German language is spoken by nearly 100 million people around the world and the number is increasing day by day!
German language, German Deutsch, official language of both Germany and Austria and one of the official languages of Switzerland. German belongs to the West Germanic group of the Indo-European language family, along with English, Frisian, and Dutch (Netherlandic, Flemish). The official language of Germany is German, with over 95% of the population speaking German as their first language. Minority languages include Sorbian, spoken by 0.09% in the east of Germany and North Frisian spoken in Nordfriesland by around 10,000 people, or 0.01%, who also speak German.
Depending on the inclusion or exclusion of certain varieties, it is estimated that approximately 90–95 million people speak German as a first language, 10–25 million as a second language, and 75–100 million as a foreign language. This would imply the existence of approximately 175–220 million German speakers worldwide. The six countries that have German as their official language, in alphabetical order, are: Austria, Belgium, Germany, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg and Switzerland.
The German language consists of about 5.3 million words – with a rising trend. About one third of those words was added in the last 100 years. This means, the German language contains eight times as many words as the English language.In the everyday conversation, we use much less words: only 12.000 – 16.000 words including about 3.500 foreign words. The “Duden”, a popular reference book for grammar and orthography of the German language, lists 135.000 words. Because of the possibility of creating words by joining single words together to make one word, the German language is considered as a particularly rich language. For example: Wehrdienstverweigerer" (EN: conscientious objector) or "Weltmeisterschaftseröffnungsspiel" (EN: world championship opening game).
WHY LEARN GERMAN?
TEN REASONS TO LEARN GERMAN
Whatever plans you may have for the future, knowledge of German will increase your options. When you learn German you acquire a range of skills which can improve the quality of both your work and private life:
Business: Knowing the language of your German business partners improves your relations and therefore your chances for effective communication and success.
The global career: Knowledge of German increases your job opportunities with German and foreign companies in your own country and abroad. Proficiency in German helps you to function productively for an employer with global business connections.
Tourism and hospitality industry: Tourists from German-speaking countries travel wide and far, and are the world’s biggest spenders when on holiday. They appreciate to be looked after by German-speaking staff and tour guides.
Science and Research: German is the second most commonly used scientific language. Germany is the third largest contributor to research and development and offers research fellowships to scientists from abroad.
Communication: Developments in media, information and communication technology require multilingual communicators. A wide range of important websites are in German and worldwide, Germany is ranked number 5 in terms of annual publication of new books. Knowledge of German therefore offers you extended access to information.
Cultural understanding: Learning German provides you with an insight into the way of life, and the hopes and dreams of people in German speaking countries, broadening your horizon.
Travel: Make the most of your travels not only in German-speaking countries, but in many other European countries where German is widely spoken, especially in Eastern Europe.
Enjoyment of literature, music, art and philosophy: German is the language of Goethe, Kafka, Mozart, Bach and Beethoven. Indulge in reading and/or listening to their works in their original language.
Opportunities to study/work in Germany: Germany awards a generous number of scholarships and other support to study in Germany. Working holiday visas are available for young foreigners from a range of countries, and special visas are offered to skilled workers and professionals.