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The German Language

German is the first language of over 100 million people. It belongs to the family of Indo-European languages and within this to the group of the Germanic languages. It is closely related to Danish, Norwegian and Swedish as well as English. During the Middle Ages there was a variety of regional forms of written languages. With the spread of Luther’s Bible translation a single form of the written language was gradually introduced which was essentially based on the official language of Saxony.

Deutsche SpracheWe learn German!

In Germany many regional dialects are still spoken. Dialects and accents are usually determined by where somebody comes from. If somebody from Mecklenburg and somebody from Bavaria speak to each other in their own distinct dialects then it is not easy for them to understand each other.

As well as in Germany German is spoken as a first language in Austria, Liechtenstein, a large part of Switzerland, South Tyrol (in Northern Italy), North Schleswig (in Denmark) and in small areas of Belgium and Luxemburg which lie along the German border. The German minority in Poland, Romania and Russia have also partially maintained their German language. Almost every tenth book that is published in the world is written in German.

The German Language Society (Verein Deutsche Sprache.) works to protect and preserve the German language, both in Germany and abroad.