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

The China Post - - ARTS - BY DIM­ITRI BRUYAS

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.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Taiwan

© PressReader. All rights reserved.