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Learning German in the US

Books stacked in front of a bookshelf.
© DAAD/Hüb

Are you interested in learning German to study or research in Germany? Or did you simply fall in love with the beauty of the German language and its wonderful grammar like Mark Twain did? If you haven’t had the pleasure reading Twain’s take on the German language, you can find the complete text as a download below. Whatever your reason, there are many resources to learn German in the US, online and offline.

German Language Requirements

For most degree programs, knowledge of German is a prerequisite for admission to German university. However, you do not need to know German if you intend on enrolling in an international degree program. Currently, there are 1,800+ international degree programs offered at German universities, most of them on the graduate level. If you are planning to do research in Germany, you may need to be fluent in German or not need any German at all, depending on your research field. Most research in the STEM fields do not require German, whereas research in the humanities still requires at least some knowledge of German.

Click here for more information on German language requirements. In the following clip, an international student talks about her experience on how much German you really need at the university:

How much German do I need in Germany?

How much German do I need in Germany?

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American Association of Teachers of German (AATG)
An organization of German language instructors at all levels including university and high school; it features a generous section of resources for German language learning
American Institute for Contemporary German Studies (AICGS)
A scholarly organization of academics
Coalition of Women in German
Deutsche Akademie für Sprache und Dichtung
Confers the annual Georg Büchner Prize
Deutsches Literaturarchiv Marbach
German Historical Institute (GHI)
German Studies Association / DAAD-GSA Book Prize / DAAD-GSA Article Prize
German Studies Network
A network within the Society of the Anthropology of Europe
Internationaler Germanistenverzeichnis
Of the Deutscher Germanistenverband and DAAD
Monatshefte
A quarterly journal of German Studies in North America

Mark Twain on the German Language

Read more about Mark Twain’s take on learning German as a second language here:

Mark Twain – On the German Language [PDF 1.26 MB]

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