Five Reasons to Learn German

I could just as easily have titled this post: “Five reasons to torture yourself”, “Five reasons to put yourself through the mill” or “Five reasons to subject yourself to untold suffering”.

In reality, of course, I love the German language with a passion. All the same, I recognise that this passion involves long periods of struggle and frustration as well as brief moments of pleasure.

Ein Deutschlerner muss tapfer sein.

1 Learning German shows that you have guts.

German is a grammatical minefield. By learning it and not giving up, you prove your courage, your stamina and, above all, your willingness to make a fool of yourself. You really have to be tough to see it through.

Deutsch macht dich bescheiden.  


German makes you modest.

Anyone who tends to be conceited or over-confident will become more modest through learning German.



Deutsch kann dich glücklich machen. Gelegentlich.

Every correct sentence brings unexpected pleasure.

The grammatical rules of German are so complex that every error-free sentence you produce is a genuine achievement. Your self-esteem grows every time you say something without making a mistake. This occurs so rarely, however, that your modesty remains intact.


Das Wort „Fingerhut“, zum Beispiel, bedeutet „thimble“ auf Englisch.  Das heißt, „finger hat“. Schön, oder?

4 The words are guessable.

Once you have learned your first thousand words of German, you’ll be able to guess many of the others. The reason is that the German way of putting words together allows you to deconstruct new words with relative ease.



Deutsche Muttersprachler sind wirklich kreativ.

5 The compound words of German are unforgettable.

The many-barrelled words of the German language show how inventive and imaginative its speakers are. These words make for creativity and fantasy.


Question: What about you? Can you give at least one reason for learning German? What do you like about the German language? Please write a comment to express your personal opinion or to explain your love for German.

Frage: Und du? Kannst du mindestens einen Grund nennen, Deutsch zu lernen? Was gefällt dir an der deutschen Sprache? Schreib bitte einen Kommentar, um deine persönliche Meinung zu äußern und deine Liebe für Deutsch zu erklären.

Extra Links for Learners:

An activity for beginners:

An activity for intermediate learners:

An activity for advanced learners:

  • The da-compounds
  • They are punchy, concise and expressive. Discover them in a set of Tiny Cards.
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About German Island

My name is Nathaniel Smith, and I am a German and History teacher at Box Hill High School. I am very pleased that Roslyn Green has included me in German Island, and hope that my contributions benefit students and teachers alike. I am passionate about language learning and linguistics, technology, games, and coffee!  You can find me on twitter as @Herr_Smith.

Hallo, ich heiße Nathaniel Smith. Ich bin Lehrer an der Box Hill High School. Vielen Dank an Roslyn Green für die Einladung. Ich freue mich auf die Möglichkeit Blogmitarbeiter zu sein! Ich interessiere mich für Sprachen, Sprachwissenschaft, Technologie, Videospiele und Kaffee! Twitter: @Herr_Smith

July, 2015

October 2012

Message from Roslyn Green

The name of this blog is based on  one of those imaginative and colourful word combinations that Germans excel in creating: Sprachinsel, or language island. The word refers to an area where a different language is spoken from the one that dominates the surrounding region. When I began to learn German, my study gradually became a kind of language island, with German books and dictionaries scattered everywhere and German voices on my iPod.

That’s why after a few years of frenetic study I decided to create this little blog for German learners. I’ve enjoyed my island refuge very much and I hope that anyone who uses this blog and the resources collected here experiences the kind of joy that I have found in learning the language.

If you would like to use or comment on any task or resource, feel free to do so. Comments would be received with gratitude.

I am a teacher of English, German, History and Psychology at Box Hill High School in Melbourne, Victoria. I can be contacted at the school.

Kind regards,

Roslyn Green

Oktober, 2012

Der Name dieses Blogs stammt aus einem bildhaften deutschen Wort: Sprachinsel. Das bedeutet ein kleines Gebiet, in dem eine andere Sprache gesprochen wird als in dem umliegenden Bereich (Duden). Am Anfang meines Deutschlernens ist mein eigenes Arbeitszimmer nach und nach eine Art Sprachinsel geworden, mit vielen Büchern und Wörterbüchern und deutschen Stimmen auf meinem iPod. So eine Sprachinsel kann eine Art Zuflucht werden. 

Dieser Blog ist auch eine kleine deutsche Sprachinsel, auf die man kommen kann, um mehr zu lernen und um Links zu Lernmaterialien und Lernstoff zu finden. 

Liebe Grüße,

Roslyn Green

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