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Foreign Languages


For information about a minor in this or another foreign language, see the academic catalog.

Vince RedderVince Redder, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of English and Languages
(605) 995-2631

When little Vincent Redder was in the seventh grade, his speech teacher assigned her class a speech in which they were to talk about their ancestral heritage. Having thought of himself merely as a Texan, he asked his father about his ancestors. He was told that his forefathers were Teutonic. After looking up Teutonic in the dictionary, little Vincent discovered that his great-grandparents had come to America from Germany in 1889, and, for a reason he did not quite understand, he had a desire to learn their language.

He checked out a copy of the Berlitz Self-Teacher for German from the library so that he could study the ancestral Teutonic tongue, and so began the lifelong pursuit of language study that has occupied Dr. Redder to this day.

Although he now has several other languages under his belt, Dr. Redder’s first love among languages will always be German: he graduated from the University of Dallas with a degree in German, and published his first story in German while there (in the Texas Association of German Students newsletter). He followed up his degree in German language and literature with study at the Goethe Institute in Passau, Germany, where he was exposed to the culture and daily life of southern Germany and Austria. His current linguistic projects are Russian and Scots Gaelic.

Dr. Redder especially is drawn to medieval German literature. He keeps his German skills sharp by teaching German at DWU, but also by reading newspapers and classic German literature and by writing to his relatives who live in Oberschleissheim, near Munich.

Why study German?

  • Munich-The RathausKnowing German will greatly enhance your career opportunities in international business, foreign service, publishing and journalism, commerce and industry, teaching and scholarship, engineering, and international aspects of most other fields.
  • A reading knowledge of German is a great advantage in the fields of international law, philosophy, psychology, technology, and archaeology, as well as chemistry, physics, biology, engineering and design.
  • In business, diplomacy, and tourism, German stands second only to English in Western Europe, and in Eastern Europe it holds first place.
  • German is the language most often required or recommended in academic programs.
  • German remains an important scientific language. It is the second most common language on the Internet with 13 percent of all Web sites (compared to 5 percent in Japanese, 4 percent in French, and 2 percent in Spanish).
  • German is the most widely spoken language in Europe (100 million speakers vs. 60 million for English, French, and Italian).
  • Many of the greatest thinkers and artists of the modern era thought and wrote in German.
  • A review of Nobel Prizes shows that scientists from three major German-speaking countries have won 21 Nobel Prizes in physics, 30 in chemistry, and 25 in medicine.
  • Germany is our largest European trading partner, with more than 750 American firms doing business there. The former German chancellor, Willy Brandt, once said: "If I'm selling to you, I speak your language. If I'm buying, dann müssen Sie Deutsch sprechen [then you have to speak German]."
  • More than a thousand German companies do business in the U.S., and many have formed strategic partnerships with American firms.
  • Germans have one of the highest per capita incomes of the world, spend the most on tourism worldwide, and the U.S. is their first travel destination overseas.
  • German is closely related to English and 36 other "Germanic" languages.
  • About 20 percent of the American population claims German ancestry
St. Stephen's Cathedral, Passau, Germany

Job possibilities:

  • Tourism
  • Academia
  • Archaeology
  • Teaching
  • Diplomacy
  • Business

The interior of St. Stephen's cathedral, Passau, GermanyLAN 105
Conversational German I

  No prior knowledge of German required
   Three credit hours
   German Club

LAN 106
Conversational German II

   Spring, 2006, continuation of LAN 105
   German Club

LAN 205
Intermediate German I

   Continuation of LAN 106
   Emphasis on culture
   Study of German, Austrian and Swiss life and culture

The cathedral in Regensburg, GermanyLAN 206
Intermediate German II

   Continuation of LAN 205
   Emphasis on writing and speaking German

LAN 305
German Composition and Conversation I

   Continuation of LAN 206
   Focus on literature and culture
   Students continue to gain competence in
       conversation and writing German
   May be taken concurrently with LAN 205

LAN 306
German Composition and Conversation II

   Continuation of LAN 305
   Continued focus on daily German life and culture
   Literature and writing
   Focus on discussing topics in German
   Can be taken concurrently with LAN 206

It is possible to get a minor in German by taking the six courses listed above, or a minor in foreign languages by taking a combination of the languages offered at DWU.

For more information, contact Dr. Vince Redder: viredder@dwu.edu or 605-995-2631.

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Last updated: 10/6/11