"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

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