In spite of the Old Firm, our favourite rivalry, Glasgow is consistently voted the friendliest city in the world by travellers and locals alike.

Even so, that football rivalry does not make us so crazy that we could that we would fail to embrace something new... say, language lessons.

With the tourist season well underway and folks from all over the world visiting, and the reputation our Dear Green Place enjoys, we could bet that at least some of those travellers would be from Germany.

Wouldn’t it be great if you could greet them in their native language?

Or how about visiting Nuremberg, our German sister-city, with whom we have commercial, cultural and social ties, on your summer holiday?

All of these great reasons aside, you don’t really have to have a specific cause for learning German.

You might just want to study the language of Goethe for the sheer pleasure of learning something new, or because you would like to plan a holiday to Munich to experience the authentic Oktoberfest.

Whatever your reasons for learning German (are you a student needing a bit of exam preparation before sitting your Highers?), Glasgow surely has German lessons for you.

Let’s go find them!

German Classes at the Goethe Institut

You will need to speak some German to get off the beaten path
Most tourist attractions will have signage in other languages but you will need German skills to get off the beaten path Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Named after renowned poet and statesman Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, this institute is a cultural exchange and education organisation whose prime objective is to promote the German language worldwide.

We are quite fortunate to have an Institut in Glesga; there are only two others in all of the UK!

While German instruction is their priority, you shouldn’t think that classroom learning is all there is to Goethe.

By far the more captivating aspect of their presence in our city is the cultural events that they put on, everything from musicals to discussion of current events, both in our city and elsewhere in the UK.

Did you know that Goethe will host events at the Edinburgh Festival? Why not see if you could also take German lessons in Edinburgh?

Naturally, we could go on and on about all that is on offer at our Goethe Institut but our topic is German language courses in Glasgow and, if you only connect with the fine teachers at that facility for those lessons, you would certainly be well-served.

If you are an adult learner, you have your choice of classes and delivery methods: in a formal setting at the Institut or online; a format more in keeping with today’s digital pace.

You may also take courses individually – just you and your teacher, or in a group with other students who speak German as well as you do.

If you wish to certify your language skills through the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages, Goethe can help you prepare for that ordeal ahead of administering it to you.

Indeed, Goethe is the authorised proctor for those German language exams!

Whether you are a youth or adult, they can help you earn your official German language certificate; a vital credential if you plan to study abroad or find work in Germany.

You may check their web page for course particulars, dates and costs. While you’re there, be sure to check what is on offer through their ‘culture’ and ‘events’ pages.

While consulting their page, you may find yourself totally taken with certain cultural elements of Germany or wonder why the Glasgow Institut is hosting German classes in Birmingham...

Take German Lessons with a Tutor

The Goethe Institut offers private tutoring, but then, so do other language schools – we’ll get to them in a moment.

Even better: private tutors whose native language is German abound in our city!

It is true that, no matter how strong your desire to learn a foreign language, the pressures and demands of modern life often get in the way. After all, you could hardly ignore your family in favour of a language course, could you?

Home tutors provide you with the solution you need to meet your goal and start learning German. In fact, tutors fit the bill in many language learning situations:

  • you have a secondary school student studying for Highers or Advanced Highers in German
  • you are a student at Glasgow University majoring in German
  • you are unable to travel of an evening or would be more comfortable learning languages at home
  • your entire family – partner and teenaged children, wish to learn German as a group
  • you prefer to take lessons online, via webcam

No one method of delivery is better than any other and your preferences should be at the top of the list of criteria you have for language instruction.

That is why Superprof tutors have adopted a wide range of teaching methods, suitable for any location you wish to learn at be it in your local library or your dining room table.

You can also find Superprof tutors who give lessons online.

Whether you need help with your university German language course or need intensive German tutelage ahead of your holiday, Superprof stands at the ready with 18 tutors in the Glesga area and a community of thousands online.

