German Language

By Ethan Moser - Last update


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What is German?

German is a major European language spoken by more than 100 million people worldwide. Outside of the canon of English literature, German literature and philosophy has brought about some of the brightest and most influential thinkers, such as Sigmund Freud, Karl Marx, and Goethe. 

What 3rd Level Courses are Available?

  • Universities and colleges in Ireland are offering courses in the following subject areas:
    • German Language – the study of German as a second language
    • German Literature – the study of literature by German authors such as Goethe and Remarque.
    • Law and German – the study of the differences between legal structures in EU countries from the ‘common law’ systems in Ireland and England and the ‘civil law’ systems found in Germany and many other European countries.

Studying German in College

First year students will often combine their German studies with additional subjects and electives. Students will be introduced to German language, literature, and history in their first year, preparing them for more intensive study in the following years.

Language modules will be traditionally assessed using written, oral, and aural examination. At all levels students will be required to complete assessments in and out of class in addition to sitting for regular exams.

Most undergraduate German courses will run for three or four years and in certain cases universities will facilitate work experience. Many programs will also encourage study abroad programs for students to learn the language through immersion in German culture.

It is common with all humanities-based subjects that students are expected to complete a Capstone project. Students will research and write on a topic of their choice (in English or in German) with the aid of a faculty mentor, ensuring their successful completion of a rigorous curriculum and preparing them for life after university.

A bachelor’s degree is adequate for some non-research jobs. For example, graduates with a bachelor’s degree in German may start working as arts administrators, translators or interpreters, diplomats or secondary school teachers. Some go on to work in publishing, tourism, law and business as well.

Career Options

Graduating from college with a degree in German will serve you well in the job market as it equips you with a unique and marketable skill. German is a major world language, as such, knowledge of the language and literature opens up a world of opportunities to fluent speakers.

It is not uncommon for graduates to start off in ‘entry-level’ jobs. Many start their professional careers in international relations, tourism, translation and education.

Other jobs that require a higher degree of responsibility will typically require further education, training and/or experience to qualify for, eg. teaching, research and diplomacy positions.

Most German students work abroad or for international companies helping to translate and distribute media to multi-lingual customers. Many also go on to teach German as a second language in primary and secondary schools.

Related Jobs Include:

  • Diplomat / Foreign Services Officer
  • Secondary School Teacher
  • Translator / Interpreter
  • Journalist
  • Public Relations
  • Speech Therapist
  • Travel / Hospitality / Tourism
  • Technology Consultant
  • Museum Curator
  • Publishing Agent

Further Study

An undergraduate German degree is often the first step to go onto further postgraduate study often involving specialization in particular fields and areas of German and/or undertaking work in new, sometimes interdisciplinary fields such as translation, manuscript studies, or education.

Visit postgrad.ie for more information.

FAQ

What points do I need to study German?

  • Different courses and different colleges will have different entry requirements. It’s always best that you check with the individual higher education institution which is available on their websites. As a general rule Leaving Cert students should have a minimum of six subjects which should include: Two H5 (Higher Level) grades and Four O6 (Ordinary Level) grades or Four H7 (Higher Level) grades. Subjects must include Mathematics, English, Irish or another language. H4 German grades on the Leaving Cert are recommended by University College Dublin and required by Trinity College Dublin.

Are there any particular qualities you need to study German?

  • You will need to be fascinated by other languages and cultures and excited to study the world from a different perspective. You will need to possess the desire to learn to think critically through the study of literature and cinema as well as history. Finally, you will need to be detail oriented, self-disciplined, and confident.

Where can I study German?

  • Explore your options here.

Did You Know?

  • German is the most widely spoken language in the European Union – even more than English!
  • All nouns are capitalized in German – no exceptions!
  • The German language once boasted a 63-letter word: Rindfleischetikettierungsüberwachungsaufgabenübertragungsgesetz, meaning ‘the law concerning the delegation of duties for the supervision of cattle marking and the labelling of beef.’

Resources


Ethan Moser

Community Development
Italian Language


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