German_CaligariWhatever your interests, knowledge of German can expand your opportunities.  German is a global language, spoken by one hundred million people throughout the world.  When you know German, you can read German literature, enjoy German films, and follow current events in German-speaking Europe.   You can pursue research and employment opportunities with the many German, Austrian, and Swiss companies that have operations in North America (for a list of German firms located in Alabama, visit  Or you can venture abroad and live and work in German-speaking Europe. The ability to communicate in German will help you take advantage of these many possibilities.

If you are interested in taking German courses at UAB, pursuing a minor in German, or have other questions about German, please contact Erika Hille Rinker at 205-934-4652 or via email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

If you are interested in studying abroad in Germany, Austria, or Switzerland, please contact the UAB Office for Study Away, Heritage Hall Building 521, (205) 975-6611, or visit

For the German conversation table, click here.

Why Study German?

10 good reasons for learning German other than Bier, Mercedes, Autobahn...

1. An important language for communication in Europe and the World

Anyone who can speak German can easily communicate with around 100 million people in their own language for German is not only spoken in Germany but also in Austria, in large parts of Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg as well as areas of Northern Italy, Eastern Belgium and Eastern France. Alongside Russian, German is the most frequently spoken native language in Europe and is one of the ten most frequently spoken languages in the World.

2. Reading original material

Anyone interested in literature cannot avoid German. Over 60,000 new books are published in Germany each year, equivalent to 18% of books published world-wide, making German the third largest publisher of books in the world. Translations can never fully reproduce the cultural depth of German literature.

3. Doing business with Germans

German is the most important trading partner for almost all European and many non-European countries. The ability to speak German improves business relationships with partners in the third largest industrial nation and one of the most important exporting countries in the world. A knowledge of German is a big advantage in business, as negotiations in a third language can easily lead to misunderstandings with costly consequences.

4. Experiencing success

Learning and speaking German is no harder than English, French or Spanish. Thanks to modern communicative teaching methods it is possible to achieve a high level of communication skills in a very short time.

5. Advantages for tourism

In many countries visitors from Germany, Austria and Switzerland make up the largest and most important tourist groups. A knowledge of German is therefore a great advantage for many people working in the tourist industry.

6. Opportunities on the job market

A knowledge of German improves your chances on the job market. Many German companies abroad, many foreign companies in Germany and companies with close business connections with the German speaking countries all look to recruit workers with language qualifications. Within the European Union it is not only specialists but also students and scientists with a knowledge of German who can find many interesting training, study and job opportunities.

7. German prepares you for Europe

A knowledge of foreign languages always broadens both your intellectual and professional horizons. Those who learn German gain access to an important intellectual, economic and culturally historic area of central Europe.

8. Scientific progress

A knowledge of German is very important for scientists and students as German is in second place in field of scientific publications. If you can read German, you have access to a whole world of research findings in all areas of modern science. This is why 40% of Scientists in the USA recommend their students to learn German. In Poland and Hungary the figure is over 70%.

9. Experience Germany in more depth

Each year millions of tourists from all over the world visit Germany which lies in the 'heart of Europe'. Being able to speak and understand German means you to get to know the Germans better and gain a deeper insight into their history and culture.

10. German, language of culture

A knowledge of German opens the door to the birthplace of one of the greatest cultures in Europe, for German is the language of Brecht, Goethe, Nietzsche and Kafka, Mozart, Bach and Beethoven, Freud and Einstein.

We are indebted to the Goethe-Institut, a government-sponsored institution for the global dissemination of german language and culture with centers all over the world, for the compilation of reasons to learn German. If you want to learn more about the Goethe-Institut and the resources its local dependences offer, click on the following link: GOETHE-INSTITUT.