Is learning German even worth it anymore?

Hi there,

I’d like Lingq’s members opinion on this question I’m asking myself.
Do you believe it is currently worth it to learn German when your only purpose is to enhance your employability and your career opportunities?
I feel like German is not as helpful as it used to be to find a work in Asia or Europe anymore compared to, for exemple, Russian…Am I wrong on this? Is German still a huge asset when you are looking for work?
What do you guys think?

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Well German is still the most widely spoken first language in Europe, even though its concentrated mostly in Germany. So if you plan on living in Germany (or Austria, parts of Switzerland and Poland, etc) or working for a German company abroad, it will obviously be extremely useful. If that’s not the case then it probably isn’t exceedingly helpful for enhancing your employability.

But that doesn’t mean it isn’t worth learning! It can enrich your life in other ways


A person I played hockey with in Tokyo is German. He works in Tokyo for Audi I think and doesn’t speak Japanese… So there’s that! Maybe you can find a niche and carve out a cool job. :smiley:

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I think is comes down to where exactly you plan on working. I feel like learning a new language only opens more potential doors in life.

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If you have a doubt, please, don’t start to learn German or another language because the motivition is the most important thing to learn a new language.
However, in my opinion, it’s very useful for almost every European man or woman to know the most popular languages: English, German, Russian, French and Spanish.
They can be helpful for your job, for your travelling and for your cultural level.


Looks like you are French.
Germany is our biggest trading partner. German is also interesting if you want to work in countries like Luxembourg or Switzerland, two countries that offer among the best salaries here in Europe. French and/or English may be enough, yet knowing German will give you a lot more opportunities in your carreer in those countries. And they are real opportunities, in Europe, near or in France, in basically any fields.

On the other hand, knowing Russian will only prove useful IF you work in some specific fields and companies.


Of all the reasons to learn a new language, I’d guess that chasing relatively short term economic trends is probably the least compelling and least rewarding.

It can take a couple of years to get really good / fluent in a language – yes, some people can do it faster, and “it depends on what you call fluent,” and whether you’re in country etc. etc., – but 2 years is a decent average marker for self study, not in county, so I’m using that metric.

A lot can happen in a two year period on the global economic and geopolitical scale. I’m guessing most analysts wouldn’t have predicted Brexit and Donald Trump two years out. (Wishful thinking of pundits aside.) So, to set your language goals simply based on these trends is probably never worth it.

Ideally you’d wanna study a language you’d like to engage with 5-10 years down the line and that will always be a worthwhile activity.

If economic circumstances prompt you to look at language learning, that’s of course fine, but the question to is not “Is learning German even worth it anymore?” but “Is looking for a job in Germany a year from now makes sense for me?” if the answer is “yes, I wanna look for job in Germany a year from now” then learn German and and have fun with it.

But assessing the “worth” of any language as a simple economic value is just super insulting to my language enthusiast ears.


Thanks for all your answers,

First, I’m am not planing to learn german at the moment, maybe in a few years, but not now. I personnally enjoy the German culture quite a lot and I did not mean disrespect or anything when I asked ‘‘is it even worth it?’’, my phrasing might have been a little bit clumsy here. Of course learning any language is always worth it, just for the pleasure of learning or the fact that it will always bring us new knowledge/sensibility.

I was asking this out of curiousity and as I said, from a stricly ‘‘professional’’ perspective.
I noticed that a lot of germans have a great english level, and since german is not as widely spoken as other languages such as spanish, russian etc, I just wanted your thoughts on how powerfull german could or could not be on a resume in 2019, compared to other languages.

Of course it’s worth it! You can even go from A1-B2 in 24 hours! :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: Project: Who Wants to Learn German level A1-B1 in just 24 Hours? - YouTube

I get what you are saying, and as a related reference to what t_harangi wrote, I would add that this: Unless you are in the country itself as an immigrant or someone otherwise looking to work there, it’s never worth it to learn a language “when your only purpose is to enhance your employability and your career opportunities.”


Others have made comments about work, but I will say that if your goal is to read books, German is an incredibly popular language, second of course to English.

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What about the supply of films and serials online? I’ve long toyed with the idea of picking up German. The amount of Russian-language video material online has been an incredible boon to my experience with that language.

i would learn german but i don’t have the time right now there is something appealing about it but like others have said it is a popular language with a great deal of resources all across the web they are hundreds of goethe institutes across the globe in places you would not expect in africa ,asia,latin america . and germany was not a big colonial nation that should tell you people think it’s worth something

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In my opinion, the most important western languages today are English and Spanish. And I guess you could learn Spanish faster, because French is you native tongue. I would not give up German, I too love their culture and have plans to learn German someday. But if I were you, I would go for Spanish first.