Vieraiden kielten oppimismotivaatio: esimerkkinä saksa yliopisto-opiskelijoiden keskuudessa
German continues to be one of the most often used foreign languages for academic purposes in Finland although its use has decreased rapidly during the past few decades. The aim of this study is to explore university students’ motivation to learn German. It is part of the FinGer project and focuses on 2257 answers given to one survey question, namely why students have learned German. This multiple choice question with seven options included an open-ended option, which 772 German as a foreign language speaking respondents selected. In addition to frequency analysis of the multiple choice options, the open comments were analysed using qualitative content analysis in two ways: inductively (data-driven thematic classification) and deductively (theory-driven classification). The open comments were also analysed quantitatively. The results show that German was primarily studied to improve employment possibilities. Finnish language education policies clearly influenced the motivation to learn German over time: older generations’ motivation was mainly regulated externally whereas intrinsic motivation increased in younger generations.