Living in any of New York City’s five boroughs will have you immune to as many as 600+ languages, making the choice of which new language to learn a hard one. Yet, a few languages are more prominent than others, German being one of them with over 62,000 New Yorkers speaking it daily. If that is not the only reason to take German classes in your spare time, then maybe you should consider that New York City was once the third-largest German-speaking city behind Berlin and Vienna.

In the mid to late 1800s, a big influx of German immigrants moved to large cities in the US populated cities on the East Coast including New York, Boston, and Philadelphia.  By the 1870s New York City was estimated to have 30% of its population being German immigrants and or decedents, with the city’s German neighborhood in Manhattan one of the most heavily populated. Nowadays you can still catch a glimpse of what once was Little Germany with remnants in Manhattan’s East Village and Lower East Side from 14th Street to Division and from Avenue D to Bowery.

Now that we’ve given you a glimpse of why you should learn to speak German, you will find a few other reasons why German is the language to master along with tips and tricks on finding the best German lessons in New York City.

Why Learn German: A Few More Reasons

Learning a new language especially German can seem a bit daunting, yet there are so many reasons why it can be fun and beneficial.

English Language Roots: If you are looking to learn a language that comes from the same roots as English, then German is one of them. German is closely related to not only English but also to Dutch, Frisian, and Afrikaans – all belonging to the West Germanic language family. So, once you start the process of learning German you will soon understand the basis of other languages as well.

There are german companies all around the United States
German-based companies create about 700K jobs in the US annually. (Photo by Christian Wiediger on Unsplash)

Studying Abroad: If you are interested in the math and science fields, then Germany is a country to consider when looking to grow your education outside the US. Germany is one of the top leading countries in the science and engineering fields from transportation to medical ingenuity and the second most important language in science. Yet, if you are looking to broaden your knowledge in other fields, Germany is still a country to consider. Most college and university programs in Germany are mostly free with the exception of books and other fees that range at as little as €500 a semester.

EU’s Most Spoken Native Language: German is not only the native language of Germany, but also of Austria, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Liechtenstein, and various parts of Northern Italy, Belgium, Netherlands, Denmark, France, Czech Republic, and Poland. This makes German the most spoken native tongue of the European Union with over 100 million native speakers and one of the top ten languages spoken in the world.

New Career Opportunities: Germany is ranked as the fifth-largest economy in the world, so it comes as no surprise that many companies have a presence in Germany’s market and vice versa. Many of Germany’s top companies have international offices and learning German can boost your chances of a career at a German company in your country. Some of Germany’s most recognized and top international corporations include Volkswagen, Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Birkenstock, Aldi, and Adidas. In the last five years, German companies accounted for boasting around 700K jobs in the United States, while the United States created around the same number of jobs in Germany. Which makes having a knowledge and understanding of the German language a great skill to have.

A New Culture: Learning German can also expose you to a new culture one that celebrates art, architecture, music, and well-renowned beer. From Bach to Beethoven, Germany has been home to some of the most celebrated musical composers in modern history. Learning to read and speak German can allow you to first handedly read musical masterpieces and literature from untranslated original versions, with nothing lost in translation. Apart from music, art, and literature, Germany is also home to the oldest brewery in the world, Weihenstephan, located in Freising, Bavaria brewing beer since 1803.

German Lessons Near Me

From classroom settings to private tutors, New York City offers prospective students wanting to learn German a variety of options in each of the five boroughs. From Staten Island to Queens, anywhere is the best place to start your journey in perfecting your PROST!

Bronx: The best part about living in New York City is the proximity of every borough and the convenience of reliable public transportation, but it is also nice when you can find courses close to home. The New York Language Center’s location in the Bronx facilitates German language courses at every level. Yet, if you’re looking for a more rigorous and advanced placement, a quick drive to the German International School New York in White Plains, NY also offers German courses for adult advanced beginners and children ages 4-18.

Being a German living in NYC can be easy to raise a family as there are many German schools for kids
Brooklyn offers various immersive bilingual schools that teach German at an early age. (Photo by Alexander Rotkeron Unsplash)

Brooklyn: Learning German is easily accessible in Brooklyn at whatever age and level. If you are looking to start your child at an immersive bilingual school, then there are multiple schools to choose from. For young students and toddlers KinderHaus, NYC’s first German Immersion pre-school and pre-kindergarten based in Park Slope, is the perfect first step. KinderHaus, offers various private day school programs for kids ages 1-4yrs and after school programs for kids ages 1-13yrs. If a more rigorous program is what you are looking for, then German School Brooklyn located in Park Slope offers private bilingual programs for grades K-12. Courses for adults are also fairly easy to find in Brooklyn, a great option being CUNY Brooklyn College offering German classes from Elementary German to German for Business every fall, spring, and summer term.

Manhattan: Finding the best German teacher in Manhattan can be a hard task, but reliable institutions like the Goethe Institut on E 16th St a few blocks from Union Square are centric and offers courses from level A1 through C1 both online and in a blended classroom setting. The Goethe Institut also offers an array of specialized courses from perfecting grammar and writing to business intercultural training.

Queens: Learning to speak German goes beyond the classroom. One has to fully immerse thyself into the language to really see their skill progress. Queens College in Queens, NY does just that, offering programs beyond the classroom, from student German clubs to German film nights that really engage the culture of German-speaking countries and allow students to socialize and improve their German.

With NYC being so dense and rich in culture, it will be easy to find German lessons near you
Save time and take German lessons close to home, without the Staten Island ferry ride to the city. (Photo by Štěpán Vraný on Unsplash)

Staten Island: If you’d rather stay close to home instead of taking a ferry out to the city for German classes then Wagner College is your answer. Wagener College in Staten Island offers German lessons at every level from basic to intensive German courses to the history of German literature.

Private Tutors in the City

Yet, if a more intimate one-on-one approach is desired then private tutors are also a great option. Modern technology has made the process of finding the best German teacher easier than ever and making virtual learning at the forefront. The benefits of hiring a private tutor are vast including schedule flexibility, tailored lesson plans, and the ability to learn at a faster rate.

Online communities like Superprof make finding the right tutor as easy as a click of a button, with every teacher being hand-selected and in a close radius to your home. The streamlined site allows you to find the right tutor amongst hundreds while having the ability to test-run your first lesson before committing and the freedom to choose your own schedule. Finding local tutors around the city is easy, while also providing tutors throughout the US including cities on both coasts including LA, Houston, Chicago, and many more.

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A California desert-native who has a passion for baking from scratch, reading 1950-era novels, listening to soul/jazz, and global trotting.