German language

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For other uses, see Deutsch (disambiguation) and German (disambiguation). German language_sentence_0

Not to be confused with Germanic languages. German language_sentence_1

German language_table_infobox_0

GermanGerman language_header_cell_0_0_0
PronunciationGerman language_header_cell_0_1_0 [dɔʏtʃGerman language_cell_0_1_1
Native toGerman language_header_cell_0_2_0 German-speaking EuropeGerman language_cell_0_2_1
RegionGerman language_header_cell_0_3_0 Germany, Austria, Switzerland and LiechtensteinGerman language_cell_0_3_1
EthnicityGerman language_header_cell_0_4_0 German-speaking peoplesGerman language_cell_0_4_1
Native speakersGerman language_header_cell_0_5_0 90 million (2010) to 95 million (2014)

L2 speakers: 10–15 million (2014)German language_cell_0_5_1

Language familyGerman language_header_cell_0_6_0 Indo-EuropeanGerman language_cell_0_6_1
Early formsGerman language_header_cell_0_7_0 Old High GermanGerman language_cell_0_7_1
Standard formsGerman language_header_cell_0_8_0 German Standard German

Swiss Standard German Austrian Standard GermanGerman language_cell_0_8_1

Writing systemGerman language_header_cell_0_9_0 Latin (German alphabet)

German BrailleGerman language_cell_0_9_1

Signed formsGerman language_header_cell_0_10_0 Signed German, LBG

(Lautsprachbegleitende / Lautbegleitende Gebärden)German language_cell_0_10_1

Official statusGerman language_header_cell_0_11_0
Official language inGerman language_header_cell_0_12_0 6 countries



3 dependencies


Several international institutionsGerman language_cell_0_12_1

Recognised minority

language inGerman language_header_cell_0_13_0

11 countries (minority/national language)German language_cell_0_13_1
Regulated byGerman language_header_cell_0_14_0 No official regulation

(German orthography regulated by the Council for German Orthography)German language_cell_0_14_1

Language codesGerman language_header_cell_0_15_0
ISO 639-1German language_header_cell_0_16_0 German language_cell_0_16_1
ISO 639-2German language_header_cell_0_17_0 (B)

 (T)German language_cell_0_17_1

ISO 639-3German language_header_cell_0_18_0 Variously:

 – German  – Middle High German  – Old High German  – Colonia Tovar German  – Bavarian  – Cimbrian  – Hutterite German  – Kölsch  – Low German  – Lower Silesian  – Luxembourgish  – Mainfränkisch  – Mòcheno  – Palatinate German  – Pennsylvania German  – Plautdietsch  – Swabian German  – Swiss German  – Unserdeutsch  – Upper Saxon  – Walser German  – Westphalian  – Riograndenser Hunsrückisch  – YenishGerman language_cell_0_18_1

GlottologGerman language_header_cell_0_19_0 High Franconian

  Upper GermanGerman language_cell_0_19_1

LinguasphereGerman language_header_cell_0_20_0 52-AC (Continental West Germanic)

52-ACB (Deutsch & Dutch) 52-ACB-d (Central German incl. 52-ACB–dl & -dm Standard/Generalised High German) 52-ACB-e & -f (Upper- and Swiss German) 52-ACB-h (émigré German varieties incl. 52-ACB-hc Hutterite German & 52-ACB-he Pennsylvania German etc.) 52-ACB-i (Yenish); Totalling 285 varieties: 52-ACB-daa to 52-ACB-iGerman language_cell_0_20_1

German (Deutsch, pronounced [dɔʏtʃ (listen)) is a West Germanic language that is mainly spoken in Central Europe. German language_sentence_2

It is the most widely spoken and official or co-official language in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, South Tyrol in Italy, the German-speaking Community of Belgium, and Liechtenstein. German language_sentence_3

It is one of the three official languages of Luxembourg and a co-official language in the Opole Voivodeship in Poland. German language_sentence_4

The German language is most similar to other languages within the West Germanic language branch, including Afrikaans, Dutch, English, the Frisian languages, Low German/Low Saxon, Luxembourgish, Scots, and Yiddish. German language_sentence_5

It also contains close similarities in vocabulary to Danish, Norwegian and Swedish, although they belong to the North Germanic group. German language_sentence_6

German is the second most widely spoken Germanic language, after English. German language_sentence_7

One of the major languages of the world, German is a native language to almost 100 million people worldwide and the most widely spoken native language in the European Union. German language_sentence_8

German is the third most commonly spoken foreign language in the EU after English and French, making it the second biggest language in the EU in terms of overall speakers. German language_sentence_9

German is also the second most widely taught foreign language in the EU after English at primary school level (but third after English and French at lower secondary level), the fourth most widely taught non-English language in the US (after Spanish, French and American Sign Language), the second most commonly used scientific language and the third most widely used language on websites after English and Russian. German language_sentence_10

The German-speaking countries are ranked fifth in terms of annual publication of new books, with one tenth of all books (including e-books) in the world being published in German. German language_sentence_11

In the United Kingdom, German and French are the most sought-after foreign languages for businesses (with 49% and 50% of businesses identifying these two languages as the most useful, respectively). German language_sentence_12

German is an inflected language, with four cases for nouns, pronouns, and adjectives (nominative, accusative, genitive, dative); three genders (masculine, feminine, neuter); and two numbers (singular, plural). German language_sentence_13

It also has strong and weak verbs. German language_sentence_14

It derives the majority of its vocabulary from the ancient Germanic branch of the Indo-European language family. German language_sentence_15

Some of its vocabulary is derived from Latin and Greek, and fewer words are borrowed from French and Modern English. German language_sentence_16

German is a pluricentric language, with its standardized variants being German, Austrian, and Swiss Standard German. German language_sentence_17

It is also notable for its broad spectrum of dialects, with many varieties existing in Europe and other parts of the world. German language_sentence_18

Italy recognizes all the German-speaking minorities in its territory as national historic minorities and protects the varieties of German spoken in several regions of Northern Italy besides South Tyrol. German language_sentence_19

Due to the limited intelligibility between certain varieties and Standard German, as well as the lack of an undisputed, scientific distinction between a "dialect" and a "language", some German varieties or dialect groups (e.g. Low German or Plautdietsch) can be described as either "languages" or "dialects". German language_sentence_20

Classification German language_section_0

Modern Standard German is a West Germanic language in the Germanic branch of the Indo-European languages. German language_sentence_21

The Germanic languages are traditionally subdivided into three branches: North Germanic, East Germanic, and West Germanic. German language_sentence_22

The first of these branches survives in modern Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, Faroese, and Icelandic, all of which are descended from Old Norse. German language_sentence_23

The East Germanic languages are now extinct, and Gothic is the only language in this branch which survives in written texts. German language_sentence_24

The West Germanic languages, however, have undergone extensive dialectal subdivision and are now represented in modern languages such as English, German, Dutch, Yiddish, Afrikaans, and others. German language_sentence_25

Within the West Germanic language dialect continuum, the Benrath and Uerdingen lines (running through Düsseldorf-Benrath and Krefeld-Uerdingen, respectively) serve to distinguish the Germanic dialects that were affected by the High German consonant shift (south of Benrath) from those that were not (north of Uerdingen). German language_sentence_26

The various regional dialects spoken south of these lines are grouped as High German dialects (nos. German language_sentence_27

29–34 on the map), while those spoken to the north comprise the Low German/Low Saxon (nos. German language_sentence_28

19–24) and Low Franconian (no. German language_sentence_29

25) dialects. German language_sentence_30

As members of the West Germanic language family, High German, Low German, and Low Franconian can be further distinguished historically as Irminonic, Ingvaeonic, and Istvaeonic, respectively. German language_sentence_31

This classification indicates their historical descent from dialects spoken by the Irminones (also known as the Elbe group), Ingvaeones (or North Sea Germanic group), and Istvaeones (or Weser-Rhine group). German language_sentence_32

Standard German is based on a combination of Thuringian-Upper Saxon and Upper Franconian and Bavarian dialects, which are Central German and Upper German dialects, belonging to the Irminonic High German dialect group (nos. German language_sentence_33

29–34). German language_sentence_34

German is therefore closely related to the other languages based on High German dialects, such as Luxembourgish (based on Central Franconian dialects – no. German language_sentence_35

29), and Yiddish. German language_sentence_36

Also closely related to Standard German are the Upper German dialects spoken in the southern German-speaking countries, such as Swiss German (Alemannic dialects – no. German language_sentence_37

34), and the various Germanic dialects spoken in the French region of Grand Est, such as Alsatian (mainly Alemannic, but also Central- and Upper Franconian (no. German language_sentence_38

32) dialects) and Lorraine Franconian (Central Franconian – no. German language_sentence_39

29). German language_sentence_40

After these High German dialects, standard German is less closely related to languages based on Low Franconian dialects (e.g. Dutch and Afrikaans), Low German or Low Saxon dialects (spoken in northern Germany and southern Denmark), neither of which underwent the High German consonant shift. German language_sentence_41

As has been noted, the former of these dialect types is Istvaeonic and the latter Ingvaeonic, whereas the High German dialects are all Irminonic; the differences between these languages and standard German are therefore considerable. German language_sentence_42

Also related to German are the Frisian languages—North Frisian (spoken in Nordfriesland – no. German language_sentence_43

28), Saterland Frisian (spoken in Saterland – no. German language_sentence_44

27), and West Frisian (spoken in Friesland – no. German language_sentence_45

26)—as well as the Anglic languages of English and Scots. German language_sentence_46

These Anglo-Frisian dialects are all members of the Ingvaeonic family of West Germanic languages, which did not take part in the High German consonant shift. German language_sentence_47

History German language_section_1

Main article: History of German German language_sentence_48

Old High German German language_section_2

Main article: Old High German German language_sentence_49

The history of the German language begins with the High German consonant shift during the migration period, which separated Old High German dialects from Old Saxon. German language_sentence_50

This sound shift involved a drastic change in the pronunciation of both voiced and voiceless stop consonants (b, d, g, and p, t, k, respectively). German language_sentence_51

The primary effects of the shift were the following below. German language_sentence_52

German language_unordered_list_0

  • Voiceless stops became long (geminated) voiceless fricatives following a vowel;German language_item_0_0
  • Voiceless stops became affricates in word-initial position, or following certain consonants;German language_item_0_1
  • Voiced stops became voiceless in certain phonetic settings.German language_item_0_2

German language_table_general_1

Voiceless stop

following a vowelGerman language_header_cell_1_0_0

Word-initial

voiceless stopGerman language_header_cell_1_0_1

Voiced stopGerman language_header_cell_1_0_2
/p/→/ff/German language_cell_1_1_0 /p/→/pf/German language_cell_1_1_1 /b/→/p/German language_cell_1_1_2
/t/→/ss/German language_cell_1_2_0 /t/→/ts/German language_cell_1_2_1 /d/→/t/German language_cell_1_2_2
/k/→/xx/German language_cell_1_3_0 /k/→/kx/German language_cell_1_3_1 /g/→/k/German language_cell_1_3_2

While there is written evidence of the Old High German language in several Elder Futhark inscriptions from as early as the sixth century AD (such as the Pforzen buckle), the Old High German period is generally seen as beginning with the Abrogans (written c. 765–775), a Latin-German glossary supplying over 3,000 Old High German words with their Latin equivalents. German language_sentence_53

After the Abrogans, the first coherent works written in Old High German appear in the ninth century, chief among them being the Muspilli, the Merseburg Charms, and the Hildebrandslied, and other religious texts (the Georgslied, the Ludwigslied, the Evangelienbuch, and translated hymns and prayers). German language_sentence_54

The Muspilli is a Christian poem written in a Bavarian dialect offering an account of the soul after the Last Judgment, and the Merseburg Charms are transcriptions of spells and charms from the pagan Germanic tradition. German language_sentence_55

Of particular interest to scholars, however, has been the Hildebrandslied, a secular epic poem telling the tale of an estranged father and son unknowingly meeting each other in battle. German language_sentence_56

Linguistically this text is highly interesting due to the mixed use of Old Saxon and Old High German dialects in its composition. German language_sentence_57

The written works of this period stem mainly from the Alamanni, Bavarian, and Thuringian groups, all belonging to the Elbe Germanic group (Irminones), which had settled in what is now southern-central Germany and Austria between the second and sixth centuries during the great migration. German language_sentence_58

In general, the surviving texts of OHG show a wide range of dialectal diversity with very little written uniformity. German language_sentence_59

The early written tradition of OHG survived mostly through monasteries and scriptoria as local translations of Latin originals; as a result, the surviving texts are written in highly disparate regional dialects and exhibit significant Latin influence, particularly in vocabulary. German language_sentence_60

At this point monasteries, where most written works were produced, were dominated by Latin, and German saw only occasional use in official and ecclesiastical writing. German language_sentence_61

The German language through the OHG period was still predominantly a spoken language, with a wide range of dialects and a much more extensive oral tradition than a written one. German language_sentence_62

Having just emerged from the High German consonant shift, OHG was also a relatively new and volatile language still undergoing a number of phonetic, phonological, morphological, and syntactic changes. German language_sentence_63

The scarcity of written work, instability of the language, and widespread illiteracy of the time explain the lack of standardization up to the end of the OHG period in 1050. German language_sentence_64

