Reasons to learn German
So years back I started on this website to learn Russian, and since then I have reached relative fluency in the language! Well if C1 can be considered as such ;)
I find myself once more in need of a hobby, and am considering learning German, as my Russian is unlikely to atrophy (married a Russian and we communicate only in Russian at home and all my friends can't speak English so Russian is the only choice). That said, I have some difficulty motivating myself
One of the large draws of Russian for me was the fact that so few Russians speak English! Learning Russian opened a whole world of international friendship/relationships to me, I got to speak to people I never would have before
Well, literally every single German I have ever met has had, at a minimum, been able to speak English passably well (we always understand each other), so I can't really count much on "friendships that otherwise might not have been" to motivate me. I also don't have even a drop of German blood, so I can't even form a cultural connection. I really really like the language, it sounds fascinating, I'm just trying to find some practical application for it beyond "whelp, that was neat!"
What are your reasons for learning German? What motivates you? What doors do you expect to open?
Many years ago, I was supposed to go to England. My assignment changed enroute, and I was sent to live in Germany (4years). Small problem...I had not studied German. While there, I picked up a rudimentary understanding, but anytime I tried to speak the Germans switched to English. So, I'm here now trying to correct my mistakes, even if I am chronologically challenged.
Also, I like the shows Dark and Deutschland 83. Before I start watching the second seasons, I would like to be able to turn off the subtitles.
Watching Dark season 2 without subtitles is one of my goals too! I will probably rematch season 1 before that.
However, this is a long term goal. I doubt we will be able to achieve it by the time season 2 is on.
What are ever the reasons for learning a language? To communicate with people, past and present. And while it is true that most Germans speak English, I think the nature of relationships change when you show you are interested in learning more about them and making the effort than by forcing them to speak to you. So with that said, here are some additional reasons to learn German.
1) you can read Goethe, Hesse and many other great German authors in the original language. 2) you can listen to operas from Mozart, Wagner and many others in their original language 3) There are great original movies and TV shows from Männer, to Lola Rennt to more current offerings like Dark on Netflix that you can watch 4) If you go to Oktoberfest and are a foreigner that speaks German, someone is almost certainly going to buy you a beer. 5) You can to to a Bundesliga game and cheer for the local teams with the rest of the locals (in which case, someone will probably buy you a beer) 6) There are some people in the former East Germany that don't speak English (buy in your case Russian would probably come in equally handy). 7) If you ever needed to, it would be WAY easier to get a job in Germany if you speak German, or get a job with one of their big multinational corporations. 8) When you travel, you may run into Germans (sie reisen gerne!) and it will give you something in common 9) learning languages (any language) is good for your brain, may as well pick German 10) its fun!
I've always been fascinated by German. I love the language and the culture. I took 4 years of it in high school(many years ago) and have been on self-study for many years. I've never taken a placement test, but I would consider myself at least a B2 proficency. Learning the language has allowed me to find friends online and converse with them in German. Last summer, 2 of my German friends even visited my here in the USA!
I might live and work in Germany in the distant future.I also attend German classes in real life alongside with my German Duolingo studies.My Twin Sister is currently studying in Germany as i speak so i wanted to know the language to in case i decide to go to Germany to visit her.I have a bunch of German friends on Steam with which i would really like to converse in German instead of English.Learning a new language is fascinating as you said.I get to know German,not only English.I can get to play the smartass and say various words in German to people who don't know German,in a funny and kinda arrogant way,especially towards people whom i don't like/i won't like.That's basically it i think!Good luck to all of us.God Bless us!Tschüss Leute!
I am a German and if I make some grammar mistakes, I will apologize (because of that I'm a German).
So... even Germans cannot speak German perfectly, I don't think nobody can speak a language perfectly.
It's always something special, if someone wants to learn German. Everyone can speak English but German is a special language, because of many poets, lived in this country.
I will quote something of your text and explain whether it's wrong or right. Ok?
"Well, literally every single German I have ever met has had, at a minimum, been able to speak English passably well"
That's right on one way, I don't know which Germans you met. But in the other way, especially here in East Germany, people (older people at most) cannot speak English and hardly speaking Russian. They only can speak German, but I don't know all persons, so maybe it could be completely wrong.
I will present a bit of a correction for you. Many Germans might speak English, but most of the time they speak only German. English is an easy language, but for many German speakers (particularly those not yet at a very high level of English), German is much easier.
