Course Code GERM
Contact Cristina Finger
Levels Offered 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th year Full course list *
Minor Available Yes More details
Placement Test Required for students with previous knowledge More details
* Not all courses are offered every term. Please check Carleton Central and/or the Public Class Schedule for course availability.

Why study German?

Our German classes will truly engage you with the language.  Role play, presentations and interactive classroom activities are commonly used and will help you to discover German in context, while homework assignments, listening exercises, and readings will provide you with a clearer understanding of vocabulary, pronunciation, and language structures.

Besides…guess what…if you already speak English, chances are you’ll easily recognize many words in German. Why? Because German shares deep historic and linguistic roots with English dating back almost 1500 years…seriously! Take a look:

  • trinken = drinking
  • Freund = friend
  • Haus = house
  • blau = blue
  • Hund = dog (i.e. as in “hound”)

Of course, there are also some exceptions that you might want to take note of in order to avoid any unpleasant misunderstandings:

  • Fahrt means “trip or journey”
  • Gift means “poison”
  • Die means “the”
  • Bald means “soon”
  • and an Angel is a “fishing rod”

Finally, in terms of the usefulness of German as part of your degree program, while it is true that many Germans have studied at least a bit of English (it’s required as part of their school system), having some measure of German proficiency is still a valuable asset. Here’s why:

  • Germany is the largest economy in the EU and, in 2013, was Canada’s 2nd most valuable EU trading partner with two-way trade of almost $19 billion.
  • Interested in going on exchange?  Carleton has agreements with 15+ institutions in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.
  • Studying opera, literature, politics, or philosophy?  German has a rich literary history and many influential thinkers – Nietzsche, Goethe, Hesse, Heidigger, and Kafka – wrote in German.  And, if you want to see thought in action, consider watching the recent biopic of German-born political theorist Hannah Arendt released in 2012.
  • Also, did you know that the Canadian government offers internships at its embassy in Berlin? They are looking for participants in the areas of culture, economics, media, trade, and more.

Bottom line: German is the most widely spoken language in the European Union and one of the most influential voices in the European economy. Learning it may open doors if you have an interest in working globally.

Fun facts about German/Germany

  • Germany has 16 states
  • There is a Barbie doll for Chancellor Angela Merkel.
  • In Namibia, a former colony, more than 25,000 people speak German as a mother tongue.
  • The word Rindfleischetikettierungsüberwachungsaufgabe-nübertragungsgesetz (which means “beef labeling regulation & delegation of supervision law”) received top honours in 1999 as German’s longest word.

Registration Information

Space in language courses is limited.  Register as early as possible.  If the course is full when you attempt to register, please submit a Course Registration Override Request or, if applicable, add your name to a waitlist on Carleton Central.  Click here to learn more about how waitlisting works.