"Sprechen Sie Deutsch?" Asylum seekers boost sales of language books

Not everyone in Germany has welcomed the recent influx of migrants to the country with open arms

Sales of books for German language learners surged by 30 per cent in 2015, according to the Munich-based market leader, Hueber publishers.

That was the year that 1.1 million asylum seekers arrived in the country.

"At the moment, there is a very different focus placed on 'German as a foreign language' [as a genre]," publisher Michaela Hueber told dpa. "Previously it was a niche."

"This branch has grown strongly," a spokeswoman for another publishing house, Langenscheidt, said, adding that sales in that area accounted for 10 per cent of the company's profits.

German-Arabic dictionaries are also selling well, with many of the new arrivals coming from countries such as Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq.

The integration of migrants and refugees into German society has been a hotly debated issue, with politicians stressing that learning the language is a key factor in preventing the emergence of so-called parallel societies in which people have little contact to mainstream culture.

Last update: Sun, 21/02/2016 - 13:17

More from Europe

Mattarella looking to usher in functioning Italian government quickly

Following crisis talks in Rome on Saturday, Italian President Sergio Mattarella said he will be taking steps soon to...

Austria to veto further EU accession talks with Turkey

Austria will block the continuation of EU talks with Ankara over Turkey's future membership in the bloc, Austrian...

Diplomats call for ceasefire in Aleppo at Paris meet

Foreign ministry officials from the West and the Middle East meeting in Paris Saturday for talks on Syria have...

French government seeks to extend state of emergency to July 2017

The French government said Saturday it would ask parliament to approve an extension to the country's state of...

No agreement reached between Russia, Ukraine on gas deliveries

Russian and Ukrainian officials failed to reach an agreement on gas deliveries this winter in a first round of EU-...