Study German Language and Literature (in Language Schools), German Language and Literature (in Language Schools) Schools
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From the philosophical theories of Immanuel Kant and Sigmund Freud to the groundbreaking theological work of Martin Luther, some of the world’s most important works have been written in German. It is also the language of Goethe and numerous other great literary figures. In addition to all this, Germany is one of the great financial and industrial centers of the 21st century, so a wide variety of high-paying jobs are available for those well-versed in its language.
Of course, German is not only the language of Germany, but also numerous other central European countries. Switzerland and Austria are also German-speaking, and other related languages (such as Dutch, Danish, Swedish, and Norwegian) can be more easily learned once you have a basic grasp of German.
- Strong desire to travel in foreign countries, especially in Europe
- Knowledge of grammar or vocabulary in your mother language
- Passion for Germanic culture
- Love of reading
- Curiosity about other cultures and respect for their ways
Most colleges and a number of high schools offer German classes, and the study of German literature can be taken all the way to the graduate level. Most German majors, however, can find work with only a bachelor’s degree, so there’s no need to go on to graduate school unless your dream is to teach German or become a researcher on German history and literature. Most programs leading to a Bachelor’s degree in German will require a full four years of language instruction, and getting a head start in high school might be a good idea as well.
German is often taken as a double major or as part of a major/minor combination, which enables students to draw upon a combined knowledge of the language and some other area. Depending on your specific interests, the second major could be anything from engineering and business to history and philosophy. Due to the uniquely rich culture and intellectual traditions of German-speaking countries, any of these majors can lead to exciting work after graduation.
One obvious career choice for German majors is to become a translator. Books of all kinds are written in German each year, and need to be translated into English and other global languages. If you enjoy reading, writing, and thinking about the nuances of language, then this can be a particularly enjoyable line of work. Alternatively, many German majors work as interpreters in business or diplomatic settings, helping leaders from around the world understand each other. Of course, working in a German-speaking country such as Germany, Austria, or Switzerland, will require several years of study in the German language.
Those who have a passion for teaching may also decide to go into language education. This requires a few extra years of schooling (sometimes only 1, depending on the certification requirements in your state or country), but leads to an exciting job as a German instructor. These hardworking individuals work in schools and language immersion programs around the world, introducing students to the beautiful German language and its literary works.