Learning German as a foreign language
Whether you want to enjoy the literature, music, art and philosophy of Germany or simply look for opportunities to study and work there in the future, learning the German language is the key to increase all options
Günter Grass, Nobelwinning German novelist, died yesterday at the age of 87, in the German city of Lübeck. Best known for his first novel, “The Tin Drum” (1959), on which he founded the international reputation that brought him the Nobel Prize for literature 40 years later, the novelist, poet, playwright, illustrator, graphic artist and sculptor was widely regarded as Germany’s most famous cultural ambassador.
Among other highlights, he wrote dramas, poems and especially fiction, among them “Cat and Mouse” and “Dog Years,” which together with “The Tin Drum” were part of his famous “Gdansk Trilogy. According to German author and critic Uwe Tellamp, he is “one of the strongest narrative powers in German literature.”
With this observation in mind, we can assume that the literary works of Günter Grass, as well as many others, have helped support the growing interest in German culture in Europe and around the world . Today, the German language is the most spoken native language in the European Union (EU). It is the official language spoken in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Belgium, Luxembourg and Liechtenstein as well as in Italy’s South Tyrol, and an important minority language in Denmark, France, Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania and Slovakia.
Around the world, German is also the third most taught foreign language, and the second most popular in the EU and Japan. But, where can you learn the language in Taiwan? The Goethe-Institut Taipei is a good start. The school is a non-profit German cultural association that is part of an operational worldwide network of 159 institutes that promote the study of the German language abroad and encourage international cultural exchange and relations.
If you want to study in Germany in the future, it is a good idea to learn German as a foreign language at the Goethe-Institut Taipei, where you can either prepare for the “German Language Test for Admission to University for International Applicants” (DSH, Deutsche Sprachprüfung für den Hochschulzugang ausländischer Studienbewerber) or the “German as a Foreign Language Test” (TestDaF). The former is offered by a large number of universities in Germany, while the latter can be completed in Taiwan as well as over 90 countries around the world.
The Goethe-Institut Taipei helps you achieve a proficiency level that will allow you to gain an adequate knowledge of German for university. “This will remain a significant asset for your future when you enter the job market,” Dr. Clemens Treter, director of the Goethe-Institut Taipei, told The China Post.
The significance of Germany on the international stage is certainly greater than just its GDP would indicate. The country’s automobile, engineering, chemical, pharmaceutical and high-end appliance firms are internationally known, as is its leadership in design, sustainable development and information technology. In the world of sport, Germanspeakers figure prominently, and in soccer, the country has few rivals.
Thanks to these areas of accomplishment, Dr. Treter points out that knowledge of the German language can help you acquire a new range of skills that can improve the quality of both your work and private life. “With our network of Goethe-Instituts, we have been the first point of contact for many with Germany for over sixty years,” he said.
The Goethe-Institut Taipei provides a library, as well as exam and learning classes that not only grant you access to rich literary, philosophical and artistic traditions but also to many other kinds of contem- porary cultural, economic, political and scientific developments. “Our cultural and educational programs encourage intercultural dialogue and enable cultural involvement,” he went on. “They strengthen the development of structures in civil society and foster worldwide mobility.”
According to the World Reputation Ranking published last month by British magazine Times Higher Education, Germany is among the top three countries worldwide for higher education, with three German universities ranked in the top 50 and another three in the top 100. Compared to other universities around the world, German universities have accepted an increasing number of foreign students and researchers, turning the country into the most important non-Eng- lish-speaking host country in the world.
These rankings confirm a positive trend, which the latest higher education statistics substantiate. According to the German Federal Statistical Office, some 320,000 foreign students enrolled at German universities in the winter semester in 2014, a six-percent increase from the previous year. As the German federal government plans to increase the number of foreign students to 350,000 by 2020, it is clear that Taiwanese students will consider existing higher education rankings when choosing universities in the future.
The Goethe-Institut Taipei provides exam and learning classes that encourage intercultural dialogue and enable cultural involvement.