Middle High German German language_section_3

Main article: Middle High German German language_sentence_65

While there is no complete agreement over the dates of the Middle High German (MHG) period, it is generally seen as lasting from 1050 to 1350. German language_sentence_66

This was a period of significant expansion of the geographical territory occupied by Germanic tribes, and consequently of the number of German speakers. German language_sentence_67

Whereas during the Old High German period the Germanic tribes extended only as far east as the Elbe and Saale rivers, the MHG period saw a number of these tribes expanding beyond this eastern boundary into Slavic territory (known as the Ostsiedlung). German language_sentence_68

With the increasing wealth and geographic spread of the Germanic groups came greater use of German in the courts of nobles as the standard language of official proceedings and literature. German language_sentence_69

A clear example of this is the mittelhochdeutsche Dichtersprache employed in the Hohenstaufen court in Swabia as a standardized supra-dialectal written language. German language_sentence_70

While these efforts were still regionally bound, German began to be used in place of Latin for certain official purposes, leading to a greater need for regularity in written conventions. German language_sentence_71

While the major changes of the MHG period were socio-cultural, German was still undergoing significant linguistic changes in syntax, phonetics, and morphology as well (e.g. diphthongization of certain vowel sounds: hus (OHG "house")→haus (MHG), and weakening of unstressed short vowels to schwa [ə]: taga (OHG "days")→tage (MHG)). German language_sentence_72

A great wealth of texts survives from the MHG period. German language_sentence_73

Significantly, these texts include a number of impressive secular works, such as the Nibelungenlied, an epic poem telling the story of the dragon-slayer Siegfried (c. thirteenth century), and the Iwein, an Arthurian verse poem by Hartmann von Aue (c. 1203), lyric poems, and courtly romances such as Parzival and Tristan. German language_sentence_74

Also noteworthy is the Sachsenspiegel, the first book of laws written in Middle Low German (c. 1220). German language_sentence_75

The abundance and especially the secular character of the literature of the MHG period demonstrate the beginnings of a standardized written form of German, as well as the desire of poets and authors to be understood by individuals on supra-dialectal terms. German language_sentence_76

The Middle High German period is generally seen as ending when the 1346-53 Black Death decimated Europe's population. German language_sentence_77

Early New High German German language_section_4

Main article: Early New High German German language_sentence_78

Modern German begins with the Early New High German (ENHG) period, which the influential German philologist Wilhelm Scherer dates 1350–1650, terminating with the end of the Thirty Years' War. German language_sentence_79

This period saw the further displacement of Latin by German as the primary language of courtly proceedings and, increasingly, of literature in the German states. German language_sentence_80

While these states were still under the control of the Holy Roman Empire, and far from any form of unification, the desire for a cohesive written language that would be understandable across the many German-speaking principalities and kingdoms was stronger than ever. German language_sentence_81

As a spoken language German remained highly fractured throughout this period, with a vast number of often mutually incomprehensible regional dialects being spoken throughout the German states; the invention of the printing press c. 1440 and the publication of Luther's vernacular translation of the Bible in 1534, however, had an immense effect on standardizing German as a supra-dialectal written language. German language_sentence_82

The ENHG period saw the rise of several important cross-regional forms of chancery German, one being gemeine tiutsch, used in the court of the Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I, and the other being Meißner Deutsch, used in the Electorate of Saxony in the Duchy of Saxe-Wittenberg. German language_sentence_83

Alongside these courtly written standards, the invention of the printing press led to the development of a number of printers' languages (Druckersprachen) aimed at making printed material readable and understandable across as many diverse dialects of German as possible. German language_sentence_84

The greater ease of production and increased availability of written texts brought about increased standardization in the written form of German. German language_sentence_85

One of the central events in the development of ENHG was the publication of Luther's translation of the Bible into German (the New Testament was published in 1522; the Old Testament was published in parts and completed in 1534). German language_sentence_86

Luther based his translation primarily on the Meißner Deutsch of Saxony, spending much time among the population of Saxony researching the dialect so as to make the work as natural and accessible to German speakers as possible. German language_sentence_87

Copies of Luther's Bible featured a long list of glosses for each region, translating words which were unknown in the region into the regional dialect. German language_sentence_88

Luther said the following concerning his translation method: German language_sentence_89

With Luther's rendering of the Bible in the vernacular, German asserted itself against the dominance of Latin as a legitimate language for courtly, literary, and now ecclesiastical subject-matter. German language_sentence_90

Furthermore, his Bible was ubiquitous in the German states: nearly every household possessed a copy. German language_sentence_91

Nevertheless, even with the influence of Luther's Bible as an unofficial written standard, a widely accepted standard for written German did not appear until the middle of the eighteenth century. German language_sentence_92

Austrian Empire German language_section_5

German was the language of commerce and government in the Habsburg Empire, which encompassed a large area of Central and Eastern Europe. German language_sentence_93

Until the mid-nineteenth century, it was essentially the language of townspeople throughout most of the Empire. German language_sentence_94

Its use indicated that the speaker was a merchant or someone from an urban area, regardless of nationality. German language_sentence_95

Prague (German: Prag) and Budapest (Buda, German: Ofen), to name two examples, were gradually Germanized in the years after their incorporation into the Habsburg domain, others like Pozsony (German: Pressburg, now Bratislava), were originally settled during the Habsburg period and were primarily German at that time. German language_sentence_96

Prague, Budapest, Bratislava, and cities like Zagreb (German: Agram) or Ljubljana (German: Laibach), contained significant German minorities. German language_sentence_97

In the eastern provinces of Banat, Bukovina, and Transylvania (German: Banat, Buchenland, Siebenbürgen), German was the predominant language not only in the larger towns – like Temeschburg (Timișoara), Hermannstadt (Sibiu) and Kronstadt (Brașov) – but also in many smaller localities in the surrounding areas. German language_sentence_98

Standardisation German language_section_6

The most comprehensive guide to the vocabulary of the German language is found within the Deutsches Wörterbuch. German language_sentence_99

This dictionary was created by the Brothers Grimm, and is composed of 16 parts which were issued between 1852 and 1860. German language_sentence_100

In 1872, grammatical and orthographic rules first appeared in the Duden Handbook. German language_sentence_101

In 1901, the 2nd Orthographical Conference ended with a complete standardisation of the German language in its written form, and the Duden Handbook was declared its standard definition. German language_sentence_102

The Deutsche Bühnensprache (lit. German language_sentence_103

'German stage language') had established conventions for German pronunciation in theatres (Bühnendeutsch,) three years earlier; however, this was an artificial standard that did not correspond to any traditional spoken dialect. German language_sentence_104

Rather, it was based on the pronunciation of Standard German in Northern Germany, although it was subsequently regarded often as a general prescriptive norm, despite differing pronunciation traditions especially in the Upper-German-speaking regions that still characterise the dialect of the area today – especially the pronunciation of the ending -ig as [ɪk] instead of [ɪç]. German language_sentence_105

In Northern Germany, Standard German was a foreign language to most inhabitants, whose native dialects were subsets of Low German. German language_sentence_106

It was usually encountered only in writing or formal speech; in fact, most of Standard German was a written language, not identical to any spoken dialect, throughout the German-speaking area until well into the 19th century. German language_sentence_107

Official revisions of some of the rules from 1901 were not issued until the controversial German orthography reform of 1996 was made the official standard by governments of all German-speaking countries. German language_sentence_108

Media and written works are now almost all produced in Standard German (often called Hochdeutsch, "High German") which is understood in all areas where German is spoken. German language_sentence_109

Geographical distribution German language_section_7

Main article: Geographical distribution of German speakers German language_sentence_110

Due to the German diaspora as well as German being the second most widely spoken language in Europe and the third most widely taught foreign language in the US, and the EU (in upper secondary education), amongst others, the geographical distribution of German speakers (or "Germanophones") spans all inhabited continents. German language_sentence_111

As for the number of speakers of any language worldwide, an assessment is always compromised by the lack of sufficient, reliable data. German language_sentence_112

For an exact, global number of native German speakers, this is further complicated by the existence of several varieties whose status as separate "languages" or "dialects" is disputed for political and/or linguistic reasons, including quantitatively strong varieties like certain forms of Alemannic (e.g., Alsatian) and Low German/Plautdietsch. German language_sentence_113

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. German language_sentence_114

This would imply the existence of approximately 175–220 million German speakers worldwide. German language_sentence_115

It is estimated that including every person studying German, regardless of their actual proficiency, would amount to about 280 million people worldwide with at least some knowledge of German. German language_sentence_116

Europe and Asia German language_section_8

German Sprachraum German language_section_9

Main article: List of territorial entities where German is an official language German language_sentence_117

In Europe, German is the second most widely spoken mother tongue (after Russian) and the second biggest language in terms of overall speakers (after English). German language_sentence_118

The area in central Europe where the majority of the population speaks German as a first language and has German as a (co-)official language is called the "German Sprachraum". German language_sentence_119

It comprises an estimated 88 million native speakers and 10 million who speak German as a second language (e.g. immigrants). German language_sentence_120

Excluding regional minority languages, German is the only official language of the following countries: German language_sentence_121

German language_unordered_list_1

German is a co-official language of the following countries: German language_sentence_122

German language_unordered_list_2

  • Italian Autonomous Province of South Tyrol (also majority language);German language_item_2_7
  • Belgium (as majority language only in the German-speaking Community, which represents 2% of the Belgian population);German language_item_2_8
  • Switzerland, where it is co-official at the federal level with French, Italian and Romansh, and at the local level in four cantons (cantons of i) Bern, along with French, ii) Fribourg, along with French, iii) Grisons along with Italian and Romansh and iv) Valais, along with French);German language_item_2_9
  • Luxembourg, along with French and Luxembourgish.German language_item_2_10

Outside the Sprachraum German language_section_10

Although expulsions and (forced) assimilation after the two World Wars greatly diminished them, minority communities of mostly bilingual German native speakers exist in areas both adjacent to and detached from the Sprachraum. German language_sentence_123

Within Europe and Asia, German is a recognized minority language in the following countries: German language_sentence_124

German language_unordered_list_3

In France, the High German varieties of Alsatian and Moselle Franconian are identified as "regional languages", but the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages of 1998 has not yet been ratified by the government. German language_sentence_125

In the Netherlands, the Limburgish, Frisian, and Low German languages are protected regional languages according to the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages; however, they are widely considered separate languages and neither German nor Dutch dialects. German language_sentence_126

Africa German language_section_11

Namibia German language_section_12

Main article: German language in Namibia German language_sentence_127

Namibia was a colony of the German Empire from 1884 to 1919. German language_sentence_128

Mostly descending from German settlers who immigrated during this time, 25–30,000 people still speak German as a native tongue today. German language_sentence_129

The period of German colonialism in Namibia also led to the evolution of a Standard German-based pidgin language called "Namibian Black German", which became a second language for parts of the indigenous population. German language_sentence_130

Although it is nearly extinct today, some older Namibians still have some knowledge of it. German language_sentence_131

German, along with English and Afrikaans, was a co-official language of Namibia from 1984 until its independence from South Africa in 1990. German language_sentence_132

At this point, the Namibian government perceived Afrikaans and German as symbols of apartheid and colonialism, and decided English would be the sole official language, stating that it was a "neutral" language as there were virtually no English native speakers in Namibia at that time. German language_sentence_133

German, Afrikaans and several indigenous languages became "national languages" by law, identifying them as elements of the cultural heritage of the nation and ensuring that the state acknowledged and supported their presence in the country. German language_sentence_134

Today, German is used in a wide variety of spheres, especially business and tourism, as well as the churches (most notably the German-speaking Evangelical Lutheran Church in Namibia (GELK)), schools (e.g. the Deutsche Höhere Privatschule Windhoek), literature (German-Namibian authors include Giselher W. Hoffmann), radio (the Namibian Broadcasting Corporation produces radio programs in German), and music (e.g. artist EES). German language_sentence_135

The Allgemeine Zeitung is one of the three biggest newspapers in Namibia and the only German-language daily in Africa. German language_sentence_136

South Africa German language_section_13

Mostly originating from different waves of immigration during the 19th and 20th centuries, an estimated 12,000 people speak German or a German variety as a first language in South Africa. German language_sentence_137

One of the largest communities consists of the speakers of "Nataler Deutsch", a variety of Low German concentrated in and around Wartburg. German language_sentence_138

The small town of Kroondal in the North-West Province also has a mostly German-speaking population. German language_sentence_139

The South African constitution identifies German as a "commonly used" language and the Pan South African Language Board is obligated to promote and ensure respect for it. German language_sentence_140

The community is strong enough that several German International schools are supported, such as the Deutsche Schule Pretoria. German language_sentence_141

North America German language_section_14

Main articles: German language in the United States, Pennsylvania German language, Plautdietsch, and Hutterite German German language_sentence_142

In the United States, the states of North Dakota and South Dakota are the only states where German is the most common language spoken at home after English. German language_sentence_143

German geographical names can be found throughout the Midwest region of the country, such as New Ulm and many other towns in Minnesota; Bismarck (North Dakota's state capital), Munich, Karlsruhe, and Strasburg (named after a town near Odessa in Ukraine) in North Dakota; New Braunfels, Fredericksburg, Weimar, and Muenster in Texas; Corn (formerly Korn), Kiefer and Berlin in Oklahoma; and Kiel, Berlin, and Germantown in Wisconsin. German language_sentence_144

