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Germanic Languages Overview

Germanic Language does not just represent the German dialectic, but actually encompasses a branch of Indo-European languages. They are broken up into three branches, the West Germanic, North Germanic, and East Germanic. A program in Germanic Languages will teach you one or more languages of Northern, Central or Western Europe. Students will additionally be instructed in philology, literature, dialects, and applications to business, science, and technology.

Concentrations within this major include German, Danish, Dutch/Flemish, Scandinavian, Norwegian, and Swedish. While majoring in one of these concentrations, you will be taking courses in Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced language course, Northern Renaissance Art, Postwar literature, World Religion, and European History.

Required Skills

Germanic speaking countries have a rich past, therefore a love for history and culture is helpful when majoring in this subject. Attention to detail is another important skill to possess, because of the complexity of these languages. Students who enjoy reading will love pursuing the classic works of fiction and non-fiction written in these languages.

To prepare for this major, students are advised to take Intro Language courses, Art History, European History, and Comparative Government & Politics. There are opportunities for study abroad programs at some institutions. This would allow student to practice their lingual skills and experience the culture of their chosen country first hand.


A degree in Germanic Languages can lead to many different career opportunities. If you are interested in education, you can obtain a position as a Postsecondary or Adult Education teacher. You would have the opportunity to teach a Germanic dialect, along with Germanic culture and history. You may also be interested in becoming a translator. If you are interested in Foreign Service, you can become a Foreign Service Officer. These officers endorse American business and political interest and give information and aid about their countries to the U.S policymakers. They arrange cultural exchanges, and help Americans travel abroad. The job outlook for these officers is growing at the average rate as other occupations in the U.S.

Average starting salary for graduates majoring in Germanic Languages is $38,742 with a mid-career salary of $68,152.

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Example Careers

Here is a small sample of the careers that a degree in Germanic Languages might open up.

Foreign Language and Literature Teachers, Postsecondary
Interpreters and Translators
Secondary School Teachers, Except Special and Career/Technical Education
Salary data is estimated by College Factual using 2013 data provided by PayScale.
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