German

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 skie 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.

Levels offered: German

Beginners (level 1 - A1 CEFR)

You have little or no prior knowledge of German.

FAST TRACK Beginners (level 1 - A1 CEFR)

You have little or no prior knowledge of German and you would like to make quick progress.

Academic Research Beginners (level 1 - Equivalent to A1 and A2+)

You have little or no prior knowledge of German and and you want to learn German for academic research purposes. This course focuses on developing reading and text interpreting skills.

Post-beginners (level 2 - A2 CEFR)

You can manage German language in basic situations using the present tense.

FAST TRACK Post-beginners (level 2 - A2 CEFR)

You can manage German language in basic situation using the present tense and you would like to make quick progress.

Academic Research Intermediate (level 3 - Equivalent to B1+)

Your language skills are equivalent to a Intermediate level and you want to improve your German for academic research purposes. This course focuses on developing reading and text interpreting skills.

Intermediate (level 3 - B1.1 CEFR)

You can read and write basic German sentences in everyday situations using past, present and future tenses.

Upper-intermediate (level 4 - B1.2 CEFR)

You can understand the main points of everyday spoken and written German and are confident in the past and future tenses.

Advanced (level 5 - B2.1 CEFR)

You can communicate in German in everyday situations using past, present and future tenses.

Post-advanced (level 6 - B2.2 CEFR)

You can understand the main points of everyday spoken and written German and are confident in the past, present and future tenses.

Not sure which level you want? Use the ELP self-assessment grid to identify your level of competence.

Start learning right now...

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 Courses 2017/18

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2017-2018 Term Dates

Classes run during the University terms and take place during evenings, afternoons and Saturdays:

Term 1: Autumn term (10 weeks)

Monday 9 October – Saturday 16 December 2017

Term 2: Spring term (10 weeks)

Monday 22 January – Saturday 31 March 2018

Term 3: Summer term (10 weeks)

Monday 30 April – Saturday 7 July 2018

Summer School (2 intensive weeks)

Monday 18 – Friday 29 June 2018

Please note Languages at Leicester courses will be running during University of Leicester Reading Weeks.