Year 12 student Radoslaw Rochowiak (known as Radek) has qualified for the World Final of the International German Olympics – the largest German language contest in the world.

He is representing the United Kingdom in Freiburg from the 15-28 July. Radek secured his place at the final stage of the biggest competition for the German language by triumphing in the two rounds earlier in the year.

Originally from Poland, Radek is an accomplished linguist. He is studying French, German and Spanish as well as Maths and he will sit his A Level exams in 2019.

For the national preliminary round, Radek was tasked with creating a video about how learning German has changed his life. In the video he talks about his love of the German language. Radek explains the language has become an important part of his life and has made him a better person.

He describes how learning German has awakened a fascination with different languages, other cultures, and opened his eyes to the wider world.

What is the German Olympics?

The German Olympics is organised by the Goethe-Institut and attracts competitors from all over the world.  This year there are over 100 finalists representing 74 countries such as Mongolia, New Zealand, Sri Lanka, Venezuela and Morocco.

Native German speakers are excluded from the competition as well as anyone who has spent more than six months living in Germany.

During his two week stay in Freiburg, in Germany’s southwestern Black Forest region, Radek set aside the first week to learn and to prepare for the competition.  Educational activities include creative and journalistic writing, presentation techniques and drama.

Goethe-Institut’s Project Co-ordinator Martina Case said  “The best German learners from the qualification rounds compete against international competitors  for the top three places across three levels at the event. Intercultural skills and the ability to work in international teams are necessary to achieve this, not just language skills.

“Radoslaw did really well in the competition and we were very impressed by his German skills!”