And, of course, knowing German would let you communicate with people from Austria and Switzerland, since they also speak German.
On top of that, there's an endangered language, Sorbian, for which the only learning materials I'm aware of are in German. I don't know how interested you are in endangered languages, but that is one of the things I'm planning on using my German for. (If you don't know what Sorbian is, look it up - it's actually really interesting.)
My two cents. :)
Volgav vitsenanieff nivya kevach varatsach.
Hi ARCANA-MVSA, I happened on this just after reading your comment
Quite a bit of German indeed, but it appears to be a very few English ressources too (more than dictionaries).
Hope you like it if you're not aware already :)
I have German heritage on my mother's side of my family and my grandfather liberated Dachau during WWII, so I've always felt somewhat connected to Germany in some way. I also felt like it sounded and looked very similar to English, so I remember thinking growing up that it would be fairly easy for me to learn it. When I learned Spanish in high school I wished that I could have been learning German instead. I absolutely love it and even speak to a native German who will speak to me in German (and gives me compliments on how well I do). :) Learning a language has helped my memory and productivity in my life so much that I can't imagine not having it be a part of my life ever again. I plan to continue learning and perfecting it for the rest of my life at this point in time.
This may be fun and relevant for your German practice http://www.spiele-kostenlos-online.de/kinderspiele/lernspiele/schulter-operation/ (just click the language to change it to German). I played though this medical game quite a few times and now know those medical terms.
In my case the motivation is easy as I have German heritage and right now can't communicate with relatives coming up on my 21andME (DNA website) as actually not all Germans do speak English though "most" do. I have not just encountered Germans who aren't also English speakers there but there was 3 Germans who did not speak English in a game team I was in in which half the team was German.
For me it is not just that which motivates me but I think knowing another language would be a good thing and is a good hobby to have and could be incorporated in life just as I use English at times in life eg anything I write in English could be done in German.
You could keep a diary in a language which no one in your household speaks for privacy of it lol.
Do you have any interest in Germany and it's people as well as the language? You could try to get a German Penpal or friend. You can look for Germans trying to learn or improve their English while you work on German and try find someone who has similar interests and hobbies as yourself at www.conversationexchange.com . Maybe finding a German friend you can relate to in some say trying to do English better would help motivate you.
One of my close friends, the other day someone invited him to go with them to an opera. Unknown to him till he went, it turned out that the opera was in German (we are in Australia). He enjoyed it still though he did not understand anything said but yeah he would of found German helpful if he knew it. One never knows when a different language will come in handy.
I also have by just coincidence in the past dated two different guys who were born in Germany though them and their families had immigrated to where I am in Australia. To one of those I had a child and his family when I used to visit, often used to talk in German between themselves and I was often left out of the conversation with no idea what was being said.
As I could not understand it, I do not know if that was purposely done eg were they talking about me at times while I was there or if they were just more comfortable in their home talking their native language (they could talk English fine). So yeah though I'm in Australia, being able to understand German would of been very handy for those couple of years we dated and due to not knowing it, at the time I was left feeling uncomfortable.
If I had known it, maybe I would of been able to have taught my daughter her father's native tongue (she does not know German). Anyway, one can see that there were missed opportunities cause I did not know the language (my daughter is adult now with no interest as far as I know in learning languages)
One never knows who you will know in future or situations you may or may not find yourself in and when knowing another language may turn out to be very useful. Knowing another language just opens up more to a person. One can take on learning another language just cause one "likes it" while thinking that maybe one day you'll be able to put it into good use in some way you can not foresee now.
Another way to motivate is to use the German for something you like eg I found some German bands I really like to listen to and it's great that I'm finally able to understand a lot of what they are singing about. The German has really opened up to me a lot more songs I can really enjoy. I would have never found these bands if I had not started to learn German.
I am learning German probably because my great grandmother was German. The second reason is I want to be able to read books about bobbin lace and embroidery written in German language. Third one - I have few 100year old books written in German and I want to be able to read them. Fourth - I hope my daughter will study it and I could help her with her studies. Fifth - there are lots of members from Germany on postcrossing.com Sending them a postcard written in their native language will be fun.
I am Canadian, and am learning German because my background is Mennonite and both sets of grandparents spoke high and low German. I never learned from them but I took German in highschool. Later on in life I lived with German roommates and so it helped bring back some German that I learned in school. Now I want to send my friends letters in German and speak with them in both English and German :)