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https://www.duolingo.com/AureliaUK

The History of German as a Foreign Language in Europe

AureliaUK
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Abstract: This article provides the first overview in English of how German has been taught and learned in Europe up to about 1800: who were the learners of German, where in Europe was German learnt, for what purposes was it learnt, and what do we know about how it was learnt? It also gives a brief overview of the current state of research, and gives three case studies of the history of German as a Foreign Language (GFL) in three different language areas: Italy, Bohemia, and Russia.

This is an academic article but may be of interest to some here.

http://www.medievalists.net/2015/12/06/the-history-of-german-as-a-foreign-language-in-europe/?utm_content=buffer637ad_medium=social_source=twitter.com_campaign=buffer

2 years ago

15 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Krazy.Kat
Krazy.Kat
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Wow! I wish it mentioned the role of Luxembourg (minimal, but awesome[because it involves Luxembourg‼☺])

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Eikoopmit

I read somewhere that after WWII practically nobody in America or the UK learned German as a second language, and that the language still has a bad reputation in the English-speaking world even seventy years later, although, due to the extremely successful German economy, it's starting to make a comeback.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/nate1016
nate1016
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That's true, thats why for a long time in the UK, a hamburger, which is German was called salisbury steak. The British royal family even changed their name from the original German, to Windsor.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Eikoopmit

Oh wow, I didn't know that Germanophobia was that strong. Then again, it must've been pretty strong if it still exists disproportionately to other forms of racism to this day.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/nate1016
nate1016
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Haha, yes it was very strong. The royal family practically disowned their heritage.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Eikoopmit

Oh wow, I just did some further reading, and apparently German Shepherds were outlawed in the UK or something of the sort. That's just simply quite a ridiculous thing to do.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/guyhoschke

They were given the alternative name of 'Alsatians'.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Luscinda
Luscinda
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Cobblers.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Robinine
Robinine
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Germanophobia was very strong, especially during times when we were at war.

I have an Austrian in the family tree who immigrated to Wales, when he signed up for military service he was assigned a "friend" to watch him in case he was a German spy. He didn't know his best friend was spying on him until they completed their service. When he married he even took his wife's name to avoid problems.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AureliaUK
AureliaUK
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German has never been very widely taught in the UK schools system - at least in the state education sector. Historically the first language taught has always been French, and almost all schools have taught it from the age of 11.

In the post-war period, secondary education in the UK was split at age 11 by the 11+ (Eleven Plus) exam, in which the successful went to grammar schools and those who weren't went to secondary modern schools. Grammar schools were the academic track and aimed to send pupils to university in due course. Secondary moderns were essentially non-academic and more focused on vocational skills and education.

Over the course of about 10 years, from c1965 to c1975, the split secondary system was replaced by a single "comprehensive" system.

Put simply: all secondary schools have offered French. Grammar schools used to offer Latin as the second language, compulsory for at least a few years. German was usually the third offering. Secondary moderns generally did not offer a second language as it was thought too academic/difficult for such schools' intake of pupils.

In the comprehensive era, we have tended to see schools offering Spanish as a second language after French as it is generally regarded as a relatively easy option compared to German.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Robinine
Robinine
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From personal experience, French was compulsory in my secondary school for years 7-9, then we could choose to continue on with French for our GSCE's or get a half GCSE with the second option; Spanish for my year but I know the year above mine had German because I had been looking forward to it and was bitterly disappointed when they changed it to Spanish.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/bookrabbit
bookrabbit
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German was taught as a second foreign language at my comprehensive, but only as an option. It was that or Biology at O level. I chose Biology, but I would have liked to do both. French was compulsory. Latin was not offered at all, nor was Spanish.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/notdeadluna
notdeadluna
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Anti-German sentiment was strong in Russia during WW1. Tsaritsa Alexandra was German and a lot of people thought she and Rasputin were German spies. The government also renamed St. Petersburg to Petrograd because St. Petersburg sounded too German.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/buck72
buck72
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That was a fascinating article, I enjoyed reading it. Thank you. A Lingot for you.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/HowieJosh8

Can you tell me whether (quoting early text of article) "linguistic borders to other countries" is a typo for "linguistic borders with other countries", or if it is some technical or obscure meaning?

2 years ago