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For more than a thousand years the German-speaking countries have been the cultural and political core of Central Europe. During the last two hundred years their importance has steadily increased, and with the recent developments in eastern Europe their influence seems certain to grow even more.
The importance of the German language has grown correspondingly: it is the second foreign language after English in the countries of central and eastern Europe, and its use is spreading within the European Community. Learning German opens the door to many fields of intellectual, technical and politico-economic endeavour. German scholars have been leaders in philosophy, the sciences, history, archaeology, sociology and political science. German literature is equally distinguished: writers like Goethe, Kafka, Rilke, Brecht, Mann, Grass, etc., have dealt with the widest possible range of human problems and concerns, and have been recognized worldwide.
The Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures offers courses on literature from the 18th Century to the present, so that the student may acquire an overview of this significant element of German life and culture. We offer language courses on the beginning, intermediate and advanced levels, with practice in reading, writing, comprehending and speaking German, as well as stylistics, linguistics, and the specialized vocabulary and concepts of business. Language and literature instruction is integrated as far as possible, with the aim of teaching students advanced critical literacy in German. Instruction in Yiddish is also offered on the beginning, intermediate and advanced levels. The department also offers a minor in Yiddish.
The Department supports opportunities for students to study and work in Germany, by encouraging participation in programs established by the German government, by Canadian universities, and by our own Arts and Science Faculty’s “Study Elsewhere Program.” One of these is the exchange program under which Toronto students can spend the academic year at the Humboldt University in Berlin.
A knowledge of German is a virtual necessity for specialists in many disciplines; it is also very useful in certain career areas (e.g., the foreign service, interpretation and translation, librarianship, business and commerce, music, tourism, and of course teaching). The successful completion of a four-year program, including seven approved courses in German, may entitle the student to enter the M.A. or Ph.D. program in the Graduate Division of the Department.
Students entering with some previous knowledge of German but without an OAC or equivalent qualification may be asked to write an initial assessment test and will then be advised to take courses at the appropriate level. Students who have taken German in high school to OAC or equivalent level will normally begin with GER200Y1.
Information on studies in German Language and/or Literature can be obtained from the Associate Chair or the Undergraduate Coordinator.
Enquiries: Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures, 50 St. Joseph Street, Room 322 (416-926-2324).
Web site: www.chass.utoronto.ca/german
German Studies (Arts program)
Enrolment in the Specialist and Major programs is open to students who have successfully completed four courses and who have the required competence in German. Students without OAC German or equivalent should arrange their courses in consultation with the Department. Students who have any prior experience with German and are taking any GER language course for the first time should contact the Department for details on placement tests.
The Specialist Program requires that at least four of the ten courses must be at the 300+ level.
The Major Program requires that at least three of the seven courses must be at the 300+ level.
Business German (Arts program)
German and Linguistics (Arts program)
Yiddish (Arts program)
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