Nathan A. Shoff

Nathan A. Shoff

"Because of the outstanding faculty – and excellent class offerings – my study of German at Canisius College entailed more than merely memorizing new nouns and verbs; it was also an education in the culture, history, politics, art, and philosophy expressed in and through that language.  As all modern languages develop organically, the language itself is a mirror on the culture in which it was developed.  And although my current employment doesn’t routinely bring me into contact with German speaking peoples, my appreciation and understanding of German expressed through such things as the literature of Uwe Timm, or the films of Werner Herzog, lasts with me through this day. 

With Germany being one of the most consistently stable national economies in our increasingly globalised economic system, it is more important than ever to have at least a rudimentary knowledge of that country’s principle modes of communication, and, likewise, the mental constructs of its political class.

But even if you’re not regularly communicating with German nationals in your profession, it is nevertheless wonderful to have an additional portion of world culture open to your understanding by learning how to speak and translate German.  From knowing what I’m eating when I order “Schweinshaxe” to understanding what’s going on in a performance of Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte, I can truly say that knowledge of this foreign language has enriched my life."