November 19, 2014—Georgetown’s Department of German, in collaboration with The George Washington University, recently commemorated the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall through a week of special events. German major John Haviland (C’15) explains why taking time to reflect on cultural events, like the 25th anniversary, are an essential aspect of a foreign language education.
“Learning a language is more than just understanding grammar and vocabulary, syntax, and how a language comes together. Languages evolve over time, just like the people who use it. They are almost reflections of the people who use it,” Haviland said. “By understanding the language and metalinguistics, you can come to better understand the culture, just as the culture helps you understand the language and create a better understanding of everything as a whole.”
Video by Kuna Malik Hamad.