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School of Applied Language & Intercultural Studies

Languages - German

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Information in German Information in English


Why study German?

  • First of all, German is easier than you might think. Native speakers of English or those with knowledge of English have an advantage when it comes to learning German because modern German and modern English both evolved from a common language (Germanic). So the two languages share quite a few similarities in both vocabulary and grammar. For example, you may easily recognise some of the similarities between the following: Apfel – bringen – Chance – Demokratie. As you may know, many words in German can be quite long but if you have English you may even be able to guess what some of those mean. Try this one: Rhabarbermarmelade.
  • If you have already learnt German at school, you may now be at the stage where you would like to engage more with the many intriguing aspects of its structures. You may, for example, like to become more expert in deconstructing some of the language's interesting compound nouns (Fingerspitzengefühl, Sonnenuntergangszeiten, Naturwissenschaftsmuseum , Sekundenschnelle …) for which English will often use a number of words.

You may also like to explore those terms which are linked more subtly with English e.g. ernst – serious (earnest), Hund – dog (hound), binden – to tie (to bind) or use German to help you understand some taken-for-granted features of English, such as the difference between 'who' and 'whom'.

More reasons for studying German...

  • German is the most widely spoken language in Europe - more people speak German as their native language than any other language in Europe.
    • Germany's 81 million inhabitants make it the most populous European nation but German is also an official language of Austria, Switzerland, Luxembourg and Liechtenstein.
    • It is the native language of a significant portion of the population in northern Italy (Südtirol), eastern Belgium, the Netherlands, Denmark and eastern France. In Eastern Europe, German is the second most spoken language after Russian.
    • Worldwide, 120 million people communicate in German.
  • Germany is Europe's biggest economy and the fourth biggest economy world-wide.
  • Major German companies include Adidas, Mercedes, BMW, Haribo, Lufthansa, SAP, Siemens, BASF, Opel, Volkswagen, Braun, Lidl and Aldi.
  • Translators and interpreters in the EU who have German are more sought-after than any other. Click here to view employment opportunities with German at the European Commission.
  • German is a leading language of science. Where would international science and technology be without Albert Einstein and his Theory of Relativity or Otto Diesel and his motor engine or Carl Benz and his invention, the car?

German at DCU

Students studying German on the BA in Applied Language and Intercultural Studies programme have the opportunity to spend a full year living and studying in either Germany or Austria. This Year Abroad gives students valuable experience in immersing themselves in a different culture and they usually have a really exciting year abroad.
As a student of German, you are eligible to apply for a range of scholarships offered by the German Academic Exchange Service (Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst or DAAD for short). These scholarships help you finance a shorter or longer study period in Germany, e.g. summer courses of 3-4 weeks, but also year-long stays (e.g. during the Year Abroad).

BA Programmes

You can study German on the following degree programmes at DCU:

BA in Applied Language and Intercultural Studies
BA in Languages for International Communication (For non-native speakers of English only)
BA in Business Studies International

If you wish to find out more about the kind of German modules offered at DCU, click here and then click on modules starting with 'GE' (e.g. GE110 German Language 1).

What our Graduates Say

Michael Mullen, Corporate Banker (Senior Account Manager), Luxembourg
BA in Applied Languages (German/French)
Graduated 2004

"Studying German as an ab initio (beginner) student at DCU has proved to be a very
worthwhile and enjoyable decision for me both personally and professionally. Since graduating from DCU in November 2004, I have been very fortunate to find employment where knowledge of the German language was required. Having studied German at DCU, I have been offered several opportunities in my career to date. While working with an American bank in Dublin I travelled to visit clients in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Since graduating I have worked in Dublin, Berlin and am currently based in Luxembourg. Such travel and employment opportunities would not have been possible if I hadn't studied German at DCU."

Contact Us

Contact Dr. Áine McGillicuddy for queries relating to studying German at DCU

Postgraduate study

Research Opportunities leading to MA and PhD degrees:

  • German Translation
  • German Literature
  • German Film
  • German Cultural Studies
  • German Language Studies

There is also a taught MA in Translation Studies (German):

Contact Dr. Minako O'Hagan for more information on the MA in Translation Studies

Examples of PhD/MA students' work in German include:

Liese, Melanie (2010). The representation of the ethnic and cultural "other" in primary school textbooks: a comparative case study of North Rhine-Westphalia (Germany) and Ireland.

Ghassempur, Susanne. (2009). "Tha' sounds like me arse!": a comparison of the translation of expletives in two German translations of Roddy Doyle's "The Commitments".

Schiller, Annette. (2008). Aspects of cohesion in web site translation: a translator's perspective.

Kenny, Mary-Ann. (2007). Discussion, cooperation and collaboration: group learning in an online translation classroom.

Chapelle, Niamh (2001) The translators' tale: a translator-centred history of seven English translations (1823-1944) of the Grimms' fairy tale, Schneewittchen.

Useful links:

DAAD Germany
DAAD Ireland and UK
Goethe Institut Dublin
German Embassy in Dublin
Deutsche Welle (Discover Germany)