german_circled_flagGuten Tag!

German has around 100 million speakers worldwide. Outside of Germany itself, it is an official language in Switzerland, Austria, Belgium, Luxembourg and Liechtenstein. In fact it has more native speakers within the EU than any other language. Furthermore, after Russian, it is the second most spoken language in all of Europe with around 13-14% of the total population (significantly above English and French, respectively, and with upwards of an estimated 30% able to speak it as a second or third language).

Germany and Austria have produced some of the world's most noteworthy philosophers, scientists, writers and composers: from Hegel to Haydn, Bach to Brecht, Goethe to Gauss, Mozart to Marx. All of these notable creative spirits produced work which is best read in its original form. Equally, from the Hanoverian Succession to Mary Shelley's gothic Frankenstein, their culture has had an impact on the fashioning of British society in more than one way. And there are lots of reasons to visit Germany, from Götterdämmerung at Bayreuth to Zwei Bier bitte! at the Oktoberfest.

At the same time, why not ski in German Switzerland or spend time in culturally significant Vienna- the capital of classical music and the epicentre of both the later Holy Roman Emperors and the Imperial Habsburgs? Being able to "sprechen ein wenig Deutsch" (speak a little German) would go a long way to making any excursion to Central Europe all the more worthwhile.

We will have a timetable of German courses available at the of August 2020.

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Greeting: "Wie geht es dir?" (How are you? - casual)

Counting: eins, zwei, drei, vier, fünf...

Useful phrase: "Noch ein Bier bitte!" ("Another beer please!")

Interesting points: An Umlaut changes pronunciation and meaning. The German alphabet has 30 letters. Yes, the dots on the ä, ö, ü letters are actually important! Any German speaker has trouble not to pronounce Motörhead just like it's written (which is very different from how it's supposed to be spoken in English). The concept of the Metal umlaut that is intended to not actually be pronounced but simply 'look threatening' is illogical to native German speakers.

The same goes in the other direction. Uber is not a German word. Its pronunciation is very different from über. German is not French where accents on capitalized letters are often seen as optional. Umlauts are different letters and hence, not voluntary. Which makes McDonalds choice to scrap marketing the Big Mac as "Big Mäc" in Germany from 2007 all the more bizarre.

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images: Wikipedia

NEW ONLINE Courses Summer 2020

We are offering new ONLINE courses during the summer term.


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