German is a West Germanic language that is mainly spoken in Central Europe. It is the most widely spoken and (co-)official language in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, South Tyrol (Italy), and Liechtenstein; it is also an official, but not majority language of Luxembourg and Belgium.
One of the major languages of the world, German is the first language of about 95 million people worldwide and the most widely spoken native language in the European Union. German also is the third most widely taught foreign language in both the US and the EU the second most commonly used scientific language as well as the third most widely used language on websites. Germany is ranked fifth in terms of annual publication of new books, with one tenth of all books (including e-books) in the world being published in the German language.
Students participating in the Indo-German exchange had the pleasure of learning basic German in a 20 hour crash course before the voyage in April. Students learnt the basics, such as greetings and compliments. They also learnt numbers and alphabets and then moved on to the challenging bits like verbs, nouns and adjectives. It is very interesting to learn the German language as it is so distinct from most European languages and is a very intriguing language. For example, take the word ‘Geschwindigkeitsbegrenzung’ everybody must think it is a word for some abstract legal term or a chemical name, right? No, it’s the word for “speed limit”.
German classes also included a lot of role-playing and team building activities that actually let us participate in different scenarios where German can be used. For example, ordering at a restaurant, looking for directions and talking to a person about his/her interests. Learning German helped the students to lessen the language barrier between the 2 groups and only enriches the overall experience of this education trip. Deutsch mit Spaß!