Better German Podcast with Susi

Susanne Schilk-Blümel

Episode 2 Reasons to Learn German

Why Would You Learn German?

2023-09-14 21 min

Description & Show Notes

In this episode of the Better German podcast, host Susi discusses the reasons why learning German is beneficial. Susi emphasizes the importance of learning German for individuals living in German-speaking countries, as it allows for better integration into the local community and enhances communication with natives. She also highlights the advantages of speaking German when dealing with official matters and navigating legal systems. Additionally, Susi emphasizes the benefits of learning German for travelers, as it opens up new opportunities for exploration and deeper cultural understanding. Furthermore, she explains the career advantages of speaking German, both in terms of job prospects and the potential for bilingual positions. Lastly, Susi mentions the importance of learning German for individuals planning to study in Austria. Overall, this episode provides compelling reasons to learn German for personal, professional, and academic growth. Download the worksheet for this episode here

In this episode of the Better German podcast, host Susi discusses the reasons why learning German is beneficial. She emphasizes that while living in a German-speaking country may seem like an obvious reason, there are other factors to consider. Speaking German enables deeper communication with locals, enhances cultural experiences, and improves job prospects, especially in Austria where bilingual positions are available. Additionally, learning German opens up opportunities for travel and studying in Austria. Susi highlights the importance of language proficiency for navigating official matters and advises starting language learning early for university studies. Overall, this episode provides valuable insights into the advantages of learning German

00:46 Why you should learn German: 7 reasons
05:27 Official business in Germany requires speaking German.
07:49 Knowing German enhances travel experience in Austria.
12:31 Learn German for better job prospects in Austria.
16:09 Take a different approach to learning German.
17:44 Learn German with purpose, not just for exams.

- All Freebies for the Podcast

Here you can get early access to the upcoming A1.1 (total beginner) German course.
I hope you enjoyed this episode. If you did, please subscribe and share the podcast.
I would love to stay in touch, so for news, new courses and books, subscribe to my newsletter.
Do let me know, which subjects you would like covered!
And watch out for the next episode - I publish a new one every Thursday.


