German, with its 100 million speakers, is the most frequently spoken language in the European Union. It is the official language of Germany and also one of the official languages of Austria, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Luxemburg, Belgium and a part of Italy, not to mention the other German-speaking communities and Expats all over the world, including in Russia. German-Russian relations were important during the time of the Tsars because of the marriage bonds between the nobilities of Germany and Russia. Peter the Great wanted to bring European and German culture to Russia in order to connect the history of the two nations. Today, economic relations between Russia and Germany are more important than ever. On one hand, Germany is Russia’s most important economic partner but on the other hand, it is the status of German in the Europe that, despite the current crisis in the EU, has created an interest in learning German. The population of the German-speaking minority who live mostly in Siberia is around half a million, helping to maintain an interest in preserving the status German language. However, it does not matter why people want to learn German: for business reasons or pleasure, from being a frustrated beginner to a German studies student - Language Link offers German as a foreign language for all kinds of interest and all ages.
German as a Foreign Language has been a successful part of the Language Link program for more than three years during which the demand for German has increased. Russians are quite capable at learning German. Maybe it is due to the similar grammar, the often identical constructions of expressions, or similar pronunciation - the frequently used German words in the Russian language make it easier for Russians to understand and use German. There are a number of Germans who are aware that words such as "Butterbrot" and "Schlagbaum", have been imported into Russian but there are more to be found: "Straf", "buchgalter" or "absatz" are just three words of many, which originate from German.
The even more difficult Russian grammar makes it easier for Russians to understand the complicated German grammar, even if the amount of exceptions and the word order in the German sentence is a major problem for Russian students.
Besides the metropolises of Moscow and St. Petersburg, not only the culture and companies of German-speaking countries in every region of this giant country can be found but also German food and restaurants, which are becoming increasingly popular. As well as "kolbasi", sausages, or Suisse chocolate, every Russian adult admires the German art of brewing beer. German cars are also extremely popular despite of their horrendous prices because of the high importing taxes.
However, it is not just German products but also the culture itself that is admired in Russia. Education is considered extremely important in Russia. As well as every Russian child being aware of Rammstein and the Scorpions, they also know about Göthe, Mozart, the Hundertwasser and Wagner.
Even if the German language is not considered to be one of the easiest languages to learn, Johann Wolfgang von Göthe, the world-famous German writer wrote:
"It´s not enough to know - people have to use. It´s not enough to want - people have to do."