South America German language_section_15

Brazil German language_section_16

Main article: Brazilian German German language_sentence_145

In Brazil, the largest concentrations of German speakers are in the states of Rio Grande do Sul (where Riograndenser Hunsrückisch developed), Santa Catarina, Paraná, São Paulo and Espírito Santo. German language_sentence_146

German in Brazil German language_section_17

The co-official statuses of German in Brazil as follows; German language_sentence_147

German language_unordered_list_4

Other South American countries German language_section_18

German language_description_list_5

There are important concentrations of German-speaking descendants in Argentina, Chile, Paraguay, Venezuela, Peru, and Bolivia. German language_sentence_148

The impact of nineteenth century German immigration to southern Chile was such that Valdivia was for a while a Spanish-German bilingual city with "German signboards and placards alongside the Spanish". German language_sentence_149

The prestige, the German language caused it to acquire qualities of a superstratum in southern Chile. German language_sentence_150

The word for blackberry, a ubiquitous plant in southern Chile, is murra, instead of the ordinary Spanish words mora and zarzamora, from Valdivia to the Chiloé Archipelago and in some towns in the Aysén Region. German language_sentence_151

The use of rr is an adaptation of guttural sounds found in German but difficult to pronounce in Spanish. German language_sentence_152

Similarly the name for marbles, a traditional children's game, is different in Southern Chile compared to areas further north. German language_sentence_153

From Valdivia to the Aysén Region this game is called bochas, in contrast to the word bolitas used further north. German language_sentence_154

The word bocha is likely a derivative of the German Bocciaspiel. German language_sentence_155

Oceania German language_section_19

In Australia, the state of South Australia experienced a pronounced wave of immigration in the 1840s from Prussia (particularly the Silesia region). German language_sentence_156

With the prolonged isolation from other German speakers and contact with Australian English, a unique dialect known as Barossa German developed, spoken predominantly in the Barossa Valley near Adelaide. German language_sentence_157

Usage of German sharply declined with the advent of World War I, due to the prevailing anti-German sentiment in the population and related government action. German language_sentence_158

It continued to be used as a first language into the 20th century, but its use is now limited to a few older speakers. German language_sentence_159

German migration to New Zealand in the 19th century was less pronounced than migration from Britain, Ireland, and perhaps even Scandinavia. German language_sentence_160

Despite this there were significant pockets of German-speaking communities which lasted until the first decades of the 20th century. German language_sentence_161

German speakers settled principally in Puhoi, Nelson, and Gore. German language_sentence_162

At the last census (2013), 36,642 people in New Zealand spoke German, making it the third most spoken European language after English and French and overall the ninth most spoken language. German language_sentence_163

There is also an important German creole being studied and recovered, named Unserdeutsch, spoken in the former German colony of German New Guinea, across Micronesia and in northern Australia (i.e. coastal parts of Queensland and Western Australia) by a few elderly people. German language_sentence_164

The risk of its extinction is serious and efforts to revive interest in the language are being implemented by scholars. German language_sentence_165

German as a foreign language German language_section_20

Like French and Spanish, German has become a standard second foreign language in the western world. German language_sentence_166

German ranks second (after English) among the best known foreign languages in the EU (on a par with French), and in Russia. German language_sentence_167

In terms of student numbers across all levels of education, German ranks third in the EU (after English and French), and in the United States (after Spanish and French). German language_sentence_168

In 2015, approximately 15.4 million people were in the process of learning German across all levels of education worldwide. German language_sentence_169

As this number remained relatively stable since 2005 (± 1 million), roughly 75–100 million people able to communicate in German as a foreign language can be inferred, assuming an average course duration of three years and other estimated parameters. German language_sentence_170

According to a 2012 survey, 47 million people within the EU (i.e., up to two-thirds of the 75–100 million worldwide) claimed to have sufficient German skills to have a conversation. German language_sentence_171

Within the EU, not counting countries where it is an official language, German as a foreign language is most popular in Eastern and northern Europe, namely the Czech Republic, Croatia, Denmark, the Netherlands, Slovakia, Hungary, Slovenia, Sweden and Poland. German language_sentence_172

German was once, and to some extent still is, a lingua franca in those parts of Europe. German language_sentence_173

Standard German German language_section_21

Main article: Standard German German language_sentence_174

The basis of Standard German is the Luther Bible, which was translated by Martin Luther and which had originated from the Saxon court language (it being a convenient norm). German language_sentence_175

However, there are places where the traditional regional dialects have been replaced by new vernaculars based on standard German; that is the case in large stretches of Northern Germany but also in major cities in other parts of the country. German language_sentence_176

It is important to note, however, that the colloquial standard German differs greatly from the formal written language, especially in grammar and syntax, in which it has been influenced by dialectal speech. German language_sentence_177

Standard German differs regionally among German-speaking countries in vocabulary and some instances of pronunciation and even grammar and orthography. German language_sentence_178

This variation must not be confused with the variation of local dialects. German language_sentence_179

Even though the regional varieties of standard German are only somewhat influenced by the local dialects, they are very distinct. German language_sentence_180

German is thus considered a pluricentric language. German language_sentence_181

In most regions, the speakers use a continuum from more dialectal varieties to more standard varieties depending on the circumstances. German language_sentence_182

Varieties of Standard German German language_section_22

In German linguistics, German dialects are distinguished from varieties of standard German. German language_sentence_183

The varieties of standard German refer to the different local varieties of the pluricentric standard German. German language_sentence_184

They differ only slightly in lexicon and phonology. German language_sentence_185

In certain regions, they have replaced the traditional German dialects, especially in Northern Germany. German language_sentence_186

German language_unordered_list_6

In the German-speaking parts of Switzerland, mixtures of dialect and standard are very seldom used, and the use of Standard German is largely restricted to the written language. German language_sentence_187

About 11% of the Swiss residents speak High German (Standard German) at home, but this is mainly due to German immigrants. German language_sentence_188

This situation has been called a medial diglossia. German language_sentence_189

Swiss Standard German is used in the Swiss education system, while Austrian Standard German is officially used in the Austrian education system. German language_sentence_190

A mixture of dialect and standard does not normally occur in Northern Germany either. German language_sentence_191

The traditional varieties there are Low German, whereas Standard German is a High German "variety". German language_sentence_192

Because their linguistic distance is greater, they do not mesh with Standard German the way that High German dialects (such as Bavarian, Swabian, and Hessian) can. German language_sentence_193

Dialects German language_section_23

Main article: German dialects German language_sentence_194

The German dialects are the traditional local varieties of the language; many of them are not mutually intelligibile with standard German, and they have great differences in lexicon, phonology, and syntax. German language_sentence_195

If a narrow definition of language based on mutual intelligibility is used, many German dialects are considered to be separate languages (for instance in the Ethnologue). German language_sentence_196

However, such a point of view is unusual in German linguistics. German language_sentence_197

The German dialect continuum is traditionally divided most broadly into High German and Low German, also called Low Saxon. German language_sentence_198

However, historically, High German dialects and Low Saxon/Low German dialects do not belong to the same language. German language_sentence_199

Nevertheless, in today's Germany, Low Saxon/Low German is often perceived as a dialectal variation of Standard German on a functional level even by many native speakers. German language_sentence_200

The same phenomenon is found in the eastern Netherlands, as the traditional dialects are not always identified with their Low Saxon/Low German origins, but with Dutch. German language_sentence_201

The variation among the German dialects is considerable, with often only neighbouring dialects being mutually intelligible. German language_sentence_202

Some dialects are not intelligible to people who know only Standard German. German language_sentence_203

However, all German dialects belong to the dialect continuum of High German and Low Saxon. German language_sentence_204

Low German and Low Saxon German language_section_24

Main article: Low German German language_sentence_205

Middle Low German was the lingua franca of the Hanseatic League. German language_sentence_206

It was the predominant language in Northern Germany until the 16th century. German language_sentence_207

In 1534, the Luther Bible was published. German language_sentence_208

It aimed to be understandable to a broad audience and was based mainly on Central and Upper German varieties. German language_sentence_209

The Early New High German language gained more prestige than Low German and became the language of science and literature. German language_sentence_210

Around the same time, the Hanseatic League, based around northern ports, lost its importance as new trade routes to Asia and the Americas were established, and the most powerful German states of that period were located in Middle and Southern Germany. German language_sentence_211

The 18th and 19th centuries were marked by mass education in Standard German in schools. German language_sentence_212

Gradually, Low German came to be politically viewed as a mere dialect spoken by the uneducated. German language_sentence_213

Today, Low Saxon can be divided in two groups: Low Saxon varieties with a reasonable level of Standard German influence and varieties of Standard German with a Low Saxon influence known as Missingsch. German language_sentence_214

Sometimes, Low Saxon and Low Franconian varieties are grouped together because both are unaffected by the High German consonant shift. German language_sentence_215

However, the proportion of the population who can understand and speak it has decreased continuously since World War II. German language_sentence_216

The largest cities in the Low German area are Hamburg and Dortmund. German language_sentence_217

Low Franconian German language_section_25

The Low Franconian dialects are the dialects that are more closely related to Dutch than to Low German. German language_sentence_218

Most of the Low Franconian dialects are spoken in the Netherlands and Belgium, where they are considered as dialects of Dutch, which is itself a Low Franconian language. German language_sentence_219

In Germany, Low Franconian dialects are spoken in the northwest of North Rhine-Westphalia, along the Lower Rhine. German language_sentence_220

The Low Franconian dialects spoken in Germany are referred to as Meuse-Rhenish or Low Rhenish. German language_sentence_221

In the north of the German Low Franconian language area, North Low Franconian dialects (also referred to as Cleverlands or as dialects of South Guelderish) are spoken. German language_sentence_222

These dialects are more closely related to Dutch (also North Low Franconian) than the South Low Franconian dialects (also referred to as East Limburgish and, east of the Rhine, Bergish), which are spoken in the south of the German Low Franconian language area. German language_sentence_223

The South Low Franconian dialects are more closely related to Limburgish than to Dutch, and are transitional dialects between Low Franconian and Ripuarian (Central Franconian). German language_sentence_224

The East Bergish dialects are the easternmost Low Franconian dialects, and are transitional dialects between North- and South Low Franconian, and Westphalian (Low German), with most of their features being North Low Franconian. German language_sentence_225

The largest cities in the German Low Franconian area are Düsseldorf and Duisburg. German language_sentence_226

High German German language_section_26

Main article: High German languages German language_sentence_227

The High German dialects consist of the Central German, High Franconian, and Upper German dialects. German language_sentence_228

The High Franconian dialects are transitional dialects between Central and Upper German. German language_sentence_229

The High German varieties spoken by the Ashkenazi Jews have several unique features and are considered as a separate language, Yiddish, written with the Hebrew alphabet. German language_sentence_230

Central German German language_section_27

The Central German dialects are spoken in Central Germany, from Aachen in the west to Görlitz in the east. German language_sentence_231

They consist of Franconian dialects in the west (West Central German) and non-Franconian dialects in the east (East Central German). German language_sentence_232

Modern Standard German is mostly based on Central German dialects. German language_sentence_233

The Franconian, West Central German dialects are the Central Franconian dialects (Ripuarian and Moselle Franconian) and the Rhine Franconian dialects (Hessian and Palatine). German language_sentence_234

These dialects are considered as German language_sentence_235

German language_unordered_list_7

Luxembourgish as well as the Transylvanian Saxon dialect spoken in Transylvania are based on Moselle Franconian dialects. German language_sentence_236

The largest cities in the Franconian Central German area are Cologne and Frankfurt. German language_sentence_237

Further east, the non-Franconian, East Central German dialects are spoken (Thuringian, Upper Saxon, Ore Mountainian, and Lusatian-New Markish, and earlier, in the then German-speaking parts of Silesia also Silesian, and in then German southern East Prussia also High Prussian). German language_sentence_238

The largest cities in the East Central German area are Berlin and Leipzig. German language_sentence_239

High Franconian German language_section_28

The High Franconian dialects are transitional dialects between Central and Upper German. German language_sentence_240

They consist of the East and South Franconian dialects. German language_sentence_241

The East Franconian dialect branch is one of the most spoken dialect branches in Germany. German language_sentence_242

These dialects are spoken in the region of Franconia and in the central parts of Saxon Vogtland. German language_sentence_243

Franconia consists of the Bavarian districts of Upper, Middle, and Lower Franconia, the region of South Thuringia (Thuringia), and the eastern parts of the region of Heilbronn-Franken (Tauber Franconia and Hohenlohe) in Baden-Württemberg. German language_sentence_244

The largest cities in the East Franconian area are Nuremberg and Würzburg. German language_sentence_245

South Franconian is mainly spoken in northern Baden-Württemberg in Germany, but also in the northeasternmost part of the region of Alsace in France. German language_sentence_246

While these dialects are considered as dialects of German in Baden-Württemberg, they are considered as dialects of Alsatian in Alsace (most Alsatian dialects are Low Alemannic, however). German language_sentence_247

The largest cities in the South Franconian area are Karlsruhe and Heilbronn. German language_sentence_248

Upper German German language_section_29

The Upper German dialects are the Alemannic dialects in the west and the Bavarian dialects in the east. German language_sentence_249

