Seven Key Takeaways from the UBC German Program

The University of British Columbia’s German Program Outcomes for 2022–2023 are now available. Get a glimpse of some of the skills you will learn with a German Major or Minor below!

1. We want you to enjoy speaking German!

Languages are there to be enjoyed, not feared. Get comfortable in them, find your spot, have fun, and be yourself as a whole person. There’s no need to strive for perfection, or to sound like someone other than who you are and who you want to become. You will stick with it longer if you make the language yours to enjoy and share with others.

2. Learning languages is a great way to practice living well in a complicated world in a complicated age.

English is just not enough to get in touch with the feelings, experiences, needs and communities that make up our world in 2022. Learning a language like German lets you meaningfully tap in to what is making this world spin right now, what is making people tick, and what the future holds for humanity.

3. Learning languages helps you grow in both humble and ambitious ways.

Sometimes, the experience of learning languages makes you feel like you are limited in what you can say, think and feel. But that is just the beginning. Like anything else worth doing, learning German can be a way to test and exercise your wit, empathy, patience, memory, creativity, flexibility and curiosity — both toward yourself and toward others.

4. It’s not about sounding like a “native” speaker!

We are not trying to make you sound like a native German speaker. Think, for a moment, about all the people who speak or sing beautifully in a second, third or fourth language. Their accents and ways of using language(s) are a powerful part of the Big Picture of world languages. In our program, we are about supporting you in going beyond the native speaker — and all of the expressive potential that experience holds!

5. ALL knowledge is made in, and between, many languages.

Learning German lets you see and hear how people today, and over the course of history, have made new meaning and knowledge. From COVID vaccines to electric cars to ideas about enlightenment, the soul and justice — German has been one of the languages at the centre of it all!

6. There’s nothing wrong with translation technologies, but they’re not enough on their own.

We want to help you learn how to use translation technologies most effectively for your personal needs. But we also want to support you in being able to make all those meanings and expressions and sounds in German on your own, whether or not you have your online devices with you.

7. Being a German Major or Minor doesn’t mean you need to get a job in Germany after university!

In general, most students do not go directly from a major into a profession. Most often, students graduate with one or two majors that satisfy their mind in a life-long way, but they go into a different profession altogether. German can be a great major for economists, musicians, social workers, architects, creative writers, and nurses — no matter where in the world you end up living after UBC!

Don’t stay monolingual for too long! Come join our multilingual community at the UBC Department of Central, Eastern and Northern European Studies.