The department offers four semesters of basic German language as part of the General Education requirements.
Why Study German?
Chances at the employment-market:
Knowledge of the German language improves your chances at any employment-market. Many German companies are located in foreign countries, many foreign companies are located in Germany, and many companies keep tight economic relationships with German speaking countries. These companies are always looking for employees with foreign language qualifications. There are many German companies in the Birmingham area and in Alabama, and their numbers are increasing. If someone is interested in studying or working abroad, people with German knowledge can always find interesting and challenging study- and work places anywhere within the European Union.
German knowledge is very important for many students and Scientists because the scientific publications that are written in German are ranking second place worldwide. If someone has German knowledge, he/she can read the latest scientific research results first hand. Over 40% of US-Scientists recommend their students to learn German.
If you like literature, you cannot ignore German. Every year, the German book market publishes 60,000 new books. That is about 18% of all new books worldwide. Germany ranks third place in worldwide book publication. Translations never reflect completely the original idea and cultural achievement
German – a language of culture:
Knowledge of the German language opens the door to many European cultural originals. German is the language of Goethe, Nietzsche, and Kafka, also Mozart, Bach, and Beethoven, and let’s not forget Freud and Einstein.
Self-confidence and experiencing success:
Studying and learning German is not any harder than studying and learning English, French, or Spanish. Thanks to modern communicative Teaching-Methods, it is possible to achieve a high level of communication skills after a short period of time.
Getting in business with Germans:
Germany is one of the most important trading and business partner with almost all of the European and many non-European countries. Germany is the third largest Industrial-country and one of the most important Export-countries in the world. Someone, who speaks German, has the opportunity to make connections with business partners in Germany or with business partners of Germany. Speaking German is a great advantage in economics, because negotiations through a third language can lead to misunderstandings and could cause expensive consequences.
Important Language in Europe:
If you speak German, you can communicate with around 100 Million Europeans. German is spoken not only in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, but also in Liechtenstein, Luxemburg, parts of Italy, East-Belgian, and East-France. Next to Russian, German is the most spoken language in Europe and belongs to the top 10 most spoken languages in the world.
Tourism, in and out of Germany:
Millions of tourists from all over the world are visiting Germany “the heart of Europe” every year. Whoever speaks and understands German is able to understand and learn more about the Germans, their history, and their culture.
People from Germany, Austria, and Switzerland love to travel, and they are to be considered one of the most important and largest tourist groups. To know German is a great advantage for people who work in the tourist business.