Alemannic German language_section_30

Alemannic dialects are spoken in Switzerland (High Alemannic in the densely populated Swiss Plateau, in the south also Highest Alemannic, and Low Alemannic in Basel), Baden-Württemberg (Swabian and Low Alemannic, in the southwest also High Alemannic), Bavarian Swabia (Swabian, in the southwesternmost part also Low Alemannic), Vorarlberg (Low, High, and Highest Alemannic), Alsace (Low Alemannic, in the southernmost part also High Alemannic), Liechtenstein (High and Highest Alemannic), and in the Tyrolean district of Reutte (Swabian). German language_sentence_250

The Alemannic dialects are considered as Alsatian in Alsace. German language_sentence_251

The largest cities in the Alemannic area are Stuttgart and Zürich. German language_sentence_252

Bavarian German language_section_31

Bavarian dialects are spoken in Austria (Vienna, Lower and Upper Austria, Styria, Carinthia, Salzburg, Burgenland, and in most parts of Tyrol), Bavaria (Upper and Lower Bavaria as well as Upper Palatinate), South Tyrol, southwesternmost Saxony (Southern Vogtlandian), and in the Swiss village of Samnaun. German language_sentence_253

The largest cities in the Bavarian area are Vienna and Munich. German language_sentence_254

Grammar German language_section_32

Main article: German grammar German language_sentence_255

German is a fusional language with a moderate degree of inflection, with three grammatical genders; as such, there can be a large number of words derived from the same root. German language_sentence_256

Noun inflection German language_section_33

Further information: Grammatical gender in German German language_sentence_257

German nouns inflect by case, gender, and number: German language_sentence_258

German language_unordered_list_8

  • four cases: nominative, accusative, genitive, and dative.German language_item_8_43
  • three genders: masculine, feminine, and neuter. Word endings sometimes reveal grammatical gender: for instance, nouns ending in -ung (-ing), -schaft (-ship), -keit or heit (-hood, -ness) are feminine, nouns ending in -chen or -lein (diminutive forms) are neuter and nouns ending in -ismus (-ism) are masculine. Others are more variable, sometimes depending on the region in which the language is spoken. And some endings are not restricted to one gender: for example, -er (-er), such as Feier (feminine), celebration, party, Arbeiter (masculine), labourer, and Gewitter (neuter), thunderstorm.German language_item_8_44
  • two numbers: singular and plural.German language_item_8_45

This degree of inflection is considerably less than in Old High German and other old Indo-European languages such as Latin, Ancient Greek, and Sanskrit, and it is also somewhat less than, for instance, Old English, modern Icelandic, or Russian. German language_sentence_259

The three genders have collapsed in the plural. German language_sentence_260

With four cases and three genders plus plural, there are 16 permutations of case and gender/number of the article (not the nouns), but there are only six forms of the definite article, which together cover all 16 permutations. German language_sentence_261

In nouns, inflection for case is required in the singular for strong masculine and neuter nouns only in the genitive and in the dative (only in fixed or archaic expressions), and even this is losing ground to substitutes in informal speech. German language_sentence_262

Weak masculine nouns share a common case ending for genitive, dative, and accusative in the singular. German language_sentence_263

Feminine nouns are not declined in the singular. German language_sentence_264

The plural has an inflection for the dative. German language_sentence_265

In total, seven inflectional endings (not counting plural markers) exist in German: -s, -es, -n, -ns, -en, -ens, -e. German language_sentence_266

In German orthography, nouns and most words with the syntactical function of nouns are capitalised to make it easier for readers to determine the function of a word within a sentence (Am Freitag ging ich einkaufen. German language_sentence_267

– "On Friday I went shopping. German language_sentence_268

"; Eines Tages kreuzte er endlich auf. German language_sentence_269

– "One day he finally showed up.") German language_sentence_270

This convention is almost unique to German today (shared perhaps only by the closely related Luxembourgish language and several insular dialects of the North Frisian language), but it was historically common in other languages such as Danish (which abolished the capitalization of nouns in 1948) and English. German language_sentence_271

Like the other Germanic languages, German forms noun compounds in which the first noun modifies the category given by the second: Hundehütte ("dog hut"; specifically: "dog kennel"). German language_sentence_272

Unlike English, whose newer compounds or combinations of longer nouns are often written "open" with separating spaces, German (like some other Germanic languages) nearly always uses the "closed" form without spaces, for example: Baumhaus ("tree house"). German language_sentence_273

Like English, German allows arbitrarily long compounds in theory (see also English compounds). German language_sentence_274

The longest German word verified to be actually in (albeit very limited) use is Rindfleischetikettierungsüberwachungsaufgabenübertragungsgesetz, which, literally translated, is "beef labelling supervision duties assignment law" [from Rind (cattle), Fleisch (meat), Etikettierung(s) (labelling), Überwachung(s) (supervision), Aufgaben (duties), Übertragung(s) (assignment), Gesetz (law)]. German language_sentence_275

However, examples like this are perceived by native speakers as excessively bureaucratic, stylistically awkward, or even satirical. German language_sentence_276

Verb inflection German language_section_34

Main article: German verbs German language_sentence_277

The inflection of standard German verbs includes: German language_sentence_278

German language_unordered_list_9

  • two main conjugation classes: weak and strong (as in English). Additionally, there is a third class, known as mixed verbs, whose conjugation combines features of both the strong and weak patterns.German language_item_9_46
  • three persons: first, second and third.German language_item_9_47
  • two numbers: singular and plural.German language_item_9_48
  • three moods: indicative, imperative and subjunctive (in addition to infinitive).German language_item_9_49
  • two voices: active and passive. The passive voice uses auxiliary verbs and is divisible into static and dynamic. Static forms show a constant state and use the verb ’'to be'’ (sein). Dynamic forms show an action and use the verb "to become'’ (werden).German language_item_9_50
  • two tenses without auxiliary verbs (present and preterite) and four tenses constructed with auxiliary verbs (perfect, pluperfect, future and future perfect).German language_item_9_51
  • the distinction between grammatical aspects is rendered by combined use of the subjunctive and/or preterite marking so the plain indicative voice uses neither of those two markers; the subjunctive by itself often conveys reported speech; subjunctive plus preterite marks the conditional state; and the preterite alone shows either plain indicative (in the past), or functions as a (literal) alternative for either reported speech or the conditional state of the verb, when necessary for clarity.German language_item_9_52
  • the distinction between perfect and progressive aspect is and has, at every stage of development, been a productive category of the older language and in nearly all documented dialects, but strangely enough it is now rigorously excluded from written usage in its present normalised form.German language_item_9_53
  • disambiguation of completed vs. uncompleted forms is widely observed and regularly generated by common prefixes ( [to look], [to see – unrelated form: ]).German language_item_9_54

Verb prefixes German language_section_35

The meaning of basic verbs can be expanded and sometimes radically changed through the use of a number of prefixes. German language_sentence_279

Some prefixes have a specific meaning; the prefix zer- refers to destruction, as in zerreißen (to tear apart), zerbrechen (to break apart), zerschneiden (to cut apart). German language_sentence_280

Other prefixes have only the vaguest meaning in themselves; ver- is found in a number of verbs with a large variety of meanings, as in versuchen (to try) from suchen (to seek), vernehmen (to interrogate) from nehmen (to take), verteilen (to distribute) from teilen (to share), verstehen (to understand) from stehen (to stand). German language_sentence_281

Other examples include the following: haften (to stick), verhaften (to detain); kaufen (to buy), verkaufen (to sell); hören (to hear), aufhören (to cease); fahren (to drive), erfahren (to experience). German language_sentence_282

Many German verbs have a separable prefix, often with an adverbial function. German language_sentence_283

In finite verb forms, it is split off and moved to the end of the clause and is hence considered by some to be a "resultative particle". German language_sentence_284

For example, mitgehen, meaning "to go along", would be split, giving Gehen Sie mit? German language_sentence_285

(Literal: "Go you with? German language_sentence_286

"; Idiomatic: "Are you going along? German language_sentence_287

"). German language_sentence_288

Indeed, several parenthetical clauses may occur between the prefix of a finite verb and its complement (ankommen = to arrive, er kam an = he arrived, er ist angekommen = he has arrived): German language_sentence_289

German language_description_list_10

  • Er kam am Freitagabend nach einem harten Arbeitstag und dem üblichen Ärger, der ihn schon seit Jahren immer wieder an seinem Arbeitsplatz plagt, mit fraglicher Freude auf ein Mahl, das seine Frau ihm, wie er hoffte, bereits aufgetischt hatte, endlich zu Hause an.German language_item_10_55

A selectively literal translation of this example to illustrate the point might look like this: German language_sentence_290

German language_description_list_11

  • He "came" on Friday evening, after a hard day at work and the usual annoyances that had time and again been troubling him for years now at his workplace, with questionable joy, to a meal which, as he hoped, his wife had already put on the table, finally home "to".German language_item_11_56

Word order German language_section_36

German word order is generally with the V2 word order restriction and also with the SOV word order restriction for main clauses. German language_sentence_291

For polar questions, exclamations, and wishes, the finite verb always has the first position. German language_sentence_292

In subordinate clauses, the verb occurs at the very end. German language_sentence_293

German requires a verbal element (main verb or auxiliary verb) to appear second in the sentence. German language_sentence_294

The verb is preceded by the topic of the sentence. German language_sentence_295

The element in focus appears at the end of the sentence. German language_sentence_296

For a sentence without an auxiliary, these are several possibilities: German language_sentence_297

German language_description_list_12

  • Der alte Mann gab mir gestern das Buch. (The old man gave me yesterday the book; normal order)German language_item_12_57
  • Das Buch gab mir gestern der alte Mann. (The book gave [to] me yesterday the old man)German language_item_12_58
  • Das Buch gab der alte Mann mir gestern. (The book gave the old man [to] me yesterday)German language_item_12_59
  • Das Buch gab mir der alte Mann gestern. (The book gave [to] me the old man yesterday)German language_item_12_60
  • Gestern gab mir der alte Mann das Buch. (Yesterday gave [to] me the old man the book, normal order)German language_item_12_61
  • Mir gab der alte Mann das Buch gestern. ([To] me gave the old man the book yesterday (entailing: as for someone else, it was another date))German language_item_12_62

The position of a noun in a German sentence has no bearing on its being a subject, an object or another argument. German language_sentence_298

In a declarative sentence in English, if the subject does not occur before the predicate, the sentence could well be misunderstood. German language_sentence_299

However, German's flexible word order allows one to emphasise specific words: German language_sentence_300

Normal word order: German language_sentence_301

German language_description_list_13

  • German language_item_13_63
    • Der Direktor betrat gestern um 10 Uhr mit einem Schirm in der Hand sein Büro.German language_item_13_64
    • The manager entered yesterday at 10 o'clock with an umbrella in the hand his office.German language_item_13_65

Object in front: German language_sentence_302

German language_description_list_14

  • German language_item_14_66
    • Sein Büro betrat der Direktor gestern um 10 Uhr mit einem Schirm in der Hand.German language_item_14_67
    • His office entered the manager yesterday at 10 o'clock with an umbrella in the hand.German language_item_14_68
  • The object Sein Büro (his office) is thus highlighted; it could be the topic of the next sentence.German language_item_14_69

Adverb of time in front: German language_sentence_303

German language_description_list_15

  • German language_item_15_70
    • Gestern betrat der Direktor um 10 Uhr mit einem Schirm in der Hand sein Büro. (aber heute ohne Schirm)German language_item_15_71
    • Yesterday entered the manager at 10 o'clock with an umbrella in the hand his office. (but today without umbrella)German language_item_15_72

Both time expressions in front: German language_sentence_304

German language_description_list_16

  • German language_item_16_73
    • Gestern um 10 Uhr betrat der Direktor mit einem Schirm in der Hand sein Büro.German language_item_16_74
    • Yesterday at 10 o'clock entered the manager with an umbrella in the hand his office.German language_item_16_75
  • The full-time specification Gestern um 10 Uhr is highlighted.German language_item_16_76

Another possibility: German language_sentence_305

German language_description_list_17

  • German language_item_17_77
    • Gestern um 10 Uhr betrat der Direktor sein Büro mit einem Schirm in der Hand.German language_item_17_78
    • Yesterday at 10 o'clock the manager entered his office with an umbrella in the hand.German language_item_17_79
  • Both the time specification and the fact he carried an umbrella are accentuated.German language_item_17_80

Swapped adverbs: German language_sentence_306

German language_description_list_18

  • German language_item_18_81
    • Der Direktor betrat mit einem Schirm in der Hand gestern um 10 Uhr sein Büro.German language_item_18_82
    • The manager entered with an umbrella in the hand yesterday at 10 o'clock his office.German language_item_18_83
  • The phrase mit einem Schirm in der Hand is highlighted.German language_item_18_84

Swapped object: German language_sentence_307

German language_description_list_19

  • German language_item_19_85
    • Der Direktor betrat gestern um 10 Uhr sein Büro mit einem Schirm in der Hand.German language_item_19_86
    • The manager entered yesterday at 10 o'clock his office with an umbrella in the hand.German language_item_19_87
  • The time specification and the object sein Büro (his office) are lightly accentuated.German language_item_19_88

The flexible word order also allows one to use language "tools" (such as poetic meter and figures of speech) more freely. German language_sentence_308

