Sicilian newspaper on the growing popularity of the German language

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Not too much new here from this article in Italian from a newspaper based in Sicily, but the number of these articles is interesting. Trends like these tend to grow through hearsay in the following manner: 1) economy sinks, more choose to learn German to try to get better jobs, 2) newspaper articles begin to appear on the trend, 3) more people begin to see German as a way to get a job, 4) more discussion and more articles appear on the trend, 5) German begins to be seen as the default language to learn for anyone who wants a good job. Whether it will solidify its image in this way remains to be seen; at the moment this is still a relatively new trend.

According to data released by the Associated Press, more Italians, Spaniards and Portuguese are studying German in the hope of finding work in the country with the richest and most stable economy in Europe.

In Italy the number of registered students at the Goethe-Institut has increased by 14% over the previous year. And Sicily, which has a youth unemployment rate significantly higher than the national average, is not an exception: "In fact, there has been a slight increase in the number of students in the past year", said Annette Bansa of the Goethe-Institut of Palermo. They are mainly youth between 21 and 25 years of age, especially students, who are choosing German to improve their chances of finding a stable job.

The German economy grew by three points last year and the unemployment rate is the lowest in twenty years. Italy, by contract, is inexorably sinking into a recession while more than 30% of youth cannot find work.

The Italians, and Sicilians in particular, have a long tradition of emigration to Germany. To date, between emigrants and their descendants, there is an estimated 600,000 Italian citizens in the country.

Unlike in the 1906s, however, German employers are not searching for temporary labour but rather professionalism - positions such as doctors and nurses, engineers, computer programmers.

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