How Language and Sport Break Down Barriers
Enlarge image Living language: German is the mother tongue of more than 100 million people. (© picture alliance/ dpa) They are social bridge builders and promote international understanding: language and sport have more in common than one might initially think. How are they similar? Both create identity, have an integrative effect and bring people of different nationalities together.
How the German language opens new horizons is shown in the current issue of .de – Magazin Deutschland: German is the mother tongue of more than 100 million people, it is the number two language on the Internet after English and between 16 and 20 million people worldwide are learning German as a foreign language. Whether in the fields of business, science or culture, in his article well-known sociolinguist Professor Ulrich Ammon forecasts that German is and will remain an important language at the international level. What distinguishes it? Clarity and diversity, says Professor Klaus-Dieter Lehmann, President of the Goethe-Institut. He appeals for “greater passion for German” and explains in an interview how the Goethe-Institut is arousing interest in German language and culture worldwide.
German is a living language with many facets – it also enthrals international bestselling authors. “The German language is structured in such a wonderfully modular way,” says US author Jonathan Franzen in an interview and explains why languages must change. “If you have a command of German, you can do something special,” claims journalist and language critic Bastian Sick, who has made German grammar a bestseller. German is really not so difficult, says Sick and supplies ten good reasons for learning the language.
Enlarge image Basketball Artists School – a German international sports cooperation project – supports kids from the townships of Windhoek (Namibia). (© Frank Albin) The world will experience how sport brings people and cultures closer together from 11 June to 11 July during the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. Germany is one of the 32 teams in the tournament – and believes its prospects are good. “We are one of the teams that could win the title,” says national coach Joachim Löw confidently. During the interview Löw talks about the World Cup, the group opponents and host country South Africa. Our feature on “Sport” also includes:
– A boost for women’s football: an interview with Steffi Jones, the former world-class player and President of the Organizing Committee (OC), about the FIFA Women’s World Cup Germany 2011
– How much is a country’s image influenced by sport? An interview with British political consultant Simon Anholt about countries as brands
– People on the Move: Germany’s commitment to international sports cooperation
More topical reports, articles and interviews on the subjects of “German language” and “Sport in Germany” from the latest issue of .de – Magazin Deutschland are also available online at www.magazin-deutschland.de.