Why learn German?
5. Germans are the biggest spenders of tourist dollars in the world.
Over half a million Germans
visit Florida each year.
While German workers are highly productive, it is clear that they know how to play just as hard as they work. With ample disposable income and an average of 6 weeks of vacation a year, Germans have the time and the means to travel, ... and they do! If you are a world traveler, you are certain to encounter Germans wherever you go since nearly 3 out of every 4 vacations by Germans are spent in other countries. In 2007, they spent a record 91 billion euros on international travel. Year after year, the residents of Germany spend more on foreign travel than those of any other nation.
Germans especially favor travel to warm Mediterranean climates,
such as can be found in Spain, Italy, Turkey, and Greece, and travel
to Eastern European countries is increasing in popularity. Germans
also readily travel to Africa, the Far East, and the Americas.
1.2 million German tourists visited the U.S. in 2003, making
Germans the third largest nationality of tourists to the United
States (after the British and Japanese). The most popular U.S. destinations
are California, Florida, and New York. Travel agencies, tour companies,
hotels, airlines, and car rental agencies that can communicate with
Germans in their own language will win their business. Floridians
know this: In that state there are at least two travel magazines
published in German: Florida Journal and Florida Sun Magazin.
6. The German presence on the Internet supercedes most others.
Considering what great innovators the Germans are, it's not at
all surprising that they maintain a dominant Internet presence.
With 8 million Internet domains, Germany's top-level country domain
.de is second only to the extension .com. That makes German domain
names even more popular than those with .net, .org, .info, and .biz
extensions. Even the second-place country extension .uk trails far
behind at 3.7 million domain names.
7. Germans form the largest single heritage group in the U.S.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau
The light blue areas on the map represent the states in which German ancestry ranks ahead of all other ethnic groups.
See the county-by-county breakdown for a more accurate distribution.
If you're American or are interested in American culture, learning German can expand your appreciation and knowledge of U.S. history and culture. In the year 2000 census, 42.8 million or 15.2% of Americans reported having German ancestry, making German Americans the largest single heritage group in the U.S.
In waves of immigration that span nearly 4 centuries, Germans brought
with them many customs and traditions that have become so ingrained
in American ways that their origin is often forgotten. Family names
and names of thousands of towns and cities indicate the German heritage
of their ancestors or founders. Such cultural mainstays as kindergarten,
the Christmas tree, and hot dogs and hamburgers were introduced
by German immigrants to America. They founded multiple breweries,
created Levi's jeans, invented ketchup, and created Hershey's chocolate.
Germans had such a fundamental presence at the time of the founding
of the United States that a German language version of the Declaration
of Independence was printed only a few days after it was adopted.
8. 1 in 10 books in the world is published in German
bookstore. 80,000+ new titles
appear in German each year.
German is not only a language of the past. As prolific researchers
and scholars, German speakers produce nearly 80,000 new book titles
each year. The only language markets that produce more books annually
are the Chinese and English publishing industries. In number of
books published, Munich is second in the world only to New York.
Since only a small percentage of German books are translated into
other languages (for instance, approximately 10% into Korean and
Chinese, just over 5% into English), only a knowledge of German
will give you access to a vast majority of these titles.