German was the only mutual languageWhen I began my semester of school in Marburg, I had minimal knowledge of German culture and none whatsoever of the German language. I didn't know what to expect, but I quickly found a whole world of new interests and possibilities opening up to me. What I loved most about being in Germany was the mixture of exciting social experiences and opportunities for intellectual engagement, combined with an exposure to a rich cultural and artistic heritage. Through my time at the university, as well as through travels across the country to different cities and museums, I discovered that Germany is a place of great historical and artistic value, as well as being unabashedly cutting edge in terms of culture, art and the exchange of ideas. (…) It would happen, when I found myself in Budapest later that year, that German was the only mutual language between myself and other students. Having made lasting friendships, when I returned home that semester, I was adamant that I would get back to the study of German when circumstances permitted. That's why I am studying at the Goethe-Institut now.
Jordan DeJonge / Graduate Student, McMaster University, Hamilton ON
I had the chance to travel to Germany on a student exchangeWhen I was 16 I had the chance to travel to Germany on a student exchange. The family who I was living with opened their doors and hearts to me and even took me to all their family functions - so that I could experience the 'real German way of life'. My classmates at the Gymnasium were the most accepting and amazing friends. They not only invited me on family trips to the Alps or to Austria and Switzerland but included me in going out on Friday nights to the Kino and Club. When my exchange was over, I returned home and was a completely different teenager. I had experienced more than 10 countries (the ones that surrounded Germany) and one very whole-hearted and loving country in a year's time. I had made many friends who I am still, to this day, friends with. (…) I want to perfect my German language so that I am able to conduct business in German.
Michelle Jones / Marketing Manager, Toronto ON (presently San Francisco CA)
I am an Opera SingerA single phrase spoken to native Germans is the reason why I love German/y. I have spent my entire life in music and all of my post-secondary studies in Canada have been devoted to opera. It was in the summer of 2008 that an opportunity presented itself to me to be able to study opera in Weimar, the cultural center of Germany. I leapt at the chance, and quite naively jumped on a plane to spend a month studying German, staging a Mozart opera, and absorbing the culture of Germany. (..)I have since been polishing my roles, and learning the language in anticipation of returning to Germany for an audition tour, to sing opera in the country that inspired me. (..) As a young Canadian of 29, I look forward to returning to Germany to continue to learn the language, perform opera and shout from the top of my lungs, “Ich bin eine Opernsängerin!”
Kathleen Morrison / Opera Singer, Calgary AB
I love the position of German verbsI love German because of the position of German verbs, which create a persuasive and solid syntax. German verbs are often situated in the second and last positions of the sentence. In each sentence, the verb takes on a role similar to that of the steering wheel of a car. Just as 4WD offers better control to the driver, authors can better enjoy crafting their (complicated) sentences in German. Yes, now we know why German philosophers are so famous!
Yayo Umetsubo / MLIS Candidate- Western University, London ON
I love spending time in BerlinSome of my closest friends live in Germany, and I happen to love spending time in Berlin. Perhaps one day I'll even move! I figured it was about time to start taking formal classes, and didn't think there would be a better place to learn than from Germany's cultural institution.
Sabrina Scott / Corporate Communications, Toronto ON
German is an international languageWhat do I love about the German language? It is international! I have travelled to the far ends of the earth, where to my surprise, someone talks to me in perfect German ... from the border guard in Zambia, who off-handedly throws me a surprise question in German; to a local in Cuba who sits beside me, being raised in former East Germany, provides me with days of companionship ... all have different accents, but all make for instant friends... because of a common language base.
Ingrid Pongratz / Retired Professional, Tofino BC
My spouse and I always wanted to live in EuropeI have no German language experience but my husband has a strong base as his parents are from Germany and Switzerland. We really connected with Berlin as we started vacationing there during the summer in 2006. We purposely had our children attending an International school in Toronto, Canada with the hopes that one day we could (as seamlessly as possible) pick up and move abroad. That time has come and we made the decision to live in Berlin for the next 2 years. Hence my desire (and need) to learn the language. I feel it's not enough to just move and live in another country and not be able to communicate in the native language. To truly enhance your family's experience, it is much better to be able to interact and "plug into" the culture by being able to converse with the "locals".
Tracey Pearson / Business Owner, Toronto ON
I studied German to better understand my FatherI think I studied German at the Goethe-Institut to help me better understand my Father, who was born in Pomerania. He never spoke German at home (my Mother is English) and his early life in Germany seemed utterly foreign to me. I did not think about this at the time of course, but now I believe it must have been the reason.
Carl Schmidt / IT Consultant, Toronto ON