The world is finally opening up! Even saying it out loud makes it seem so surreal. In these 2 years, our norms, language, social etiquette and outlook on life have significantly changed; however, if there was one thing that didn’t change in Singaporeans, their love for learning and picking up new things along the way.
According to Duolingo’s 2021 world report, there was a record growth of new learners who started studying a language during the pandemic, whether to keep up with schoolwork or connect with people worldwide. And the top 10 languages studied worldwide (in order): English, Spanish, French, German, Japanese, Italian, Korean, Chinese, Russian, Portuguese. So many options and unsure which is your perfect fit and the trendiest language to learn? Hands down, it’s the German language.
But why? Well, we whipped up a fun list for you to know why is the German language is the trendiest to learn in Singapore!
1. The grammar is so much easier to understand!
We are sure you have seen the hundreds of thousands of memes of how even a simple order in German sounds like you’re about to obliterate the person. As funny as it is, it is truly not as harsh sounding as one might imagine.
German has a reputation for being a complex language to learn. But this is arguably unearned! Its reputation precedes it, and knowing German is quite overwhelming with the long compound words and deep tones. But there are plenty of reasons to stick at it!
Here are some reasons why learning German might be easier than you think:
- German is a phonetic language
- German only has one present tense
- All nouns are capitalised
- Compound words make guessing new words easier
2. It is a very literal language!
There are many nouns in the German language that have very literal meanings. Their pattern is that they are made up of two or more separate words to form a new word. These are called compound nouns. Some examples are:
- Lighter: Feuerzeug (fire thing)
- Car: Fahrzeug (driving thing)
- Aeroplane: Flugzeug (flying thing)
- Das Abendrot: Sunset (more precisely: the red sky just after sunset). Literal translation: The evening red.
- Die Gehirnerschütterung: Concussion. Literal translation: The head tremor.
These literal words are helpful when learning German. Sometimes, you might not know the actual term for concussion in German, but you might recognise the words Gehirn (head) and Erschütterung (shake/tremor) in some form. So, if you saw or heard the word Gehirnerschütterung, you might be able to guess that this ‘head tremor’ they’re on about is, in fact, concussion. Pretty clever, huh?
3. A language of respect.
As Asians who speak our mother tongue daily, we use respectful terms to refer to people of different social standing and elders. When we speak in English, we tend to omit that since we do not have a specific term to refer to our elders, and it might come off as rude to some people. Fret not because that’s not the case with the German language.
Like many European languages, German offers its users a choice of two singular forms of “you” — the formal Sie or the informal du. Yet unlike some of its European neighbours, whose languages also have two forms of the second person forms of address. As with many things German, there are some hard-and-fast rules to govern when one should use which form of speech, and it is reasonably straightforward. In a private situation, it’s the age that counts and at social events, for example, it would be considered impertinent for a 30-year-old to address somebody 20 years senior using du.
The fact that the use of a formal address is still so widespread across Germany is testimony to a belief that it is a good way of showing respect and defining barriers and relationships and can be particularly beneficial in the workplace if you are looking to pursue a career in German-speaking countries.
How about mastery? Trend aside, how will I be able to acquire the language properly?
As with every language, there is a learning curve and challenges in language acquisition. It is relatively easy for an English speaker to learn the German language as they share approximately 60% of the vocabulary as both are Germanic languages.
However, it takes a learner approximately 200 guided hours of study to go from one CEFR level to the next.
With each level comes a new set of difficulties, meaning that the more advanced a learner is, the longer it takes them to reach the next level. By studying independently, some people may achieve a minimal grasp or conversational level of German but if complete mastery over the language is your aim, look no further than Learn German Singapore. With decades of experience and native German teachers, we provide you with the best of the best German language lessons. Talk with us at learngerman.com.sg and get in touch with us now!