German should not be neglected in Slovakia

German businesses struggle to find staffers who speak the language. What are the ways of solving this problem?

Though German language offers a tangible advantage, not many students are speaking it.Though German language offers a tangible advantage, not many students are speaking it. (Source: TASR)

Before the 1989 Velvet Revolution, German was considered the language of freedom. Families in particular who lived close to the Austrian border used to listen to the radio to learn more about what was happening in the western world.

However, times have changed and the popularity of German among Slovak schoolchildren has dropped, mostly to the dislike of business from German-speaking countries established in Slovakia that are searching for staffers who speak the language.

“Companies are struggling to find people who speak German at a sufficient level,” Ivana Sládeková-Ondrejková, head of the language courses department at the Goethe Institute in Bratislava, told The Slovak Spectator. “If the situation continues to worsen, potential investors might invest in other countries.”

German still important

The worsening situation with graduates possessing sufficient German skills has been confirmed by a poll carried out by the Slovak-German Chamber of Commerce (SNOPK) and Advantage Austria in June 2017 on 141 German and Austrian investors in Slovakia.

Nearly every second participant (47.5 percent) claimed that German is the most important foreign language used in their company.

“English has become the most important international business language in Slovakia,” Guido Glania, then-head of the SNOPK, commented on the results. “Our survey has shown that German skills offer a tangible advantage for a career in Slovakia.”

The survey also showed that 27.7 percent of respondents want their employees to speak German and English at an equal level.

However, the number of job ads requiring German that are published on the Profesia.sk job portal is decreasing. The data for the first half of 2018 indicate that only one-tenth of the total number of job ads required the applicants to speak German.

The rest of this article is premium content at Spectator.sk
Subscribe now for full access

I already have subscription - Sign in

Subscription provides you with:
  • Immediate access to all locked articles (premium content) on Spectator.sk
  • Special weekly news summary + an audio recording with a weekly news summary to listen to at your convenience (received on a weekly basis directly to your e-mail)
  • PDF version of the latest issue of our newspaper, The Slovak Spectator, emailed directly to you
  • Access to all premium content on Sme.sk and Korzar.sk

Top stories

Pope Francis and President Zuzana Čaputová at the airport.

Pope brings message of unity to a country in turmoil

It was nice while it lasted. Which wasn’t long.


2 h
Journalist Monika Tódová

Charges brought against two Denník N journalists

The criminal complaint was submitted by ex-journalist-turned-spy Peter Tóth.


4 h
Peter Sagan

Slovak cyclist Sagan wins Around Slovakia

He triumphed despite failing to win any of the five stages.


5 h
The owners of premises should decide on entrance conditions for customers.

Unvaccinated people face extensive restrictions in several districts

Only four districts will enjoy less strict rules from Monday.


5 h
Skryť Close ad