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Why learn German?

Speakers of German are the largest linguistic group in the European Union and have played a central role in European history and culture for nearly two thousand years. Germany's geographical position has made it a natural mediator between east and west, north and south. In the periods of Reformation, and of Romanticism and Modernism, the German lands saw the birth of literary, artistic, theological, philosophical and musical movements which continue to shape the world we live in today. German writers such as Goethe, the brothers Grimm, Thomas Mann, Brecht or Grass and thinkers such as Luther, Kant, Marx, Nietzsche and Freud rank among the most important writers and thinkers of the West.

German remains an important language in the twenty-first century. Germany has the third largest economy in the world and is the world's most successful exporting nation. Roughly 10% of all books published worldwide are written in German and there are more than twice as many German websites (.de) as British (.uk). German is spoken by over 100 million people in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

Read more from the Goethe-Institut here.

AND read how a researcher at Cambridge University has shown that Germany is the happiest country in the world

AND according to an international study, Germany has overtaken the US in 2014 as the world's best nation and the most popular country.

Applying to Cambridge

Information for prospective applicants thinking of studying German at Cambridge.

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Cambridge Online German for Schools

Cambridge Online German for Schools (COGS) is a core element of the Cambridge German Network

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Latest News

The Poetics of Personhood - Conference on 22 September

22 September 2017

Dr Michael Minden & Dr Annja Neumann from the Department of German & Dutch, together with Prof Leonard Olschner from QMUL are organising a one-day conference at Magdalene College.

Alfred Döblin Conference in Cambridge 18-20 September 2017

18 September 2017

Prof David Midgley, Dr Martin Ruehl from the Department of German and Dutch and Dr Steffan Davies from the University of Bristol are organising the 21. Alfred Döblin-Kolloquium here in Cambridge, at St John's college.

Prof Joachim Whaley opened exhibition in Schloss Friedenstein in Gotha, Thüringen

11 August 2017

On 5 August 2017 Professor Joachim Whaley opened the latest exhibition in Schloss Friedenstein in Gotha, Thüringen with a lecture on the Duchess Luise Dorothea von Sachsen-Gotha-Altenburg.