Monday, June 15, 2009
First the good news. The Goethe Institute has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Sattva Vikas School in Mumbai to begin teaching German there.
The bad news: German studies programs in a few American universities are being eliminated. The language is actually being studied by a bit more people than it was in 2002, but the rate of increase is not the same as that with other up-and-coming languages.
Always keep in mind though that less people studying language x does not necessarily equate to language x is not worth learning. The CIA pays up to $35,000 in signing bonuses for certain languages, because they are less studied than most. German is different from these languages in that it's spoken in industrialized European nations where English is widely spoken, but at the same time with students flocking to other languages there is a lot less competition for those that want to seriously study German. That is, there may be more positions available for fluent Spanish speakers but then again there is also a large pool of Spanish speakers to choose from already, but finding a fluent German speaker just isn't as easy.
Because these two often tend to balance themselves out (language A offers more employment but incentives are low; language B offers less employment but incentives are higher), once again it always makes sense to learn languages out of a love for the language itself.