Welcome to the Better German podcast. My name is Susi Blümel, and I will teach you German and everything around the language , the countries and the culture. Welcome to the Better German podcast. I'm going to introduce myself just a little bit because the podcast is very new, this is one of the first episodes. I'm a German teacher. I have been teaching German for almost 17 years now, and I have decided that I want to help more people than those students that I have been working with directly so far. So one of the things that I am starting in order to do that is this podcast. So let's jump into this topic or into this episode. I'm going to talk in this episode about why learning German. I've decided that should be one of the first episodes because, maybe you're looking at learning German or not, then I'm going to give you some reasons why you should learn German. I'm – more towards the end – also going to talk about why not learn German or more what is not a good enough reason to learn German, or maybe even, how are you not going to learn German. But let's start with reasons to learn German. Probably most of my students, so far learn German because they live in a German speaking country. If you are living in a German speaking country, and don't speak German then that's probably the first obvious reason, but it's not that obvious because, I'm located in Vienna, Austria. Which is one of the three main German speaking countries, but a smaller one. Austria only has 9 million people actually, Germany has many more than that. But still particularly in Vienna, there is a lot, there's actually quite a big English speaking community, that does not necessarily speak German. Most of them, or maybe you are one of them. are working for companies, whose conversational language is English. And they maybe don't require their employees or not all of their employees to speak German. Or of course Vienna is a university town. So we have somewhere around 250,000 students. Maybe I'm not 100% correct. This could be a pre-corona number, but I'm pretty sure it's in that area. And, not all of them speak German. I'm going to go a little bit later, more into that, how that is even possible. However, still I want to say living in Austria or planning to live in Austria, particularly if you want to stay here for long a time. Or in Germany, I'm pretty sure it's the same thing. Is even if you have a job right now, that allows you to work and you do not need German right away. I highly suggest you to learn German for various reason. First of all, the international community in Austria is quite big or Vienna, particularly. is quite big and, you maybe have the feeling of never needing to speak German. Maybe there's even a community that speaks. another language, that could also be the case, of course. However, I think you will be able to enrich your experience a lot, when you speak German, there is a lot of people, in Austria that speak English quite good. But still, you can communicate to them on a level, on a different level. If you speak the language. it could happen. For example, if you go out with friends or if you have a group of friends that speak, English, still they could speak German with each other. Maybe they will try to be friendly, but it's still going to be communication on the different levels. So I would definitely say if you, learn to speak German, it will, allow you to communicate with, Austrians or other people that live in Australia and speak German natively on a different level. I also think, overall Austria is relatively friendly. to foreigners, but of course, like anywhere in the world unfortunately, there are people that are not as happy, as other people, with people coming from other cultures, and in my experience, this is. linked very much to language. And it makes sense because if you can communicate with people in their language, It generally immediately increases. how much they like you. So that could be another reason. Austria's main language or official language is German. There is, in theory, exceptions to that, in certain areas of the country, there are minority languages. For example creation that our official languages. But this is only in certain parts and English is not one of them. When you need or want to deal with anything official, it is always very well advised or much better and much easier for you, if you speak German. Of course there are lawyers and, agencies that speak English. But even if you're lucky and you meet a person , an official That speaks English and whose English is good enough and who's willing to talk to you in English, it could get them into trouble because all of the legal texts, like the laws and stuff like that are in German. So if they advise you in English and they tell you something wrong because of their English not being perfect, then they're possibly going to get in trouble. Anyway, if you're lucky, you will find somebody that will help you that, and whose English is good enough. But you're much more independent and it's much easier for you if you actually speak the language and if you speak German. Another reason, to learn German obviously is if you want to travel and if you, maybe you don't even live in Austria or in a German speaking country, and you don't have any plans to. But you want to visit, these areas. All, literally all German speaking countries, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Luxembourg, have beautiful, scenery, beautiful landscape, beautiful cities. So they are definitely worth visiting. And, just even just a little bit of German, or an intermediate level of German will get you a long way. However I'm telling you, particularly when you're in the countryside, we have quite a lot of dialects, German dialects, and they're challenging, but still, learning some German will help you a lot if you are traveling. And if you like these areas, if you like cities, if you like city- hopping, or if you like maybe hiking, then that could be a very interesting thing or skiing. Skiing in Austria is a great thing. Even though in, in very touristy areas, people will speak English very well, most likely. However, if you speak a German, this can open a whole new range of places, you can go that you probably wouldn't go. if English was the only language you were speaking. What else do we have? I think, you will never get the real flavour of these places, if you don't understand any German. But I think we've covered that already. If you are in Austria, let's say maybe you have a job. And, even if you don't need to speak German, for your current job, I highly advise you to learn German anyway. anyway. I have seen this in students or people that I've met or read about in forums and groups, that came here on jobs where they didn't have to learn German, but then at some point, decided to change their job or wanted to change their jobs or, were unlucky and lost their jobs. And then it was maybe challenging, more challenging to find a new job. When you don't speak German. Or let's put it the other way. You have a bigger possibility of jobs you can get, even if you have already been in Austria and have work experience here, if your German is good. For working in Austria, obviously your German should be actually very good. If you are very good in German, it even opens a whole new range of jobs that you couldn't get otherwise. Jobs where you specifically need to be bilingual. For example, to work or have it job in a company, an Austrian company, that makes business with English speaking countries, for example. There is another very specific reason, why you could learn German – if you want to study in Austria. As I mentioned before, Austria is a university study. city. We have about 250,000 students. The student fees, even for foreign students, are relatively low compared to many other countries. And if you want to study – start with the bachelor – there is hardly any bachelor studies that are offered only in English. If you want to study a bachelor, it's a good idea to learn German. And it's a good idea to start learning German way earlier than that. Because in order to study