When most people think about the foreign languages they were taught in high school, they typically think of Spanish, French, and German. Those used to be the staples, but the United States has recently begun moving away from these core languages in favor of new ones.
It seems like, these days, the languages offered in schools more closely mirror the languages spoken most often around the country. That’s why we see French and German in Georgian schools being cut. Instead, languages like Mandarin Chinese and Japanese are beginning to become more popular. However, the state of Georgia would like to go back to the basics, and they are encouraging more students to take German.
Language Choices Influenced by Business
Georgia has about 13k students enrolled in German languages classes in various high schools across the state, and they would like this number to increase for several reasons. Since the cold war, there has been a noticeable decrease of interaction between the United States and Germany.
It used to be that hundreds of young men would be shipped over each year with the military, and they would bring back positive stories about the culture as well as a little bit of the language. Now, interest in Germany has waned, and not as many Americans are actively studying German translation or German culture unless they plan to work in Germany or teach the language.
Nearly six hundred German companies are in Georgia, which is one of the main reasons Georgia would like to see more young people taking German language courses in high school and college. With so many business opportunities, it’s a wise move for some of the students to learn business translation skills or even become professional translators.
Right now, the fourth most widely offered language is German in Georgian schools. Many smaller schools that are not well-funded have also been forced to cut their German programs in favor of more popular languages, such as Chinese. However, the Georgia Department of Education is hopeful more students will enroll for German classes in the future.
German Means Better Business Opportunities
The Georgia Department of Education reports that the German businesses in the state are in desperate need of employees who are proficient in the German language and culture. The Education Department has asked employees to help encourage students to continue studying German because knowledge of the language could positively influence their chances of finding long-term, profitable employment.
Though many other schools around the country say that translation services are needed more for Mandarin Chinese and Spanish, Georgia is a hot spot for German, and Georgia educators are ensuring that their students are closely examining the job opportunities to be had in their area by studying the German language and culture.