The decision to learn German was the simplest yet most life changing one yet. It was the Austrian TV series Kommissar Rex that first made me fall in love with the language. Perhaps it was the attractiveness of the big city Vienna and Berlin that I couldn’t resist, but there was something about the language and culture that made me feel at home. My language journey really began at 14 as I picked up the German in 15 Minutes a Day from my local library and never looked back. Seven years ago I had a dream of moving to Berlin. I listened and watched anything and everything German I could find and imagined I was already a native speaker and could eloquently express myself with ease. From Deichkind to Peter Fox, Türkisch für Anfänger and Cro – these were my first resources on my language journey which then lead to meeting more and more Germans.
In grade ten I was the first student to be studying three languages as I stepped into my first “real” German class.
The more my language skills improved, the more international my network grew and I became German. According to everyone I meet, I might as well be a native. You would not believe the amount of times I have been met with shocked faces to my reply of where I am from and that I simply “learned” German to a native level in less than 5 years. For all they know, I might as well have grown up here.
After returning to Australia after my year abroad in Mannheim, I had completed my German major and with that my Bachelor of Arts; but something was still missing. My heart and my life was still in Germany, though I wasn’t there. Going back to Adelaide was exactly that – going back into the past. The newer, wiser, better-travelled and more developed version of me now resided in Germany.
When I learned those first few words, at the time I had no idea that this one simple step would entirely change my life and lead me to meet my future life partner, study law at the best business University in, open up unique travel opportunities and lead me to start my own business as a professional German teacher.
So here we are in 2017. I now work as a professional German teacher and content producer. In less than 6 weeks I am moving to my dream city, Berlin, with the love of my life. This is exactly what learning German can bring you.
What else moved me to learn German was the beautiful culture and extended enjoyment I had of literature, music, art and philosophy. Having studied famous German authors such as Goethe and Schiller, I was able to understand and enjoy reading my favorite books, visiting historical sites from an entirely new perspective. German is the language of philosophy and science and regardless of whether this lies within your field of passion or not, knowing German will improve your overall understanding of the world and give you a new insight and perspective. Having read certain texts translated into both languages, there exist words like Fremdschämen, Feierabend or Waldeinsamkeit that require at least a sentence or two to be understood in English, which just doesn’t give it the same flair.
So whatever your future plans may be, learning German will double the number of career opportunities for you. Being the most widely spoken language in Europe after English, there is a huge opportunity to work internationally, obtain a job in not only Germany, which has the third largest economy in Europe but other countries like Austria, Belgium, Switzerland … which equals more €€€ and a strong amount of new business opportunities.