Auxiliary verbs German language_section_37

When an auxiliary verb is present, it appears in second position, and the main verb appears at the end. German language_sentence_309

This occurs notably in the creation of the perfect tense. German language_sentence_310

Many word orders are still possible: German language_sentence_311

German language_description_list_20

  • Der alte Mann hat mir heute das Buch gegeben. (The old man has me today the book given.)German language_item_20_89
  • Das Buch hat der alte Mann mir heute gegeben. (The book has the old man me today given.)German language_item_20_90
  • Heute hat der alte Mann mir das Buch gegeben. (Today has the old man me the book given.)German language_item_20_91

The main verb may appear in first position to put stress on the action itself. German language_sentence_312

The auxiliary verb is still in second position. German language_sentence_313

German language_description_list_21

  • Gegeben hat mir der alte Mann das Buch heute. (Given has me the old man the book today.) The bare fact that the book has been given is emphasized, as well as 'today'.German language_item_21_92

Modal verbs German language_section_38

Sentences using modal verbs place the infinitive at the end. German language_sentence_314

For example, the English sentence "Should he go home?" German language_sentence_315

would be rearranged in German to say "Should he (to) home go?" German language_sentence_316

(Soll er nach Hause gehen?). German language_sentence_317

Thus, in sentences with several subordinate or relative clauses, the infinitives are clustered at the end. German language_sentence_318

Compare the similar clustering of prepositions in the following (highly contrived) English sentence: "What did you bring that book that I do not like to be read to out of up for?" German language_sentence_319

Multiple infinitives German language_section_39

German subordinate clauses have all verbs clustered at the end. German language_sentence_320

Given that auxiliaries encode future, passive, modality, and the perfect, very long chains of verbs at the end of the sentence can occur. German language_sentence_321

In these constructions, the past participle formed with ge- is often replaced by the infinitive. German language_sentence_322

German language_description_list_22

  • Man nimmt an, dass der Deserteur wohl erschossenV wordenpsv seinperf sollmodGerman language_item_22_93
  • One suspects that the deserter probably shot become be should.German language_item_22_94
  • ("It is suspected that the deserter probably had been shot")German language_item_22_95

German language_description_list_23

  • Er wusste nicht, dass der Agent einen Nachschlüssel hatte machen lassenGerman language_item_23_96
  • He knew not that the agent a picklock had make letGerman language_item_23_97
  • Er wusste nicht, dass der Agent einen Nachschlüssel machen lassen hatteGerman language_item_23_98
  • He knew not that the agent a picklock make let hadGerman language_item_23_99
  • ("He did not know that the agent had had a picklock made")German language_item_23_100

The order at the end of such strings is subject to variation, but the second one in the last example is unusual. German language_sentence_323

Vocabulary German language_section_40

Most German vocabulary is derived from the Germanic branch of the Indo-European language family. German language_sentence_324

However, there is a significant amount of loanwords from other languages, in particular Latin, Greek, Italian, French, and most recently English. German language_sentence_325

In the early 19th century, Joachim Heinrich Campe estimated that one fifth of the total German vocabulary was of French or Latin origin. German language_sentence_326

Latin words were already imported into the predecessor of the German language during the Roman Empire and underwent all the characteristic phonetic changes in German. German language_sentence_327

Their origin is thus no longer recognizable for most speakers (e.g. Pforte, Tafel, Mauer, Käse, Köln from Latin porta, tabula, murus, caseus, Colonia). German language_sentence_328

Borrowing from Latin continued after the fall of the Roman Empire during Christianisation, mediated by the church and monasteries. German language_sentence_329

Another important influx of Latin words can be observed during Renaissance humanism. German language_sentence_330

In a scholarly context, the borrowings from Latin have continued until today, in the last few decades often indirectly through borrowings from English. German language_sentence_331

During the 15th to 17th centuries, the influence of Italian was great, leading to many Italian loanwords in the fields of architecture, finance, and music. German language_sentence_332

The influence of the French language in the 17th to 19th centuries resulted in an even greater import of French words. German language_sentence_333

The English influence was already present in the 19th century, but it did not become dominant until the second half of the 20th century. German language_sentence_334

Thus, Notker Labeo was able to translate Aristotelian treatises into pure (Old High) German in the decades after the year 1000. German language_sentence_335

The tradition of loan translation was revitalized in the 18th century with linguists like Joachim Heinrich Campe, who introduced close to 300 words that are still used in modern German. German language_sentence_336

Even today, there are movements that try to promote the Ersatz (substitution) of foreign words that are deemed unnecessary with German alternatives. German language_sentence_337

As in English, there are many pairs of synonyms due to the enrichment of the Germanic vocabulary with loanwords from Latin and Latinized Greek. German language_sentence_338

These words often have different connotations from their Germanic counterparts and are usually perceived as more scholarly. German language_sentence_339

German language_unordered_list_24

  • Historie, historisch – "history, historical", (Geschichte, geschichtlich)German language_item_24_101
  • Humanität, human – "humaneness, humane", (Menschlichkeit, menschlich)German language_item_24_102
  • Millennium – "millennium", (Jahrtausend)German language_item_24_103
  • Perzeption – "perception", (Wahrnehmung)German language_item_24_104
  • Vokabular – "vocabulary", (Wortschatz)German language_item_24_105
  • Diktionär – "dictionary, wordbook", (Wörterbuch)German language_item_24_106
  • probieren – "to try", (versuchen)German language_item_24_107

The size of the vocabulary of German is difficult to estimate. German language_sentence_340

The Deutsches Wörterbuch (German Dictionary) initiated by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm already contained over 330,000 headwords in its first edition. German language_sentence_341

The modern German scientific vocabulary is estimated at nine million words and word groups (based on the analysis of 35 million sentences of a corpus in Leipzig, which as of July 2003 included 500 million words in total). German language_sentence_342

The Duden is the de facto official dictionary of the German language, first published by Konrad Duden in 1880. German language_sentence_343

The Duden is updated regularly, with new editions appearing every four or five years. German language_sentence_344

As of August 2017, it was in its 27th edition and in 12 volumes, each covering different aspects such as loanwords, etymology, pronunciation, synonyms, and so forth. German language_sentence_345

The first of these volumes, Die deutsche Rechtschreibung (German Orthography), has long been the prescriptive source for the spelling of German. German language_sentence_346

The Duden has become the bible of the German language, being the definitive set of rules regarding grammar, spelling and usage of German. German language_sentence_347

The Österreichisches Wörterbuch ("Austrian Dictionary"), abbreviated ÖWB, is the official dictionary of the German language in the Republic of Austria. German language_sentence_348

It is edited by a group of linguists under the authority of the Austrian Federal Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture (German: Bundesministerium für Unterricht, Kunst und Kultur). German language_sentence_349

It is the Austrian counterpart to the German Duden and contains a number of terms unique to Austrian German or more frequently used or differently pronounced there. German language_sentence_350

A considerable amount of this "Austrian" vocabulary is also common in Southern Germany, especially Bavaria, and some of it is used in Switzerland as well. German language_sentence_351

Since the 39th edition in 2001 the orthography of the ÖWB has been adjusted to the German spelling reform of 1996. German language_sentence_352

The dictionary is also officially used in the Italian province of South Tyrol. German language_sentence_353

English to German cognates German language_section_41

This is a selection of cognates in both English and German. German language_sentence_354

Instead of the usual infinitive ending -en, German verbs are indicated by a hyphen after their stems. German language_sentence_355

Words that are written with capital letters in German are nouns. German language_sentence_356

