Do you know how to ask for help in German? Or do you know enough German to actually say that you don’t know German? Do you feel nervous when you try to recollect the only words you know in German and try to form a sentence?
Let’s get to the point. There is no way one can live in Germany without knowing language. But how much of that language should you know to survive there is the question. Standard German is the official language spoken in Germany. Many German universities use the criteria defined by the Council of Europe in the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages and there are 6 levels on this scale: A1, A2, B1, B2, C1 and C2.
A1 and A2 are the levels where one can learn everyday expressions, and learn to introduce themselves and explain their backgrounds. But when someone asks something out of context, you may find yourself trapped. These levels constitute the elementary use of the German language. Consider yourself in a situation where you tripped over a stone and spilled coffee on someone else’s shirt. That is where levels B1 and B2 come into play. While you can say sorry and easily escape from the situation when you know the first two levels, levels B1 and B2 help you handle the situation much better. This is a more advanced level. C1 and C2 levels help you become autonomous in German, which means you grasp implicit meanings.
For studying in Germany, the language requirement is A2 if you opt for courses in English or ones that offer instruction in both English and German. For courses where the medium of instruction is completely German—and there are a lot more of these courses available—B2 level in German will be needed. This same level is required if the student would like to work in the country later. If your spouse wants to move to Germany, it is important that they know the language. The spouse’s German skills have to correspond to level A1. B2 level is required for those being employed in Germany as a nurse and for those who wish to study in Germany to become a nurse. There is a special C1 level course that is needed for doctors to practise.
Even though German is quite uniform as a written language, it exists in many dialects which belong to either High German or Low German dialectal groups. The official written language is High German, which is the language of the southern highlands of Germany. German ranks among the languages with the most native speakers worldwide as it is the native language of more than 90 million speakers. It is widely studied as a foreign language and is also one of the main cultural languages in the west.
The Austrian German language diploma ÖSD (Österreichisches Sprachdiplom Deutsch) certificates are internationally recognised. It assesses German as a foreign and a second language. This certification is valid for working or living in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.