In its successive resolutions on multilingualism, the General Assembly welcomed the efforts made to celebrate and promote multilingualism with a day dedicated to each of the official languages of the UN, and encouraged the Secretary-General to consider extending this initiative to non-official languages. Against this backdrop, the German Translation Section at the United Nations Headquarters in New York is pleased to announce the first observance of German Language Day at the UN, which will be celebrated on Wednesday, 30 June and Thursday, 1 July 2021. It will feature the following three virtual events, organized in collaboration with Goethe-Institut New York and the German Film Office: 

  • Documentation Division Lecture Series (DD LS): “Translating cultural identity”: Thursday, 1 July 2021 at 12:00 p.m. (New York time).
  • Film screening: “Gundermann”: streaming available on Wednesday, 30 June through Sunday, 4 July 2021 upon registration
  • “Schnupperstunde”: free German trial class: Wednesday, 30 June 2021 at 1:00 p.m. (New York time) upon registration. Participants must register by Friday, 25 June 2021.

All UN Secretariat and Permanent Mission staff, as well as interested members of the public, are invited to join us in celebrating German-language literature, music, film and culture. Participants do not need to have a command of German to attend or watch the film screening or lecture series. The German class is intended for those who do not speak the language yet, as well as current students of German looking to enrich their vocabulary. 





Documentation Division Lecture Series: “Translating cultural identity”

Experienced translators Alta L. Price and Tess Lewis join Duncan Lien, winner of the 2020 Gutekunst Prize of the Friends of Goethe New York, for a discussion about the role of translation in articulating questions of cultural exchange and identity. Duncan Lien talks about his winning translation of an excerpt from the novel Ich bin Özlem, by author Dilek Güngör, which tells of a young second-generation Turkish immigrant’s experience in Germany’s majority society. Dean Whiteside, Library and Information Project Manager at the Goethe-Institut New York, will give a live introduction to this pre-recorded discussion. He will also read an excerpt from Duncan Lien’s translation and will take live audience questions at the end of the event. This event will be in English.

Join us for this literary journey to contemporary Germany on Thursday, 1 July 2021 at 12:00 p.m. (New York time) via MS Teams

This event is presented by the UN German Translation Section of the Department for General Assembly and Conference Management (DGACM) in collaboration with Goethe-Institut New York and is part of the long-standing DD Lecture Series of DGACM’s Documentation Division.


Film screening: “Gundermann”

With six wins at the prestigious German Film Awards, Gundermann is a celebrated biopic about the eponymous East German folk singer-songwriter. A man of wildly conflicting interests in music, blue-collar work, and the politics of the former German Democratic Republic, Gerhard Gundermann mirrors an equally tumultuous East German regime in the 1970s. Director Andreas Dresen examines his main character impartially, giving equal attention to moments of beautiful musical inspiration and to despicable acts of betrayal.

Biopic, Germany, 2018, 127 minutes, in German with English subtitles.

Watch the trailer here.

This film is presented by the German Film Office and can be viewed on demand from Wednesday, 30 June through Sunday, 4 July 2021 via Eventive. Sara Stevenson, Executive Director of the German Film Office, will give a short introduction in English. Please register here to receive a link to the streaming platform.



“Schnupperstunde”: free German trial class

How about taking a German class that will not only fully immerse you in the language but impart authentic, real-world speaking skills, taught by sensible educators that are trained in the latest, state-of-the art pedagogy? When you leave the class, you will be ready to engage in elementary everyday conversation in German! 







In Celebration of German Language Day at the United Nations, Goethe-Institute New York offers a free trial class Wednesday, 30 June 2021 at 1:00 p.m. (New York time) via Zoom. Parallel sessions will be offered for complete beginners, participants with some knowledge of German, and intermediate German learners. So whether you are getting your first taste, or coming back for more, take this opportunity to immerse yourself in the German language for one hour. Registration is required for this event. Please register here by 25 June 2021.

This announcement is also available in German from DGACM's German Translation Section's website.