Essay about Germany
Germany, or the Federal Republic of Germany, is a country in West-Central Europe. It is well-known as the “economic heart” of Europe since German economy is often used as a main “fuel” that affects European economy in a positive way. Germany is a country with a long history. It has experienced empires, tyranny, and nowadays it is a democratic republic where human rights are protected and respected.
Germany was divided until 1871 when German states were united into the German empire. Before that, German states were separated from each other. Germany was one of the losers in the First World War which led to the spread of Nazism in the country since many people viewed it as a way for Germany to redevelop again. After the loss in the Second World War, Germany has been divided again to unite one more time in 1990. After that, Germany became a fully democratic country with stable economic and political systems.
As it was mentioned above, Germany is situated in West-Central part of Europe. It is seventh largest country in Europe with 81.1 million people; thus, it is the second most populated country in Europe after Russia. There are 225 inhabitants per square kilometer. Nevertheless, there is a very low (one of the lowest in the world, in fact) fertility rate (Daley and Kulish). It means that there are only 8.37 births per 1,000 citizens (CIA). Despite the predictions of many researchers, population of the country is not decreasing thanks to the flow of immigrants. Non-European immigrants who have come to the country in the recent decade make 10% of the overall population, and there are more people willing to move to Germany thanks to its economic potential.
Germany is also one of the biggest countries in Europe with an area of 137,847 sq mi. Its flag consists of three horizontal and equal bands. The colors of the flag are black, red, and gold; these are the national colors of the country. As it was already mentioned, at the present time, Germany is a democratic country. It is parliamentary federal republic. The current ruler is the recently-reelected Chancellor Angela Merkel (this position is similar to Prime Minister) who exercises executive power and leads the government (Smale and Ewing). The country also has a president who is Joachim Gauck. Parliament which consists of Federal Diet and Federal Council has legislative power. Members of the parliament are elected through direct elections. They represent different states of the country. Hence, they are representatives of the respective state cabinets.
The capital of the country is Berlin. This is where the government is. The population of the city is 3,471,756 people. Other large cities are Hamburg, Munich, and Cologne (all have more than a million citizens). Frankfurt, Stuttgart, and Düsseldorf are also among the big cities in Germany. As it was stated above, many consider Germany to be the “economic heart” of European Union thanks to its economic stability and development. Its economy is the fourth largest by nominal GDP. It is also the fifth largest by purchasing parity. As a member state of the European Union, it has a free market with other EU member states. Thus, it is also a part of the Schengen Area as well as a member of NATO, the UN, the G8, and the Council of Europe. Its economy is well-known for a highly skilled labor force and almost absolute absence of corruption. German companies such as Volkswagen, Adidas, and Bosch are well-known globally.
Christianity is the dominant religion, but there are also more than four millions Muslims in the country. Germany is the mono-ethnic country with more than eighty percent of the population being German, but there are ten percent of non-Europeans. It also has a high literacy rate. 99% of citizens older than 15 can read and write.
The country has one official language which is German. Every person who wants to find a qualified job has to learn German. It is also necessary to take a German-language test before obtaining German citizenship. There are other languages in the country which are considered minor. They are Danish, Low German, Sorbian, Romany, and Frisian. Immigrants usually speak Turkish, Kurdish, Polish, and Russian. Interestingly, more than half of Germans knows another foreign language.
When focusing on German language, one can say that it is a “difficult language to study by English learners, with its long and winding words” (BBC). German grammar is more complicated than English because of “four noun case endings and three grammatical genders”; and the pronunciation is very difficult too (BBC). Nevertheless, it is still connected to English, and there are many similarities between the two languages since they both belong to the West Germanic language branch.
German language is one of the most popular languages in the world for foreigners to learn. It is due to many factors. First of all, it is because German is spoken not only within the country. Secondly, it is because of German economic strength. Hence, the country attracts learners who need language in order to obtain a job in Germany-based companies. Thirdly, there is similarity between English and German, and current necessity to know another language except English.
When it comes to German language at work, one can say that German companies require their employees to speak fluent German. There is an interesting statistics which shows that Germany has the highest amount of foreigners working in the country and learning German language. It means few things. First of all, German working conditions and overall economic situation attracts many immigrants to come to work in the country.
Secondly, most of these workers are required to know official language. Such monolingualism is beneficial for the working place since all of the employees are able to communicate effectively because they all know official language. Interestingly, more professionals come to the country at the present time comparing to the previous decade when there were more low labor skilled workers coming to the country. Nowadays, there are many Slavic people who have a high educational level. They work in many German institutions where they communicate in German. Immigrants from Middle East usually take low-paid jobs and speak little German when they come to the country. Nevertheless, the situation in the republic is such that if one wants to get a good job, he or she must learn German. More than 70% of foreign workers in Germany learn the official language. It is a very high number comparing to the other countries. For example, there are less than twenty percent of foreign workers who learn English in the United States. These numbers show that foreigners in the USA usually take low-paid jobs which require little language skills and also the fact that knowing English in the US is not necessary. Germany represents different situation thanks to its language policy. Hence, knowing the official language is a must.
Germans are well-known for their perfectionism when it comes to work. Hence, their working places usually gather people who are strongly devoted to their jobs and who want to perform their tasks as good as possible. Germans are punctual and organized, and they calculate every step they make. They also value interpersonal communication a lot, and that is one more thing that strengthens the position of German language at work.
Hence, one can see that German economic success may be due to its well-organized working places where employees communicate effectively, and where there are basic rules necessary for everyone. Since everybody speaks German, no one feels discriminated or excluded from others. The fact that German is an official and dominant language means that everybody has to use it. Nevertheless, people can speak any other language at their homes, and there is no pressure concerning language usage outside work. Such distinction allows building healthy atmosphere in the working place where everybody knows the rules and follows them. This way, speaking German is also among the rules, but it is not viewed as a barrier for communication, but rather as a way to unite workers. All of the foreigners are able to learn German in the country. Hence, they are given the ability to get the same jobs as native Germans.