February 16, 2023

Should Germany make English an official second language?

We posed this question to Twitter, and here’s what people said

Tech may be the de facto language for many of Germany’s tech scaleups. But we’re sure more than a few Sifted readers will agree the language barrier is daunting when relocating. Completing forms in bureaucratic German — that not even Germans themselves can understand at times — is a key obstacle for foreigners seeking to move to the country. 

So should Germany — Europe’s second biggest tech ecosystem — make English a second administrative language? 

That’s a suggestion floated by politicians from one of Germany's governing parties to draw skilled workers from abroad and tackle the country's labour shortage, The Guardian reported on Friday. 


The government wants to bring in 400k people to fill the gap — many of which, of course, are in IT. 

Sifted took this question to Twitter yesterday — and received an overwhelming number of responses. Here are a few. 

Yes, Germany absolutely should make English an official second language

Nope, they should not

It wouldn't make much difference

Maybe focus on tackling other things first…

It will either take too long, or not happen altogether

Miriam Partington

Miriam Partington is a reporter at Sifted. She covers the DACH region and the future of work, and coauthors Startup Life , a weekly newsletter on what it takes to build a startup. Follow her on X and LinkedIn