Wednesday, October 14, 2009
An article here in French has news on a recent campaign by the government of the Alsace region in France to try to get more students in the region to learn German. Being located right next to Germany the region already has quite a bit of German influence (the city of Strasbourg for example - that's not a French name) but in some interviews done in the video that accompanies the article you can see that most people see German as being too complicated a language and tend to find it a bit scary. In the interview that takes place in the second part of the video too one can see that another problem is that the language is still seen as the "language of the Nazis and war criminals" by many.
Nevertheless, it's 2009 and the region thinks it's time for its population to benefit from close proximity to Germany. The campaign notes that German is the mother tongue of 100 million Europeans, more than English. It's the largest economic power in Europe, the 3rd in the world, France's largest commercial partner...and also that of Alsace.
The official site promoting the language in Alsace is here, where it also gives ten reasons to learn German.
Another video from the same site says that many positions are going unfilled due to a lack of qualified people that speak German.