrases are formed in other languages. The German language also works a lot with affixes, i.e. syllables that are added before or after a word.

By using the prefix ver- I can turn the verb kaufen (buy) into the opposite verkaufen (sell). By using the suffix -ung I can turn the verb lesen into the noun Lesung. German can also be seen in a playful way, like a large typesetting box with which new words can be formed very easily and in a variety of ways. Some new words have even made it into other languages, for example Zeitgeist, Kindergarten or Schwärmerei.

What makes it very easy to learn the German language is the fact that it is a phonetic language, which means that the words are pronounced the way they are written. There are some diphthongs that have to be learned separately, but they are always pronounced the same way (examples: Auto (car), Seil (rope), Eule (owl)).
There are also fixed rules for if a vowel is pronounced strained, depending on which letter follows.

viel – strained i
Stuhl – strained and
denn – short e
den – strained e
dann – short a
Bahn – strained a


So if you feel more comfortable with rules when learning a language, you should learn German.

St and Sp are always pronounced Sch-t and Sch-p in German; only in some regions in the north they are pronounced S-t and S-p.


Now what about word combinations? Let's take a look at this word:


Wort – zusammen – setz – ung

This is the process of stringing several words together into one.

Example: Immobilienmakler

Immobilien – makler is the person who brokers houses and land between buyers and sellers. Makler is derived from the Low German maken for High German machen (to make).

It is the part of the word at the end that can be seen as the main part and the other parts help to describe it. Another example:


Auto – bahn – fahrt

This is the drive (fahrt) on the motorway (Autobahn).


Yes, German is not uniform. There are a lot of dialects, but they may no longer be as important today because they are no longer used that much. The schools that aim to teach standard German will have made a decisive contribution to this. But it is quite interesting to deal with the dialects because not only the pronunciation of the words can differ, but also the grammar. That's what it says in standard German der Bach, i.e. male, while in Hessian it is called die Bach, i.e. female.

There is much more to discover, even as a native German speaker. Anyone who delves deeper into the meanings of words and the origins (etymology) of words will experience many an aha moment. Here is an example that I took with me from my time as a student.
The word today for the area of ​​the body where the brain, eyes, ears and mouth are located is Kopf. The original and correct word, which is almost no longer used today, is Haupt, in the sense of the supreme or most important. Kopf, on the other hand, is an old word for cup. In the Middle Ages, a knight's helmet was jokingly referred to as a Kopf, i.e. a cup. I cannot rationally explain how it came about that we now speak of the Kopf and no longer the Haupt. Maybe a hidden language reform?

So get involved in the German language adventure, it's worth it!

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