at the university, you need a very high level, specifically a C1 level. That's very high level of language skill. There is another episode coming up, one of the next episodes, that is explaining the different levels of language certificates that exist. It's not only for German, but I'm doing this particularly about German. Just so you're not in the total mystery, in case you've never heard that before: A1 is the easiest level. That's the first level you will get when you start learning a language and it would be the equivalent of being able to speak in very short sentences about your immediate environment and it goes A1, A2, B1, B2, C1, C2. And C2 is the highest level that would be basically equivalent to a well-educated native speaker. So anyway, so if you want to study in Austria, And, you want to study a bachelor it's, among other things that you need to apply for. It's mandatory, that you have a C1 certificate. You usually can you even do that in Austria. However, as I said, it's not a walk in the park. It's quite a lot of learning that needs to go into that. However, if you then have it, obviously you have a great experience because you studied in a different country and you learned an additional language on top of whatever else you study. Maybe you already did a bachelor and you want to do a master. There are quite a lot of master degrees in Austria you can do, where you actually technically do not have to speak German, because they're delivered in English. However, in that case, that is an entirely different reason why you should learn German. I highly recommend it (learning German). If you will do that, and you came here the master degree usually takes two years – that you immediately also start learning German. If you just stay here and then you want to go back to your country and you're not interested in learning German, okay, fine. But if you are interested in staying in Austria or another German speaking area, again, the likeliness of getting a job is much higher, if you speak German. Yeah, I think the number one reason that I see – this is not an official poll – but the number one reason that I see, the reason that people give, why they're having trouble finding a job in Austria, if they're looking for one and they're English speaking, or maybe English as a second language speaking and not German speaking is the fact that they are not speaking German. So if we look at that from a more positive point of view, when you learn German or when you speak German, your chances are extremely higher. And then I want to mention an obvious thing and that's starting us into the point of, what's not a good reason to learn German is, this may sound interesting at this point in time, but if you want to get certain visas in Austria, you also need to have our show certain levels of German. For example, if, someone marries and Austrian. And he's not European union member. Then he needs to speak is to get an, a first and A1 and then an A2. Exam. Meaning a certain level of German exam. And if you want to get the citizenship in many cases, you also need to prove your German level. That being said, I want to say something that I have experienced a lot. There is many, learners of German. That I have met or communicated with or, I've read their questions, that are very interested in passing certain Germany exams. And this is understandable. Particularly because sometimes, as I said, it's mandatory. However. I highly advise all of my students not to learn to pass an exam. Because what happens? I've seen it. I've seen it many times and I have students that, did learn to pass the exam. Whichever exam it was and they passed the exam. And, then they don't know German. And I think that's very sad because they put work into it. And maybe you've experienced that from your own school time, or maybe you have even, had the same thing that you like you learned and, for A1 or A2 or whatever, German, certain German level exam. And. You learned and maybe you worked hard. And then you were disappointed. Maybe, maybe you passed, I hope that you passed your exam, but still. Maybe there was even a point where you had experienced some disappointment because you weren't actually able to speak German. After that, or communicate in German. So I highly, I like I advise you or suggest to you, to maybe look at the different approach when you learn, even if you have to do an exam. Don't look at – don't ever ask the question when you learn a certain thing, "okay, is this gonna come to the exam? How am I remembering this for the exam?" But take another approach. Take the approach of like, how can I apply this? How can I use this? Is this something I'm going to be able to use to communicate with someone. Very important: I think for you in order to do that is for you to have some reason or motivation why you want to learn German, whatever that is. I gave you some very general possibilities, but maybe you have more personal ones, whatever it is for you, why you want to learn German? This could be: "I've always wanted to, visit Vienna. And when I visit Vienna, I want to have the full experience and be able to talk to everyone." Or maybe there is a girl or a guy that you like, and you would like to talk to them in German or, you want to get a good job. But in any way, keep in mind German is a language. Obviously. And whenever you learn German. Look at the thing, "Is this going to help me?" Or "how can this help me in achieving this purpose that I want to communicate with people in this language?" And never try never to just learn for an exam, even if you have to pass an exam, we've probably all been there. I've also been in the situation when I had to pass a certain test. But still I was trying to always keep my own learning discipline in, to not just try to learn things verbatim for the task to learn things, to pass a test, but really always look at, okay, good. How am I going to apply this? This looks as if it maybe takes longer to do that, but on the other hand, Hey, when you're already spending time to learn, you might as well actually learn. Learn in the sense of get something out of it and achieve something. In closing, I invite you to, first of all, when you attempt or start to learn German, really for yourself? Define what is your purpose? Why do you want to learn it? This is probably true for anything, not just German. For any language, for anything you learn, but particularly when you want to learn German, Never just learn for an exam! And. Let me know how you're doing with this. Let me know. Is this a point for you? Are you lacking motivation? It could be, that maybe you tried, to learn, and you hand your motivation fully in place. And then you hit a wall. So if that's the case. I'd be very happy if you subscribe to this podcast. Stay tuned with me. I'm going to go into exactly those things as well. What could have kept you from learning? But this is a point to start with. And let me know if there is something you can do with this. Thank you for listening to this episode. You can find a transcript of this episode at www. bettergerman. info and slash and then the number of the episode. You can also sign up for a newsletter there and then you will be informed when there is a new episode coming or any other important events going on, new articles, new freebies or... things like that. If you liked it and, it was helpful for you, please share it with other people and let them know that this exists. And if you are looking for a course and you want to learn German online, then you can, of course, find all the infos as well on www. bettergerman. info. So, see you there and see you in the next episode. Bye bye!


Do you like the podcast and would like to say something? Do you have questions or tipps about the subject? We are happy to hear from you.

By clicking on "Send message", you agree that we are allowed to process your contact information for the sole purpose of responding to your inquiry. The form processing is handled by our Podcast Hoster You can find more information on their Privacy page.


Do you like this Show?
Give us five stars on Apple Podcasts