It would be helpful to read a bit of German to navigate the city
A bit of German language instruction will help you navigate public transportation when you visit Germany Image by Thomas Ulrich from Pixabay

Learn German in a Language School

If you are interested in learning German as a second language, Glasgow is the place to be!

Several schools offer courses in German, whether your work in an international company demands it or if you just want to pick up conversational German before your holiday in Berlin.

One such organisation is Live Language.

They prefer to teach in small groups, no more than 14 people, so that everyone has a chance to participate without feeling pressured or rushed.

Each course lasts 12 weeks, with two hours of instruction per week in which they tap into all four language skill areas: reading and writing, listening and speaking.

Fortunately, you would not have to endure grammar lessons. In fact, there will be no verb conjugation or repetitive pronunciation drills eating up your class time.

These courses are taught communicatively, meaning that the focus is on interaction rather than grammatical competence. Let’s hope you’re prepared to enjoy engaging learning sessions!

If you are not sure exactly where you are in your language ability – maybe you can say Guten Morgen but Gute Nacht escapes you, you could take a placement test so your teacher can know where best to start with you.

It wouldn’t do any good putting yourself in an intermediate class if you are an absolute beginner!

You might wonder why you need to learn how to read and write in German if all you want to do is speak and understand the language reasonably well.

This is the type of question you should address to your course advisor before choosing a class. Luckily, the people at Live Language are very helpful in that regard.

Do German learners in Leeds also rely on Live Language?

Language Trainers has chosen their name well: all they do is language and they do it very well.

That does not mean that they have a few tired old books that they teach out of; every lesson is targeted to students’ interests and goals.

For instance, let’s say you have an opportunity for an internship at Siemens headquarters.

Although you have been assured that everyone there speaks English, you wish to show cultural competence by picking up a few German phrases.

Each one of your lessons would be targeted to the language and culture of Germany, especially business culture, which can be a bit formal.

Furthermore, your discussions might touch upon city-specific events and region-specific dialect, depending on whether you will work out of the Berlin or Munich office.

Are German language programs in Belfast equally thorough?

Language Trainers has offices throughout the UK and in Ireland (and around the world), so that even if you have to travel on business, you may still catch your weekly German lesson (provided the centre you will guest at agrees).

Or you could simply arrange for online lessons; then, it wouldn’t matter where in the world you are!

Find out where you could take German courses in Cardiff, should you have business there.

Try an authentic German bratwurst to see if it tastes like the ones you grill
Are the bratwursts you would eat in Germany very different from the ones you grill at home? Image by andrasgs from Pixabay

German Language Study at the University of Glasgow

This implication this header creates is that it would pertain only to students enroled in a degree German language program.

The fact is, while this institute of higher learning does indeed have several degree programmes that include German speaking, not every university course is meant for university students; to wit, their short courses.

Find out if universities in London offer similar German language training through a short course format.

These language classes follow a progressive structure.

Although there are no prerequisites for taking a German course, you must have some knowledge of German, either learned independently or through previous formal language studies taken elsewhere.

Though you will not earn a certificate for your language training in these short courses, you will gain language proficiency... and that was your goal all along, wasn’t it?

Gaining fluency in foreign languages is the work of a lifetime, meaning you must study for your entire life if you wish to master German as a foreign language.

Sounds a bit daunting but, if you are consumed with a love of study or are enamoured with the German language, it is really not a punishing task.

On the other hand, if you are pursuing German studies simply so you can be communicative as you sail down the Rhine on a cruise, those conversational German lessons will really pay off – if only so that you can truly appreciate the richness of German culture.

No matter your reasons for learning, you now know where you can find lessons in Glasgow.

Where can you find German lessons anywhere in the UK?

Need a German teacher?

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A vagabond traveler whose first love is the written word, I advocate for continuous learning, cycling, and the joy only a beloved pet can bring. There is plenty else I am passionate about, but those three should do it, for now.