German language_table_general_2

EnglishGerman language_header_cell_2_0_0 GermanGerman language_header_cell_2_0_1 German language_cell_2_0_2 EnglishGerman language_header_cell_2_0_3 GermanGerman language_header_cell_2_0_4 German language_cell_2_0_5 EnglishGerman language_header_cell_2_0_6 GermanGerman language_header_cell_2_0_7 German language_cell_2_0_8 EnglishGerman language_header_cell_2_0_9 GermanGerman language_header_cell_2_0_10 German language_cell_2_0_11 EnglishGerman language_header_cell_2_0_12 GermanGerman language_header_cell_2_0_13 German language_cell_2_0_14 EnglishGerman language_header_cell_2_0_15 GermanGerman language_header_cell_2_0_16 German language_cell_2_0_17 EnglishGerman language_header_cell_2_0_18 GermanGerman language_header_cell_2_0_19 German language_cell_2_0_20 EnglishGerman language_header_cell_2_0_21 GermanGerman language_header_cell_2_0_22
andGerman language_cell_2_1_0 undGerman language_cell_2_1_1 armGerman language_cell_2_1_2 ArmGerman language_cell_2_1_3 bearGerman language_cell_2_1_4 BärGerman language_cell_2_1_5 beaverGerman language_cell_2_1_6 BiberGerman language_cell_2_1_7 beeGerman language_cell_2_1_8 BieneGerman language_cell_2_1_9 beerGerman language_cell_2_1_10 BierGerman language_cell_2_1_11 bestGerman language_cell_2_1_12 bestGerman language_cell_2_1_13 betterGerman language_cell_2_1_14 besserGerman language_cell_2_1_15
blinkGerman language_cell_2_2_0 blink-German language_cell_2_2_1 bloomGerman language_cell_2_2_2 blüh-German language_cell_2_2_3 blueGerman language_cell_2_2_4 blauGerman language_cell_2_2_5 boatGerman language_cell_2_2_6 BootGerman language_cell_2_2_7 bookGerman language_cell_2_2_8 BuchGerman language_cell_2_2_9 brewGerman language_cell_2_2_10 brau-German language_cell_2_2_11 breweryGerman language_cell_2_2_12 BrauereiGerman language_cell_2_2_13 bridgeGerman language_cell_2_2_14 BrückeGerman language_cell_2_2_15
browGerman language_cell_2_3_0 BraueGerman language_cell_2_3_1 brownGerman language_cell_2_3_2 braunGerman language_cell_2_3_3 churchGerman language_cell_2_3_4 KircheGerman language_cell_2_3_5 coldGerman language_cell_2_3_6 kaltGerman language_cell_2_3_7 coolGerman language_cell_2_3_8 kühlGerman language_cell_2_3_9 daleGerman language_cell_2_3_10 TalGerman language_cell_2_3_11 damGerman language_cell_2_3_12 DammGerman language_cell_2_3_13 danceGerman language_cell_2_3_14 tanz-German language_cell_2_3_15
doughGerman language_cell_2_4_0 TeigGerman language_cell_2_4_1 dreamGerman language_cell_2_4_2 TraumGerman language_cell_2_4_3 dreamGerman language_cell_2_4_4 träum-German language_cell_2_4_5 drinkGerman language_cell_2_4_6 GetränkGerman language_cell_2_4_7 drinkGerman language_cell_2_4_8 trink-German language_cell_2_4_9 earGerman language_cell_2_4_10 OhrGerman language_cell_2_4_11 earthGerman language_cell_2_4_12 ErdeGerman language_cell_2_4_13 eatGerman language_cell_2_4_14 ess-German language_cell_2_4_15
farGerman language_cell_2_5_0 fernGerman language_cell_2_5_1 featherGerman language_cell_2_5_2 FederGerman language_cell_2_5_3 fernGerman language_cell_2_5_4 FarnGerman language_cell_2_5_5 fieldGerman language_cell_2_5_6 FeldGerman language_cell_2_5_7 fingerGerman language_cell_2_5_8 FingerGerman language_cell_2_5_9 fishGerman language_cell_2_5_10 FischGerman language_cell_2_5_11 fisherGerman language_cell_2_5_12 FischerGerman language_cell_2_5_13 fleeGerman language_cell_2_5_14 flieh-German language_cell_2_5_15
flightGerman language_cell_2_6_0 FlugGerman language_cell_2_6_1 floodGerman language_cell_2_6_2 FlutGerman language_cell_2_6_3 flowGerman language_cell_2_6_4 fließ-German language_cell_2_6_5 flowGerman language_cell_2_6_6 FlussGerman language_cell_2_6_7 flyGerman language_cell_2_6_8 FliegeGerman language_cell_2_6_9 flyGerman language_cell_2_6_10 flieg-German language_cell_2_6_11 forGerman language_cell_2_6_12 fürGerman language_cell_2_6_13 fordGerman language_cell_2_6_14 FurtGerman language_cell_2_6_15
fourGerman language_cell_2_7_0 vierGerman language_cell_2_7_1 foxGerman language_cell_2_7_2 FuchsGerman language_cell_2_7_3 glassGerman language_cell_2_7_4 GlasGerman language_cell_2_7_5 goGerman language_cell_2_7_6 geh-German language_cell_2_7_7 goldGerman language_cell_2_7_8 GoldGerman language_cell_2_7_9 goodGerman language_cell_2_7_10 gutGerman language_cell_2_7_11 grassGerman language_cell_2_7_12 GrasGerman language_cell_2_7_13 grasshopperGerman language_cell_2_7_14 GrashüpferGerman language_cell_2_7_15
greenGerman language_cell_2_8_0 grünGerman language_cell_2_8_1 greyGerman language_cell_2_8_2 grauGerman language_cell_2_8_3 hagGerman language_cell_2_8_4 HexeGerman language_cell_2_8_5 hailGerman language_cell_2_8_6 HagelGerman language_cell_2_8_7 handGerman language_cell_2_8_8 HandGerman language_cell_2_8_9 hardGerman language_cell_2_8_10 hartGerman language_cell_2_8_11 hateGerman language_cell_2_8_12 HassGerman language_cell_2_8_13 havenGerman language_cell_2_8_14 HafenGerman language_cell_2_8_15
hayGerman language_cell_2_9_0 HeuGerman language_cell_2_9_1 hearGerman language_cell_2_9_2 hör-German language_cell_2_9_3 heartGerman language_cell_2_9_4 HerzGerman language_cell_2_9_5 heatGerman language_cell_2_9_6 HitzeGerman language_cell_2_9_7 heathGerman language_cell_2_9_8 HeideGerman language_cell_2_9_9 highGerman language_cell_2_9_10 hochGerman language_cell_2_9_11 honeyGerman language_cell_2_9_12 HonigGerman language_cell_2_9_13 hornetGerman language_cell_2_9_14 HornisseGerman language_cell_2_9_15
hundredGerman language_cell_2_10_0 hundertGerman language_cell_2_10_1 hungerGerman language_cell_2_10_2 HungerGerman language_cell_2_10_3 hutGerman language_cell_2_10_4 HütteGerman language_cell_2_10_5 iceGerman language_cell_2_10_6 EisGerman language_cell_2_10_7 kingGerman language_cell_2_10_8 KönigGerman language_cell_2_10_9 kissGerman language_cell_2_10_10 KussGerman language_cell_2_10_11 kissGerman language_cell_2_10_12 küss-German language_cell_2_10_13 kneeGerman language_cell_2_10_14 KnieGerman language_cell_2_10_15
landGerman language_cell_2_11_0 LandGerman language_cell_2_11_1 landingGerman language_cell_2_11_2 LandungGerman language_cell_2_11_3 laughGerman language_cell_2_11_4 lach-German language_cell_2_11_5 lie, layGerman language_cell_2_11_6 lieg-, lagGerman language_cell_2_11_7 lie, liedGerman language_cell_2_11_8 lüg-, logGerman language_cell_2_11_9 light (A)German language_cell_2_11_10 leichtGerman language_cell_2_11_11 lightGerman language_cell_2_11_12 LichtGerman language_cell_2_11_13 liveGerman language_cell_2_11_14 leb-German language_cell_2_11_15
liverGerman language_cell_2_12_0 LeberGerman language_cell_2_12_1 loveGerman language_cell_2_12_2 LiebeGerman language_cell_2_12_3 manGerman language_cell_2_12_4 MannGerman language_cell_2_12_5 middleGerman language_cell_2_12_6 MitteGerman language_cell_2_12_7 midnightGerman language_cell_2_12_8 MitternachtGerman language_cell_2_12_9 moonGerman language_cell_2_12_10 MondGerman language_cell_2_12_11 mossGerman language_cell_2_12_12 MoosGerman language_cell_2_12_13 mouthGerman language_cell_2_12_14 MundGerman language_cell_2_12_15
mouth (river)German language_cell_2_13_0 MündungGerman language_cell_2_13_1 nightGerman language_cell_2_13_2 NachtGerman language_cell_2_13_3 noseGerman language_cell_2_13_4 NaseGerman language_cell_2_13_5 nutGerman language_cell_2_13_6 NussGerman language_cell_2_13_7 overGerman language_cell_2_13_8 überGerman language_cell_2_13_9 plantGerman language_cell_2_13_10 PflanzeGerman language_cell_2_13_11 quackGerman language_cell_2_13_12 quak-German language_cell_2_13_13 rainGerman language_cell_2_13_14 RegenGerman language_cell_2_13_15
rainbowGerman language_cell_2_14_0 RegenbogenGerman language_cell_2_14_1 redGerman language_cell_2_14_2 rotGerman language_cell_2_14_3 ringGerman language_cell_2_14_4 RingGerman language_cell_2_14_5 sandGerman language_cell_2_14_6 SandGerman language_cell_2_14_7 sayGerman language_cell_2_14_8 sag-German language_cell_2_14_9 seaGerman language_cell_2_14_10 See (f)German language_cell_2_14_11 seamGerman language_cell_2_14_12 SaumGerman language_cell_2_14_13 seatGerman language_cell_2_14_14 SitzGerman language_cell_2_14_15
seeGerman language_cell_2_15_0 seh-German language_cell_2_15_1 sheepGerman language_cell_2_15_2 SchafGerman language_cell_2_15_3 shimmerGerman language_cell_2_15_4 schimmer-German language_cell_2_15_5 shineGerman language_cell_2_15_6 schein-German language_cell_2_15_7 shipGerman language_cell_2_15_8 SchiffGerman language_cell_2_15_9 silverGerman language_cell_2_15_10 SilberGerman language_cell_2_15_11 singGerman language_cell_2_15_12 sing-German language_cell_2_15_13 sitGerman language_cell_2_15_14 sitz-German language_cell_2_15_15
snowGerman language_cell_2_16_0 SchneeGerman language_cell_2_16_1 soulGerman language_cell_2_16_2 SeeleGerman language_cell_2_16_3 speakGerman language_cell_2_16_4 sprech-German language_cell_2_16_5 springGerman language_cell_2_16_6 spring-German language_cell_2_16_7 starGerman language_cell_2_16_8 SternGerman language_cell_2_16_9 stitchGerman language_cell_2_16_10 StichGerman language_cell_2_16_11 storkGerman language_cell_2_16_12 StorchGerman language_cell_2_16_13 stormGerman language_cell_2_16_14 SturmGerman language_cell_2_16_15
stormyGerman language_cell_2_17_0 stürmischGerman language_cell_2_17_1 strandGerman language_cell_2_17_2 strand-German language_cell_2_17_3 strawGerman language_cell_2_17_4 StrohGerman language_cell_2_17_5 straw baleGerman language_cell_2_17_6 StrohballenGerman language_cell_2_17_7 streamGerman language_cell_2_17_8 StromGerman language_cell_2_17_9 streamGerman language_cell_2_17_10 ström-German language_cell_2_17_11 stutterGerman language_cell_2_17_12 stotter-German language_cell_2_17_13 summerGerman language_cell_2_17_14 SommerGerman language_cell_2_17_15
sunGerman language_cell_2_18_0 SonneGerman language_cell_2_18_1 sunnyGerman language_cell_2_18_2 sonnigGerman language_cell_2_18_3 swanGerman language_cell_2_18_4 SchwanGerman language_cell_2_18_5 tellGerman language_cell_2_18_6 erzähl-German language_cell_2_18_7 that (C)German language_cell_2_18_8 dassGerman language_cell_2_18_9 theGerman language_cell_2_18_10 der, die, das, den, demGerman language_cell_2_18_11 thenGerman language_cell_2_18_12 dannGerman language_cell_2_18_13 thirstGerman language_cell_2_18_14 DurstGerman language_cell_2_18_15
thistleGerman language_cell_2_19_0 DistelGerman language_cell_2_19_1 thornGerman language_cell_2_19_2 DornGerman language_cell_2_19_3 thousandGerman language_cell_2_19_4 tausendGerman language_cell_2_19_5 thunderGerman language_cell_2_19_6 DonnerGerman language_cell_2_19_7 twitterGerman language_cell_2_19_8 zwitscher-German language_cell_2_19_9 upperGerman language_cell_2_19_10 oberGerman language_cell_2_19_11 warmGerman language_cell_2_19_12 warmGerman language_cell_2_19_13 waspGerman language_cell_2_19_14 WespeGerman language_cell_2_19_15
waterGerman language_cell_2_20_0 WasserGerman language_cell_2_20_1 weatherGerman language_cell_2_20_2 WetterGerman language_cell_2_20_3 weaveGerman language_cell_2_20_4 web-German language_cell_2_20_5 wellGerman language_cell_2_20_6 QuelleGerman language_cell_2_20_7 wellGerman language_cell_2_20_8 wohlGerman language_cell_2_20_9 whichGerman language_cell_2_20_10 welchGerman language_cell_2_20_11 whiteGerman language_cell_2_20_12 weißGerman language_cell_2_20_13 wildGerman language_cell_2_20_14 wildGerman language_cell_2_20_15
windGerman language_cell_2_21_0 WindGerman language_cell_2_21_1 winterGerman language_cell_2_21_2 WinterGerman language_cell_2_21_3 wolfGerman language_cell_2_21_4 WolfGerman language_cell_2_21_5 wordGerman language_cell_2_21_6 WortGerman language_cell_2_21_7 worldGerman language_cell_2_21_8 WeltGerman language_cell_2_21_9 yarnGerman language_cell_2_21_10 GarnGerman language_cell_2_21_11 yearGerman language_cell_2_21_12 JahrGerman language_cell_2_21_13 yellowGerman language_cell_2_21_14 gelbGerman language_cell_2_21_15
EnglishGerman language_header_cell_2_22_0 GermanGerman language_header_cell_2_22_1 EnglishGerman language_header_cell_2_22_2 GermanGerman language_header_cell_2_22_3 EnglishGerman language_header_cell_2_22_4 GermanGerman language_header_cell_2_22_5 EnglishGerman language_header_cell_2_22_6 GermanGerman language_header_cell_2_22_7 EnglishGerman language_header_cell_2_22_8 GermanGerman language_header_cell_2_22_9 EnglishGerman language_header_cell_2_22_10 GermanGerman language_header_cell_2_22_11 EnglishGerman language_header_cell_2_22_12 GermanGerman language_header_cell_2_22_13 EnglishGerman language_header_cell_2_22_14 GermanGerman language_header_cell_2_22_15

Orthography German language_section_42

Main articles: German orthography and German braille German language_sentence_357

German is written in the Latin alphabet. German language_sentence_358

In addition to the 26 standard letters, German has three vowels with an umlaut mark, namely ä, ö and ü, as well as the eszett or scharfes s (sharp s): ß. German language_sentence_359

In Switzerland and Liechtenstein, ss is used instead of ß. German language_sentence_360

Since ß can never occur at the beginning of a word, it has no traditional uppercase form. German language_sentence_361

Written texts in German are easily recognisable as such by distinguishing features such as umlauts and certain orthographical features – German is the only major language that capitalizes all nouns, a relic of a widespread practice in Northern Europe in the early modern era (including English for a while, in the 1700s) – and the frequent occurrence of long compounds. German language_sentence_362

Because legibility and convenience set certain boundaries, compounds consisting of more than three or four nouns are almost exclusively found in humorous contexts. German language_sentence_363

(In contrast, although English can also string nouns together, it usually separates the nouns with spaces. German language_sentence_364

For example, "toilet bowl cleaner".) German language_sentence_365

Present German language_section_43

Before the German orthography reform of 1996, ß replaced ss after long vowels and diphthongs and before consonants, word-, or partial-word endings. German language_sentence_366

In reformed spelling, ß replaces ss only after long vowels and diphthongs. German language_sentence_367

Since there is no traditional capital form of ß, it was replaced by SS when capitalization was required. German language_sentence_368

For example, Maßband (tape measure) became MASSBAND in capitals. German language_sentence_369

An exception was the use of ß in legal documents and forms when capitalizing names. German language_sentence_370

To avoid confusion with similar names, lower case ß was maintained (thus "KREßLEIN" instead of "KRESSLEIN"). German language_sentence_371

Capital ß (ẞ) was ultimately adopted into German orthography in 2017, ending a long orthographic debate (thus "KREẞLEIN and KRESSLEIN"). German language_sentence_372

Umlaut vowels (ä, ö, ü) are commonly transcribed with ae, oe, and ue if the umlauts are not available on the keyboard or other medium used. German language_sentence_373

In the same manner ß can be transcribed as ss. German language_sentence_374

Some operating systems use key sequences to extend the set of possible characters to include, amongst other things, umlauts; in Microsoft Windows this is done using Alt codes. German language_sentence_375

German readers understand these transcriptions (although they appear unusual), but they are avoided if the regular umlauts are available, because they are a makeshift and not proper spelling. German language_sentence_376

(In Westphalia and Schleswig-Holstein, city and family names exist where the extra e has a vowel lengthening effect, e.g. Raesfeld [ˈraːsfɛlt, Coesfeld [ˈkoːsfɛlt] and Itzehoe [ɪtsəˈhoː], but this use of the letter e after a/o/u does not occur in the present-day spelling of words other than proper nouns.) German language_sentence_377

There is no general agreement on where letters with umlauts occur in the sorting sequence. German language_sentence_378

Telephone directories treat them by replacing them with the base vowel followed by an e. Some dictionaries sort each umlauted vowel as a separate letter after the base vowel, but more commonly words with umlauts are ordered immediately after the same word without umlauts. German language_sentence_379

As an example in a telephone book Ärzte occurs after Adressenverlage but before Anlagenbauer (because Ä is replaced by Ae). German language_sentence_380

In a dictionary Ärzte comes after Arzt, but in some dictionaries Ärzte and all other words starting with Ä may occur after all words starting with A. German language_sentence_381

In some older dictionaries or indexes, initial Sch and St are treated as separate letters and are listed as separate entries after S, but they are usually treated as S+C+H and S+T. German language_sentence_382

Written German also typically uses an alternative opening inverted comma (quotation mark) as in "Guten Morgen! German language_sentence_383

". German language_sentence_384

Past German language_section_44

Further information: 2nd Orthographic Conference (German), Antiqua–Fraktur dispute, and German orthography reform of 1944 German language_sentence_385

Until the early 20th century, German was printed in blackletter typefaces (in Fraktur, and in Schwabacher), and written in corresponding handwriting (for example Kurrent and Sütterlin). German language_sentence_386

These variants of the Latin alphabet are very different from the serif or sans-serif Antiqua typefaces used today, and the handwritten forms in particular are difficult for the untrained to read. German language_sentence_387

The printed forms, however, were claimed by some to be more readable when used for Germanic languages. German language_sentence_388

The Nazis initially promoted Fraktur and Schwabacher because they were considered Aryan, but they abolished them in 1941, claiming that these letters were Jewish. German language_sentence_389

It is believed that the Nazi régime had banned this script, as they realized that Fraktur would inhibit communication in the territories occupied during World War II. German language_sentence_390

The Fraktur script however remains present in everyday life in pub signs, beer brands and other forms of advertisement, where it is used to convey a certain rusticality and antiquity. German language_sentence_391

A proper use of the long s (langes s), ſ, is essential for writing German text in Fraktur typefaces. German language_sentence_392

Many Antiqua typefaces also include the long s. A specific set of rules applies for the use of long s in German text, but nowadays it is rarely used in Antiqua typesetting. German language_sentence_393

Any lower case "s" at the beginning of a syllable would be a long s, as opposed to a terminal s or short s (the more common variation of the letter s), which marks the end of a syllable; for example, in differentiating between the words Wachſtube (guard-house) and Wachstube (tube of polish/wax). German language_sentence_394

One can easily decide which "s" to use by appropriate hyphenation, (Wach-ſtube vs. Wachs-tube). German language_sentence_395

The long s only appears in lower case. German language_sentence_396

Orthography Reform German language_section_45

Main article: German orthography reform of 1996 German language_sentence_397

The orthography reform of 1996 led to public controversy and considerable dispute. German language_sentence_398

The states (Bundesländer) of North Rhine-Westphalia and Bavaria refused to accept it. German language_sentence_399

At one point, the dispute reached the highest court, which quickly dismissed it, claiming that the states had to decide for themselves and that only in schools could the reform be made the official rule – everybody else could continue writing as they had learned it. German language_sentence_400

After 10 years, without any intervention by the federal parliament, a major revision was installed in 2006, just in time for the coming school year. German language_sentence_401

In 2007, some traditional spellings were finally invalidated; however, in 2008, many of the old comma rules were again put in force. German language_sentence_402

The most noticeable change was probably in the use of the letter ß, called scharfes s (Sharp S) or ess-zett (pronounced ess-tsett). German language_sentence_403

Traditionally, this letter was used in three situations: German language_sentence_404

German language_ordered_list_25

  1. After a long vowel or vowel combination;German language_item_25_108
  2. Before a t;German language_item_25_109
  3. At the end of a syllable.German language_item_25_110

Examples are Füße, paßt, and daß. German language_sentence_405

Currently, only the first rule is in effect, making the correct spellings Füße, passt, and dass. German language_sentence_406

The word Fuß 'foot' has the letter ß because it contains a long vowel, even though that letter occurs at the end of a syllable. German language_sentence_407

The logic of this change is that an 'ß' is a single letter whereas 'ss' are two letters, so the same distinction applies as (for example) between the words den and denn. German language_sentence_408

Phonology German language_section_46

Main article: German phonology German language_sentence_409

Vowels German language_section_47

In German, vowels (excluding diphthongs; see below) are either short or long, as follows: German language_sentence_410

German language_table_general_3

German language_header_cell_3_0_0 AGerman language_header_cell_3_0_1 ÄGerman language_header_cell_3_0_2 EGerman language_header_cell_3_0_3 IGerman language_header_cell_3_0_4 OGerman language_header_cell_3_0_5 ÖGerman language_header_cell_3_0_6 UGerman language_header_cell_3_0_7 ÜGerman language_header_cell_3_0_8
ShortGerman language_header_cell_3_1_0 /a/German language_cell_3_1_1 /ɛ/German language_cell_3_1_2 /ɛ/, /ə/German language_cell_3_1_3 /ɪ/German language_cell_3_1_4 /ɔ/German language_cell_3_1_5 /œ/German language_cell_3_1_6 /ʊ/German language_cell_3_1_7 /ʏ/German language_cell_3_1_8
LongGerman language_header_cell_3_2_0 /aː/German language_cell_3_2_1 /ɛː/, /eː/German language_cell_3_2_2 /eː/German language_cell_3_2_3 /iː/German language_cell_3_2_4 /oː/German language_cell_3_2_5 /øː/German language_cell_3_2_6 /uː/German language_cell_3_2_7 /yː/German language_cell_3_2_8

Short /ɛ/ is realized as [ɛ] in stressed syllables (including secondary stress), but as [ə] in unstressed syllables. German language_sentence_411

Note that stressed short /ɛ/ can be spelled either with e or with ä (for instance, hätte 'would have' and Kette 'chain' rhyme). German language_sentence_412

In general, the short vowels are open and the long vowels are close. German language_sentence_413

The one exception is the open /ɛː/ sound of long Ä; in some varieties of standard German, /ɛː/ and /eː/ have merged into [eː], removing this anomaly. German language_sentence_414

In that case, pairs like Bären/Beeren 'bears/berries' or Ähre/Ehre 'spike (of wheat)/honour' become homophonous (see: Captain Bluebear). German language_sentence_415

In many varieties of standard German, an unstressed /ɛr/ is not pronounced [ər] but vocalised to [ɐ]. German language_sentence_416

Whether any particular vowel letter represents the long or short phoneme is not completely predictable, although the following regularities exist: German language_sentence_417

German language_unordered_list_26

  • If a vowel (other than i) is at the end of a syllable or followed by a single consonant, it is usually pronounced long (e.g. Hof [hoːf]).German language_item_26_111
  • If a vowel is followed by h or if an i is followed by an e, it is long.German language_item_26_112
  • If the vowel is followed by a double consonant (e.g. ff, ss or tt), ck, tz or a consonant cluster (e.g. st or nd), it is nearly always short (e.g. hoffen [ˈhɔfən]). Double consonants are used only for this function of marking preceding vowels as short; the consonant itself is never pronounced lengthened or doubled, in other words this is not a feeding order of gemination and then vowel shortening.German language_item_26_113

Both of these rules have exceptions (e.g. hat [hat] "has" is short despite the first rule; Mond [moːnt] "moon" is long despite the second rule). German language_sentence_418

For an i that is neither in the combination ie (making it long) nor followed by a double consonant or cluster (making it short), there is no general rule. German language_sentence_419

In some cases, there are regional differences. German language_sentence_420

In central Germany (Hesse), the o in the proper name "Hoffmann" is pronounced long, whereas most other Germans would pronounce it short. German language_sentence_421

The same applies to the e in the geographical name "Mecklenburg" for people in that region. German language_sentence_422

The word Städte "cities" is pronounced with a short vowel [ˈʃtɛtə] by some (Jan Hofer, ARD Television) and with a long vowel [ˈʃtɛːtə] by others (Marietta Slomka, ZDF Television). German language_sentence_423

Finally, a vowel followed by ch can be short (Fach [fax] "compartment", Küche [ˈkʏçə] "kitchen") or long (Suche [ˈzuːxə] "search", Bücher [ˈbyːçɐ] "books") almost at random. German language_sentence_424

Thus, Lache is homographous between [laːxə] Lache "puddle" and [laxə] Lache "manner of laughing" (colloquial) or lache! German language_sentence_425

"laugh!" German language_sentence_426

(imperative). German language_sentence_427

German vowels can form the following digraphs (in writing) and diphthongs (in pronunciation); note that the pronunciation of some of them (ei, äu, eu) is very different from what one would expect when considering the component letters: German language_sentence_428

German language_table_general_4

SpellingGerman language_header_cell_4_0_0 ai, ei, ay, eyGerman language_cell_4_0_1 auGerman language_cell_4_0_2 äu, euGerman language_cell_4_0_3
PronunciationGerman language_header_cell_4_1_0 /aɪ̯/German language_cell_4_1_1 /aʊ̯/German language_cell_4_1_2 /ɔʏ̯/German language_cell_4_1_3

Additionally, the digraph ie generally represents the phoneme /iː/, which is not a diphthong. German language_sentence_429

In many varieties, an /r/ at the end of a syllable is vocalised. German language_sentence_430

However, a sequence of a vowel followed by such a vocalised /r/ is not a phonemic diphthong: Bär [bɛːɐ̯] "bear", er [eːɐ̯] "he", wir [viːɐ̯] "we", Tor [toːɐ̯] "gate", kurz [kʊɐ̯ts] "short", Wörter [vœɐ̯tɐ] "words". German language_sentence_431

In most varieties of standard German, syllables that begin with a vowel are preceded by a glottal stop [ʔ]. German language_sentence_432

Consonants German language_section_48

With approximately 26 phonemes, the German consonant system exhibits an average number of consonants in comparison with other languages. German language_sentence_433

One of the more noteworthy ones is the unusual affricate /p͡f/. German language_sentence_434

The consonant inventory of the standard language is shown below. German language_sentence_435

German language_table_general_5

German language_header_cell_5_0_0 LabialGerman language_header_cell_5_0_1 AlveolarGerman language_header_cell_5_0_2 PalatalGerman language_header_cell_5_0_3 VelarGerman language_header_cell_5_0_4 UvularGerman language_header_cell_5_0_5 GlottalGerman language_header_cell_5_0_6
NasalGerman language_header_cell_5_1_0 mGerman language_cell_5_1_1 nGerman language_cell_5_1_2 German language_cell_5_1_3 ŋGerman language_cell_5_1_4 German language_cell_5_1_5 German language_cell_5_1_6
PlosiveGerman language_header_cell_5_2_0 p  bGerman language_cell_5_2_1 t  dGerman language_cell_5_2_2 German language_cell_5_2_3 k  ɡGerman language_cell_5_2_4 German language_cell_5_2_5 German language_cell_5_2_6
AffricateGerman language_header_cell_5_3_0 pfGerman language_cell_5_3_1 tsGerman language_cell_5_3_2 tʃ  (dʒ)German language_cell_5_3_3 German language_cell_5_3_4 German language_cell_5_3_5 German language_cell_5_3_6
FricativeGerman language_header_cell_5_4_0 f  vGerman language_cell_5_4_1 s  zGerman language_cell_5_4_2 ʃ  (ʒ)German language_cell_5_4_3 xGerman language_cell_5_4_4 (ʁ)German language_cell_5_4_5 hGerman language_cell_5_4_6
TrillGerman language_header_cell_5_5_0 German language_cell_5_5_1 rGerman language_cell_5_5_2 German language_cell_5_5_3 German language_cell_5_5_4 (ʀ)German language_cell_5_5_5 German language_cell_5_5_6
ApproximantGerman language_header_cell_5_6_0 German language_cell_5_6_1 lGerman language_cell_5_6_2 jGerman language_cell_5_6_3 German language_cell_5_6_4 German language_cell_5_6_5 German language_cell_5_6_6

German language_unordered_list_27

  • /x/ has two allophones, [x] and [ç], after back and front vowels, respectively.German language_item_27_114
  • /r/ has three allophones in free variation: [r], [ʁ] and [ʀ]. In the syllable coda, the allophone [ɐ] is found in many varieties.German language_item_27_115
  • The voiceless stops /p/, /t/, /k/ are aspirated except when preceded by a sibilant, identical to English usage.German language_item_27_116
  • /d͡ʒ/ and /ʒ/ occur only in words of foreign (usually English or French) origin.German language_item_27_117
  • Where a stressed syllable has an initial vowel, it is preceded by [ʔ]. As its presence is predictable from context, [ʔ] is not considered a phoneme.German language_item_27_118

