Celebrating Nikolaustag: Exploring the German language

Pearson Languages
A man and child smiling at eachother and dressed up warm at a winter market where its snowing

As December approaches, people around the world prepare for the festive season as the chilly winds of winter set in. Amidst the various traditions and celebrations, one particular festivity is Nikolaustag. This day is dedicated to Saint Nicholas and is predominantly celebrated in German-speaking regions.

Nikolaustag, celebrated on 6 December, in ode to Saint Nicholas, a Bishop in Myra in the 4th century. He was known for his kindness and generosity.

In Germany and neighboring countries this day is celebrated with various customs. Children clean and polish their shoes or place them outside their doors, hoping to receive gifts and treats from Saint Nicholas. Adults, on the other hand, enjoy festive markets filled with seasonal delights.

This day is a reminder of the importance of kindness, compassion and generosity towards others, especially those who are less fortunate. It is a time to come together with family and friends, exchange gifts and enjoy the warmth and joy of the holiday season.

German on the global stage

The German language, celebrated for its precision and rich literary heritage, holds a significant place in the global linguistic landscape beyond the festivities of Nikolaustag.

German is an official language in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Liechtenstein and certain communities worldwide due to historical migrations and cultural exchanges.

In recent years there has been a noticeable surge in the popularity of learning German worldwide. In 2020 it was reported that 15.4 million people were learning German.

The importance of the language in various sectors, including technology, science and commerce, has contributed to its popularity. Germany provides abundant opportunities for German language exchanges through institutions such as the Goethe-Institut and various study programs.

German has significantly impacted intellectual debates and discussions worldwide, spanning various fields such as literature, philosophy, music and science. The works of great writers like Schiller and Goethe, influential artists like Dürer and Holbein, and the philosophies of Nietzsche and Kant are some examples of the profound influence of German culture.

German language and culture have played a significant role in shaping scientific research and development. Many renowned scientists, such as Albert Einstein and Max Planck, have made notable contributions in their respective fields. German has also been a prominent language in academia, with numerous universities worldwide offering German language courses and conducting research in various fields.

The undeniable impact of German culture on the world continues to inspire and influence various aspects of modern life.

Global Scale of Languages announcement

Learning languages such as German not only provides personal and professional growth opportunities but also promotes cross-cultural understanding and respect.

And if you needed another reason to pick up German, the Global Scale of Languages (GSL) has added German to its list of languages. This gives German-language educators and learners a highly detailed level of support to fast-track their progress on their journey to fluency in German.

The GSL uses the same proven learning design principles for German as it does for its other languages (English, French, Italian and Spanish), giving you world-class support.

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