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German (Deutsch) is a Germanic language spoken in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Liechtenstein, as well as some areas of the surrounding countries.

Phonology Edit

Grammar Edit

German is a highly inflected language and nouns are conjugated in gender (3), number, and case. German has four cases: nominative, accusative, dative and genitive.

Orthography Edit

German uses a standard modern Latin script for its alphabet. In addition to the 26 standard modern Latin characters, German has some additional characters: the umlauts and the eszet. Both of these evolved from old ligatures.

The umlauts are ä, ö and ü and evolved from the practice of scribes writing a little e above a, o and u to signify a different pronunciation. When no umlaut characters are available (for example when using a font which does not include the characters), ae, oe and ue are substituted; simply using a o or u is incorrect.

The eszet (ß) or "scharfes S" evolved from the combination of ſ - the sharp (or long) s - and either a normal s or a z, giving ſs/ſz. The eszet has no upper case form; when an upper-case form is required a double-s (SS) is used in its stead. The eszet is also not used at all in either Switzerland or Liechtenstein, where double-s is always used.

Common difficulties Edit

German is, as stated above, very inflected which means it can take a long time to master the spoken language.

Resources Edit

There is an FSI-course for German.

There is Duo-lingo for German.

Ranking 10-12 (depending on estimate)
Language Family Indo-European
West Germanic
High German
Number of Speakers 90-100 million (Standard German)
Writing System Left-to-Right
Latin Alphabet with additional characters (ä, ö, ü, ß)
Where it is Spoken
Spoken in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Liechtenstein
As a minority/regional language:
South Tyrol (Italy), Czech Republic, Denmark, Hungary, Kazakhstan, Namibia, Poland, Romania, Russia, Krahule/Blaufuß (Slovakia), Pomerode and other municipalities (Brazil), Vatican City (Swiss Guard)
Official in Germany, Austria, Switzerland (co-official), Liechtenstein
As a minority/regional language:
South Tyrol (Italy), Luxembourg, Belgium, Silesia (Poland), Krahule/Blaufuß (Slovakia), Pomerode (Brazil), Namibia (1984–90; now National Language)
Region Central Europe

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