Welcome to German
Studies at Missouri Western State University!
German is the native language of over 100 million
people in Germany, Austria, and parts of Switzerland,
Luxembourg, Northern Italy, and Eastern Belgium and Eastern
France. It is an official language in Germany, Austria,
Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Belgium, and Italy.
In Europe, more people speak German than English, Spanish,
French or Italian. German is among the top ten most commonly
spoken languages in the world. It is one of the most
frequently used languages on the Internet. In the United
States, 1.38 million people speak German at home and 60
million people (nearly 25% of the population) are of German
heritage. In Missouri, there are more than 30,000 native
Who studies German?
There are 200 million speakers of German
worldwide and 20 million students of German. Of these, 13
million are in Europe, Eastern Europe and the former USSR,
where it is the most commonly used second language. In the
United States there are 600,000 students learning German.
The Importance of German in
German is required or recommended in many academic programs.
Study and research in Germany are generously funded by
agencies such as the Fulbright Commission, the German
Academic Exchange Service and the Alexander von Humbolt
Foundation. Each year, Germany funds 2,000 grants to foreign
The importance of German in fields such as Philosophy,
Music, Art, Psychology, Sociology, History, Art History,
European Politics, Literary Studies, Religious Studies,
Film, Law, and the Sciences is reflected by the 119 Nobel
Prizes awarded to native speakers of German. To fully
understand important texts in their majors, students should
be able to read them in the original language. Thinkers and
artists such as Freud, Einstein, Marx, Nietzsche, Kant,
Hegel, Mozart, Beethoven, Goethe and Kafka created their
works in German.
Along with English, German is one of 37 Germanic languages.
This means that speakers of English find many words and
grammatical structures in German that are related to German
and make the study of German easier.
German and Science
Germans collaborate on international projects such as
Spacelab, Deep Earth Sampling in the Oceans, and the
International Nautical Almanac. Germany is among the top
three countries in high-tech-research and products. Nearly
half of the pharmaceuticals in the US come from Germany and
Switzerland. Germany is second only to the United States in
the number of patents it produces.
Germany’s Economic Might
Germany is one of the most highly developed and efficient
industrial nations and, after the USA, Japan, and China, has
the world’s fourth largest national economy.
Germany is one of the top trading partners for Missouri and
one of the top five sources of foreign direct investment in
the United States. Over 1,000 major U.S companies do
business in Germany, and German-speaking countries. Over
1,000 firms from German-speaking countries have subsidiaries
in the U.S. German is also a key business language in
Russia, the European Union, Central and Eastern Europe and
parts of Asia.
For more information on the role of Germany and the German
language in the world, see the following Internet link: