Three German teachers to travel through Italy for three months promoting the German language

Sunday, September 25, 2011

I found two articles in Italian today (here's one) on something called Deutschwagen which involves three teachers driving across the Italian peninsula for six months promoting the language in 200 schools...about two schools per day for the group. The campaign itself may make some local news when they travel through, but the reason for bringing up this article is that it also shows how popular German is compared to other languages in Italy:

In Italia gli studenti di tedesco sono 403.066, un numero nettamente inferiore a quelli di francese e di spagnolo sottolineano i promotori della campagna. Per fare un confronto, per l’anno scolastico 2008-2009, a fronte di 402.480 studenti di tedesco, ve ne erano 460.047 di spagnolo, 2.067.197 di francese e 7.131.574 di inglese.

402,480 students of German,
460,047 students of Spanish,
2,067,197 students of French, and
7,131,574 students of English.

Now let's compare that to Italy's largest trading partners:

Exports

Germany 12.6%
France 11.6%
US 5.9%
Spain 5.7%
UK 5.1%
Switzerland 4.7%

Imports

Germany 16.7%
France 8.9%
China 6.5%
Netherlands 5.7%
Spain 4.4%
Russia 4.1%
Belgium 4%

So one could make the argument that German is a little underrepresented in Italian schools. Then again, it is that much harder to learn than French and Italian so it's no surprise that many would shy away from it.

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