A great deal of modern philosophy has its roots in the work of great German thinkers such as Kant, Hegel and Heidegger. Some knowledge of the conceptual vocabulary developed by these thinkers and the ability to engage with their writings in the original language, even if only at a fairly basic level, can be an invaluable resource for students.
In our experience of training translators and interpreters over the past two decades, employers desperately need more graduates who include German and English in their language combination. Germany is the industrial and financial powerhouse of Europe, and one of the world’s top exporters. This means lots of interesting and rewarding work for linguists: a wide range of technical and commercially sensitive texts need to be translated, and interpreters are essential for business communication.However, in most countries, there are insufficient interpreters and translators with German. For instance, if German automotive manufacturers want to sell cars in Japan, they are unlikely to be able to recruit sufficient German to Japanese translators, as Japanese children are much more likely to study English or other foreign languages, not German. This means that English is critical as a ‘pivot’ language: documentation in German is typically translated into English, then the English translation is used as the source text for dozens of other languages. English-speaking linguists with German are therefore in the highest demand among employers.