German Language

German Language

Picture showing a mass of letters | © photocase

Source: Picture showing a mass of letters | © photocase

Ways to Learn German

Living and working as a foreigner in Germany is a great adventure - one that becomes even more interesting through acquiring German language skills. Courses of German as a foreign language are offered by many universities and institutes of language training around the world. They range in difficulty from everyday to university and/or business professional level German, based on individual needs and goals.

One prominent institute, which enjoys government sponsorship and engages in activities of intercultural exchange, is named after Germany's famous poet Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, the Goethe-Institute. Its worldwide activities and its information about courses and workshops are available online. Other vocational training institutions, such as the Carl Duisberg Centren, a private institution providing foreign language instruction and intercultural training and the DIHK-Bildungs-GmbH, a specialized vocational training subsidiary of the German business chambers, offer professional training programs for business students.

Certifying Language Proficiency: The Certificates

A variety of tests of German as a foreign language can assess and document the language proficiency of foreign business professionals. Many of them refer to the standardized level C2 of the ''Common European Framework of Reference for Languages: Learning, Teaching, Assessment''.

Several examinations are officially recognized as a prerequisite for entering German universities:

  • Goethe-Zertifikat C2 (Zentrale Oberstufenprüfung):, German university-level proficiency exam, European Framework level C2)
  • Kleines Deutsches Sprachdiplom (German university-level proficiency exam, European Framework level C2)
  • Großes Deutsches Sprachdiplom (German university-level proficiency exam, European Framework level C2+)
  • DSH (Deutsche Sprachprüfung Hochschulzugang, German language university entrance exam for foreign students which is administered by each university individually)
  • TestDaF (Test Deutsch als Fremdsprache, test of German as a foreign language).

For advanced learners seeking access to the German-speaking business community, the Goethe-Institute, the DIHK-Bildungs-GmbH, and the Carl Duisberg Centren offer a ''Prüfung Wirtschaftsdeutsch International'' (Certificate of Business German, European Framework level C1). Additionally, the Goethe-Institute also issues a ''Zertifikat Deutsch für den Beruf'' (Certificate of German for business professionals, European Framework level B2).