Or: How a student at German-American school got his article published in Germany.
We should really say: “German is for not just for German” – because that is what this story is about: a story of an Asian child, his love for cars, and his desire to get to know the people who make the cars he loves:
But it might be best to let Princeton tell his own story, and how, now in our 8th grade, he already published an article in German in Germany. (see link at the end) Rather than summarize his essay, Princeton has given us an English version of it:
“Why do you learn German?”
“The little boy looked at me. He asked me: “Why do you learn German”?
I think that he asked that due to my unique circumstances. My name is Princeton Huang, and I live in America. I am currently 15 years old. I have been going to the German-American School in New York since I was 7 years old. My mother is from Malaysia, while my father is from Taiwan. We are a Chinese family—one hundred percent, in fact, because we have no German blood.
When I was 5 years old, I had to learn Chinese. It was because “I am a Chinese person”, but I found Chinese to be quite boring. Thankfully, I pursued the learning of this language: now, I can speak, write, and read Chinese fluently.
Learning German was my choice. At 7 years old, my reasoning was somewhat strange: I liked German cars. When I was a little older, I found this reasoning extremely immature. At that point, when I was asked why I learned German, I did not know how to answer. I feared this question, and my parents often answered it for me.
However, in 2014, I flew to Germany with my family. We went to Frankfurt and Munich, and we stayed for a few days. In Germany, I spoke with the people. I ate local food. I visited buildings.
This trip was not just “a trip”. No. It was an amazing experience for me, because I saw Germany with my own eyes. In the classroom, we had learned about German culture, but once could not understand the environment in this way. German is more than a language. Passionate speakers and modern architecture accompany this language… it is truly another world.
Yes, when I was a small child, I learned German purely because I liked German cars. However, today, I have persisted in learning this language for the culture, the people, and much more. I think that my devotion can be seen through my small successes. Since my 1st Grade in German, I have won awards every year. From the 1st Grade to the 4th Grade, I have won 3rd Place, while during the 5th and 6th Grades, I won 2nd Place. This year, I have won 1st Place, and I am quite happy about that.
I looked at the little boy once again. Then I said, “I learn German, because I like German cars.”
“Within it, you can find around 300 submissions from worldwide—many from Germany of course, as well as some from France, the UK, Poland, Macedonia, Africa, and India. It is amazing to see how many international submissions there were!
Something I found surprising was the fact that, including my work, merely two of the hundreds of submissions came from the USA.
You can find my essay—“Warum Lernst Du Deutsch?”—on page 193 of the eBook. I’m extremely glad to finally see it complete with so many other great writings in this eBook!”
All of us at German-American School are very proud of Princeton and of all the other students in our school who are learning German. We hope to publish more success stories like this in the future.