June 8, 2010 at 4:51 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , )

Joanna Schaller

Joanna Schaller, M.A., is a German-language consultant in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.
She teaches German to individuals and groups at all levels of experience. At present, Joanna is teaching at the University of Victoria at the Language Department of Continuing Education, at the Victoria German School and at Shoreline Community School as well as tutoring private students in Victoria.
She also conducts German-language tours in Victoria and elsewhere on Vancouver Island.

Why foreign languages?

Learning a foreign language sharpens cognitive and life skills. It promotes cognitive development in such areas as mental flexibility, creativity, and higher order thinking skills. Dealing with cultures, different from one’s own, often leads to tolerance of diverse lifestyles and customs. Knowledge of other languages boosts the understanding of languages in general and can enable us to use our native language more effectively.

Why German?

  • German is one of the world’s major languages, and the most widely spoken native language in the European Union. Around the world, German is spoken by approximately 105 million native speakers and also by about 80 million non-native speakers. It is the third most taught foreign language worldwide.

  • German is part of the West Germanic group of languages within the Indo-European language family and is a close relative of English as well as Danish, Norwegian, Swedish, and Dutch. It is the official language of several countries and regions: Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Alsace-Lorraine (France), Northern Italy, Eastern Belgium, Luxembourg and Liechtenstein.

  • The modern German scientific vocabulary has nine million words and word groups. Most of these are native German; the rest are largely derived from Latin, French and English. With practice, English speakers can learn to recognize a large proportion of the German vocabulary. And studying German can help you understand the origin and meaning of many English words.

  • German-speaking countries have a rich cultural heritage. Germany is often referred to as the land of “Dichter und Denker” — of poets and thinkers. And rightly so, because German contributions to the arts and human thought have been nothing short of profound. German scientists have also made great contributions.

Interesting facts:

  • Learning German is useful for higher education; it is the most commonly recommended language to fulfill foreign language requirements made by universities.

  • According to the American-German Chamber of Industry, 65% of companies in the USA consider German knowledge a important asset for being hired.

  • One in ten books published worldwide is in German.

  • German is among the top five most widely used languages on the Internet. In fact, Germany’s top-level country domain .de is second only to the extension .com.

  • One fourth of tourists in North America are German speaking. Germany is the second most popular European destination for North American tourists.

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