The theme for German Day 2021, particularly apropos given the virtual nature of the event, roughly translates to “German without borders.” It is our hope that students can explore all the ways that German linguistic and cultural influences appear on all seven continents – yes, even Antarctica!
When we think of the German language, it is not uncommon to immediately envision the country of Germany; they do, after all, share a similar name. Yet German is spoken in many parts of our beautiful world, by nearly 100 million people across several continents. Grenzenlos Deutsch is our way of introducing the boundless possibilities brought to us by the German language. It is as fluid as the immigrants who introduced German to their new homes: ever-changing and constantly evolving. As the German Department of the University of Michigan, we not only acknowledge the rich and deep history of the state of Germany itself, but also the many homes our language has been given world-wide. Join us as we travel to different countries and communities and discover the unbounded language that has brought us together, even or especially during a global pandemic.
Did you know that you could graduate with an Abitur from a Gymansium in Boston? Or that more people speak German than Italian, Japanese or Swahili? There’s a Bavarian castle formerly owned by the Baron of Baden-Baden in San Luis Potosi, Mexico and Oktoberfest is celebrated in numerous cities across Japan. Roughly 7% of Argentines are of German descent and there’s even a German dialect (Barossa) spoken in the wine region of Australia.