There are approximately 180 million speakers of the German language. This includes about 100 million people who speak German as their native (first) language, and a further 80 million or so who speak German as a second or third language. German is in fact the major language in Germany itself, as well as Austria, Luxembourg, Liechtenstein and Switzerland. There are also a number of German speaking communities in other countries around Europe and the world, including Argentina, Brazil, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Italy, Namibia, and the United States of America.
If you plan to do business in Germany, Austria or Switzerland, then you no doubt find that knowing the German language would be very helpful. For this reason, youought to consider your options for learning German, and what are the best options for you.
One option is to go German classes. You can find some classes at many local colleges and adult education centers, are they are indeed a popular way to learn the language. To be fair, not everyone likes going to classes, so they are not for everyone. The other consideration for adult learners, is simply whether classes are practical. If there are no classes within a reasonable traveling distance, or your schedule simply does not allow you to attend classes, then obviously you will need to look into other alternatives.
The main alternative to going to classes is home study. Home study has the advantage that you can work at your own pace, fit studies your other commitments, and of course learn in the comfort of your own home. There are many home study courses available on the German language. Traditional home study courses are based around books or tapes, but now you can also choose from a range of computer-based language courses, and these do seem to suit many people.