Facts about Germany 2015 2015 - Page 154

152 | 153 C U LT U R E & T H E M E D I A TOPIC ATTRACTIVE LANGUAGE German is one of the 15 or so Germanic lan- economic strength, which makes the lan- guages, a branch of the Indo-European lan- guage very desirable. This desirability is guage family. About 130 million people in helping drive an active policy of spreading Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Luxem- the German language: by supporting lan- bourg, Belgium, Liechtenstein and South Ty- guage teaching facilities in Germany and rol (Italy) speak German natively or as a regu- abroad; providing scholarships or making larly used second language. It is therefore the academic offers to mobile international stu- most widely spoken native language in the dents. It is also clear from the significantly EU and one of the ten most widely spoken increasing interest in German, especially in languages. The 2015 survey on ‘German as a the rising powers of China, India and Brazil foreign language worldwide’ refers to a total as well as in other fast-growing areas of the of 15.4 million people currently learning Asian continent, where in places demand has German as a second language. The number of quadrupled since 2010. people globally who actually speak German as a foreign language can only be roughly es- Important institutions for German learning timated at about 100 million. include the 140 German schools outside Germany and the almost 2,000 schools that One reason why German’s importance is dis- lay emphasis on German lessons, which proportionally high relative to the number of are included in the Federal Foreign Office’s people speaking it stems from the country’s initiative, Schools: Partners for the Future (PASCH). In 2014, around 228,000 people took language courses at the Goethe-Institut, which offers German as a foreign language NUMBER 16 major dialect associations exist in Germany, including, for example, Bavarian, Alemannic, Westphalian, Brandenburg and Northern Low German. The regional differe