Meagan Martin

Studying German has been an extremely rewarding experience for me, largely thanks to my time as a student of the inspiring professors of the Department of Germanic Languages at UCLA.

As a young opera singer, languages play an extremely prominent role in my profession, both for the repertoire itself and for communication with the multicultural casts and production teams. Germany and Austria are clear leaders in the number of opera performances each year, so I elected to major in German while continuing my music studies independently so that I would be more marketable to the opera houses in these countries.

Beyond the connection to my profession, I chose to major in German because it is such a fascinating language and has such strong ties to the intellectual and cultural development of our world, be it in the field of literature, philosophy, science or music. For me, being able to listen to a Schumann or Schubert Lied and understand the masterful texts of poets like Eichendorff, Goethe and Heine directly in German takes the experience to an entirely different level, since the nuance and beauty of the language cannot be appreciated in the same way when filtered by a translation.

On a larger scale, though, exploring the language and culture of German-speaking countries has been invaluable to me because of the perspective I have gained. With thought-provoking course options in literature, linguistics, philosophy and culture to complement the classes focused on the basic mechanics of the language itself, UCLA’s German program helped me to become a much more internationally-minded individual as well as provided me with a template for using the exploration of a language as a window to a culture, a template that I carry over to my other language studies.

I am proud to be an alumna of such a wonderful program and look forward to the opportunities I will encounter as a result of my knowledge of German in the years to come.