Learn German

Learn German

“Brecht is worth learning German for “

-         Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck,Writer and  Director, ‘The Lives of Others’.

This might be a quite unusual thought nowadays – to learn a language to explore a giant of its literature – (in this case, a twentieth century one).  Of course, there are many other great German-speaking writers who can be enjoyed in the original; German-speaking philosophers and scientists, often at the vanguard of ideas and discoveries, recorded their original thoughts and findings in their own language.

What other reasons are there to learn German? Well, as we know, Germany is a huge player in the European economy. Furthermore, the combined populations of Germany and Austria, where German is also the national language, total about 90 million, meaning that it is spoken as a native language by more people than any other language in the European Union, English being spoken by only about 67 million people (the combined population of the UK and the Republic of Ireland). Along with English and French, German is also one of the ‘working languages’ of the European Union.

So you’re just as likely to want to learn German for business reasons as personal ones! Or it may be that you have forgotten much of the German you have learned at school and would like to revive it.

Alison has the rather unusual distinction of having lived in all three ‘Germanies’ of recent history: East, West and United! She spent three months studying in Leipzig in the 1980s at the same University attended by the current German leader Angela Merkel some years before.

Alison has experience of having worked in Germany for blue-chip companies such as Siemens, and has also used the language in a banking environment. She would concede that the grammar is tricky, but she would be able to guide you through it stage by stage until you find that it starts to come naturally! She also has extensive experience of teaching German in schools, up to GCSE level and beyond.

Take a look at this introductory German language video, and see how much you can work out: