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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.

Latest News

German Film Event - Friday 10 May, 4.30pm, Winstanley Lecture Hall, Trinity College

10 May 2019

'Media Archaeology, Found Footage, and Family Memory: "The Sun Island"' (lecture, screening, and Q&A) - Professor Thomas Elsaesser (University of Amsterdam/Columbia University)

Launch of Digital Schnitzler Edition marked by first public performance in UL

3 May 2019

The launch of the major new digital edition of works by Arthur Schnitzler was marked by the first ever public performance at Cambridge University Library on 25 April.

"You say you want a revolution?" - The Schröder and DAAD Hub Lecture

3 May 2019

Tickets are now available for the Schröder and DAAD Hub Lecture, to be held on Friday 3 May 2019 at Frankopan Hall, Jesus College West Court

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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