Consonant spellings German language_section_49

German language_unordered_list_28

  • c standing by itself is not a German letter. In borrowed words, it is usually pronounced [t͡s] (before ä, äu, e, i, ö, ü, y) or [k] (before a, o, u, and consonants). The combination ck is, as in English, used to indicate that the preceding vowel is short.German language_item_28_119
  • ch occurs often and is pronounced either [ç] (after ä, ai, äu, e, ei, eu, i, ö, ü and consonants; in the diminutive suffix -chen; and at the beginning of a word), [x] (after a, au, o, u), or [k] at the beginning of a word before a, o, u and consonants. Ch never occurs at the beginning of an originally German word. In borrowed words with initial Ch before front vowels (Chemie "chemistry" etc.), [ç] is considered standard. However, Upper Germans and Franconians (in the geographical sense) replace it with [k], as German as a whole does before darker vowels and consonants such as in Charakter, Christentum. Middle Germans (except Franconians) will borrow a [ʃ] from the French model. Both consider the other's variant, and Upper Germans also the standard [ç], to be particularly awkward and unusual.German language_item_28_120
  • dsch is pronounced [d͡ʒ] (e.g. Dschungel /ˈd͡ʒʊŋəl/ "jungle") but appears in a few loanwords only.German language_item_28_121
  • f is pronounced [f] as in "father".German language_item_28_122
  • h is pronounced [h] as in "home" at the beginning of a syllable. After a vowel it is silent and only lengthens the vowel (e.g. Reh [ʁeː] = roe deer).German language_item_28_123
  • j is pronounced [j] in Germanic words (Jahr [jaːɐ̯]) like "y" in "year". In recent loanwords, it follows more or less the respective languages' pronunciations.German language_item_28_124
  • l is always pronounced [l], never *[ɫ] (the English "dark L").German language_item_28_125
  • q only exists in combination with u and is pronounced [kv]. It appears in both Germanic and Latin words (quer [kveːɐ̯]; Qualität [kvaliˈtɛːt]). But as most words containing q are Latinate, the letter is considerably rarer in German than it is in English.German language_item_28_126
  • r is usually pronounced in a guttural fashion (a voiced uvular fricative [ʁ] or uvular trill [ʀ]) in front of a vowel or consonant (Rasen [ˈʁaːzən]; Burg [bʊʁk]). In spoken German, however, it is commonly vocalised after a vowel (er being pronounced rather like [ˈɛɐ̯] – Burg [bʊɐ̯k]). In some varieties, the r is pronounced as a "tongue-tip" r (the alveolar trill [r]).German language_item_28_127
  • s in German is pronounced [z] (as in "zebra") if it forms the syllable onset (e.g. Sohn [zoːn]), otherwise [s] (e.g. Bus [bʊs]). In Austria, Switzerland, and Southern Germany, [s] occurs at syllable onset as well. A ss [s] indicates that the preceding vowel is short. st and sp at the beginning of words of German origin are pronounced [ʃt] and [ʃp], respectively.German language_item_28_128
  • ß (a letter unique to German called scharfes S or Eszett) is a ligature of a Long S (ſ) and a tailed z (ʒ) and is always pronounced [s]. Originating in Blackletter typeface, it traditionally replaced ss at the end of a syllable (e.g. ich muss → ich muß; ich müsste → ich müßte); within a word it contrasts with ss [s] in indicating that the preceding vowel is long (compare in Maßen [ɪn ˈmaːsən] "with moderation" and in Massen [ɪn ˈmasən] "in loads"). The use of ß has recently been limited by the latest German spelling reform and is no longer used for ss after a short vowel (e.g. ich muß and ich müßte were always pronounced with a short U/Ü); Switzerland and Liechtenstein already abolished it in 1934.German language_item_28_129
  • sch is pronounced [ʃ] (like "sh" in "shine").German language_item_28_130
  • tion in Latin loanwords is pronounced [tsi̯oːn].German language_item_28_131
  • th is found, rarely, in loanwords and is pronounced [t] if the loanword is from Greek, and usually as in the original if the loanword is from English (though some, mostly older, speakers tend to replace the English th-sound with [s]).German language_item_28_132
  • v is pronounced [f] in a limited number of words of Germanic origin, such as Vater [ˈfaːtɐ], Vogel "bird", von "from, of", vor "before, in front of", voll "full" and the prefix ver-. It is also used in loanwords, where it is normally pronounced [v]. This pronunciation is common in words like Vase, Vikar, Viktor, Viper, Ventil, vulgär, and English loanwords; however, pronunciation is [f] by some people in the deep south. The only non-German word in which "v" is always pronounced "f" is Eva (Eve).German language_item_28_133
  • w is pronounced [v] as in "vacation" (e.g. was [vas]).German language_item_28_134
  • y is pronounced as [y] when long and [ʏ] when short (as in Hygiene [hyɡi̯ˈeːnə] ; Labyrinth [labyˈʁɪnt] or Gymnasium /ɡʏmˈnaːzi̯ʊm/), except in ay and ey which are both pronounced [aɪ̯]. It is also often used in loanwords and pronounced as in the original language, like 'Style or Recycling.German language_item_28_135
  • z is always pronounced [t͡s] (e.g. zog [t͡soːk]), except in loanwords. A tz indicates that the preceding vowel is short.German language_item_28_136

Consonant shifts German language_section_50

Further information: High German consonant shift German language_sentence_436

German does not have any dental fricatives (as English th). German language_sentence_437

The th sound, which the English language still has, disappeared on the continent in German with the consonant shifts between the 8th and 10th centuries. German language_sentence_438

It is sometimes possible to find parallels between English and German by replacing the English th with d in German: "Thank" → in German Dank, "this" and "that" → dies and das, "thou" (old 2nd person singular pronoun) → du, "think" → denken, "thirsty" → durstig and many other examples. German language_sentence_439

Likewise, the gh in Germanic English words, pronounced in several different ways in modern English (as an f or not at all), can often be linked to German ch: "to laugh" → lachen, "through" → durch, "high" → hoch, "naught" → nichts, "light" → leicht or Licht, "sight" → Sicht, "daughter" → Tochter, "neighbour" → Nachbar. German language_sentence_440

Literature German language_section_51

Main article: German literature German language_sentence_441

The German language is used in German literature and can be traced back to the Middle Ages, with the most notable authors of the period being Walther von der Vogelweide and Wolfram von Eschenbach. German language_sentence_442

The Nibelungenlied, whose author remains unknown, is also an important work of the epoch. German language_sentence_443

The fairy tales collected and published by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm in the 19th century became famous throughout the world. German language_sentence_444

Reformer and theologian Martin Luther, who was the first to translate the Bible into German, is widely credited for having set the basis for the modern "High German" language. German language_sentence_445

Among the best-known poets and authors in German are Lessing, Goethe, Schiller, Kleist, Hoffmann, Brecht, Heine, and Kafka. German language_sentence_446

Fourteen German-speaking people have won the Nobel Prize in literature: Theodor Mommsen, Rudolf Christoph Eucken, Paul von Heyse, Gerhart Hauptmann, Carl Spitteler, Thomas Mann, Nelly Sachs, Hermann Hesse, Heinrich Böll, Elias Canetti, Günter Grass, Elfriede Jelinek, Herta Müller and Peter Handke, making it the second most awarded linguistic region (together with French) after English. German language_sentence_447

German language_table_general_6

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

(1749–1832)German language_header_cell_6_0_0

Friedrich Schiller

(1759–1805)German language_header_cell_6_0_1

Brothers Grimm

(1785–1863)German language_header_cell_6_0_2

Thomas Mann

(1875–1955)German language_header_cell_6_0_3

Hermann Hesse

(1877–1962)German language_header_cell_6_0_4

German language_cell_6_1_0 German language_cell_6_1_1 German language_cell_6_1_2 German language_cell_6_1_3 German language_cell_6_1_4

German loanwords in the English language German language_section_52

Main article: List of German expressions in English German language_sentence_448

English has taken many loanwords from German, often without any change of spelling (aside from frequently eliminating umlauts and not capitalizing nouns): German language_sentence_449

German language_table_general_7

German wordGerman language_header_cell_7_0_0 English loanwordGerman language_header_cell_7_0_1 Meaning of German wordGerman language_header_cell_7_0_2
abseilenGerman language_cell_7_1_0 abseilGerman language_cell_7_1_1 to descend by rope / to fastropeGerman language_cell_7_1_2
AngstGerman language_cell_7_2_0 angstGerman language_cell_7_2_1 fearGerman language_cell_7_2_2
AnsatzGerman language_cell_7_3_0 ansatzGerman language_cell_7_3_1 onset / entry / math / approachGerman language_cell_7_3_2
AnschlussGerman language_cell_7_4_0 anschlussGerman language_cell_7_4_1 connection / access / annexationGerman language_cell_7_4_2
AutomatGerman language_cell_7_5_0 automatGerman language_cell_7_5_1 automation / machineGerman language_cell_7_5_2
BildungsromanGerman language_cell_7_6_0 bildungsromanGerman language_cell_7_6_1 novel concerned with the personal development or education of the protagonistGerman language_cell_7_6_2
BlitzGerman language_cell_7_7_0 German language_cell_7_7_1 flash / lightningGerman language_cell_7_7_2
BlitzkriegGerman language_cell_7_8_0 blitzkriegGerman language_cell_7_8_1 lit. 'lightning war': military strategyGerman language_cell_7_8_2
BratwurstGerman language_cell_7_9_0 bratwurstGerman language_cell_7_9_1 fried sausageGerman language_cell_7_9_2
DelikatessenGerman language_cell_7_10_0 delicatessenGerman language_cell_7_10_1 delicious food itemsGerman language_cell_7_10_2
DoppelgängerGerman language_cell_7_11_0 doppelgangerGerman language_cell_7_11_1 lit. "double going / living person alive", look-alike of somebodyGerman language_cell_7_11_2
DramaturgGerman language_cell_7_12_0 dramaturgeGerman language_cell_7_12_1 professional position within a theatre or opera company that deals mainly with research and development of plays or operasGerman language_cell_7_12_2
Edelweiß or Edelweiss (Swiss spelling)German language_cell_7_13_0 edelweissGerman language_cell_7_13_1 edelweiss flowerGerman language_cell_7_13_2
ErsatzGerman language_cell_7_14_0 ersatzGerman language_cell_7_14_1 lit. "replacement", typically used to refer to an inferior substitute for a desired substance or itemGerman language_cell_7_14_2
FestGerman language_cell_7_15_0 festGerman language_cell_7_15_1 feast / celebrationGerman language_cell_7_15_2
FlugabwehrkanoneGerman language_cell_7_16_0 flakGerman language_cell_7_16_1 lit. "flight defence gun": anti-aircraft gun, abbreviated as FlaKGerman language_cell_7_16_2
GedankenexperimentGerman language_cell_7_17_0 gedankenexperimentGerman language_cell_7_17_1 thought experimentGerman language_cell_7_17_2
GeländesprungGerman language_cell_7_18_0 gelandesprungGerman language_cell_7_18_1 ski jumping for distance on alpine equipmentGerman language_cell_7_18_2
GemütlichkeitGerman language_cell_7_19_0 gemütlichkeitGerman language_cell_7_19_1 snug feeling, cosiness, good nature, genialityGerman language_cell_7_19_2
GestaltGerman language_cell_7_20_0 German language_cell_7_20_1 form or shape / creature / scheme; a concept of 'wholeness' (etymologically die is the past participle of used as an abstract noun, i.e. the same form as contemporary die )German language_cell_7_20_2
Gesundheit!German language_cell_7_21_0 Gesundheit! (Amer.)German language_cell_7_21_1 health / bless you! (when someone sneezes)German language_cell_7_21_2
GlockenspielGerman language_cell_7_22_0 glockenspielGerman language_cell_7_22_1 percussion instrumentGerman language_cell_7_22_2
HamburgerGerman language_cell_7_23_0 hamburger & other burgersGerman language_cell_7_23_1 demonym of HamburgGerman language_cell_7_23_2
HeiligenscheinGerman language_cell_7_24_0 heiligenscheinGerman language_cell_7_24_1 lit. "saints' light": halo (as a religious term)German language_cell_7_24_2
HinterlandGerman language_cell_7_25_0 hinterlandGerman language_cell_7_25_1 lit. '(military) area behind the front-line': interior / backwoodsGerman language_cell_7_25_2
kaputtGerman language_cell_7_26_0 German language_cell_7_26_1 out of order, not workingGerman language_cell_7_26_2
KatzenjammerGerman language_cell_7_27_0 German language_cell_7_27_1 lit. "cats' lament": hangover, crapulenceGerman language_cell_7_27_2
KindergartenGerman language_cell_7_28_0 kindergartenGerman language_cell_7_28_1 lit. "children's garden" – nursery or preschoolGerman language_cell_7_28_2
KitschGerman language_cell_7_29_0 kitschGerman language_cell_7_29_1 fake art, something produced exclusively for saleGerman language_cell_7_29_2
KrautGerman language_cell_7_30_0 krautGerman language_cell_7_30_1 herb, cabbage in some dialectsGerman language_cell_7_30_2
KulturkampfGerman language_cell_7_31_0 kulturkampfGerman language_cell_7_31_1 cultural warGerman language_cell_7_31_2
LeitmotivGerman language_cell_7_32_0 leitmotifGerman language_cell_7_32_1 guiding theme (the verb leiten means "to guide, to lead")German language_cell_7_32_2
NationalsozialismusGerman language_cell_7_33_0 naziGerman language_cell_7_33_1 national socialismGerman language_cell_7_33_2
PanzerGerman language_cell_7_34_0 panzerGerman language_cell_7_34_1 lit. "armour": tankGerman language_cell_7_34_2
plündern (v.)German language_cell_7_35_0 to plunderGerman language_cell_7_35_1 lit. "taking goods by force" (original meaning "to take away furniture" shifted in German and both borrowed by English during the Thirty Years War)German language_cell_7_35_2
PoltergeistGerman language_cell_7_36_0 poltergeistGerman language_cell_7_36_1 lit. "rumbling ghost"German language_cell_7_36_2
RealpolitikGerman language_cell_7_37_0 realpolitikGerman language_cell_7_37_1 diplomacy based on practical objectives rather than idealsGerman language_cell_7_37_2
ReichGerman language_cell_7_38_0 reichGerman language_cell_7_38_1 empire or realmGerman language_cell_7_38_2
RucksackGerman language_cell_7_39_0 rucksackGerman language_cell_7_39_1 backpack (Ruck → Rücken which means "back")German language_cell_7_39_2
SauerkrautGerman language_cell_7_40_0 sauerkrautGerman language_cell_7_40_1 shredded and salted cabbage fermented in its own juiceGerman language_cell_7_40_2
SchadenfreudeGerman language_cell_7_41_0 schadenfreudeGerman language_cell_7_41_1 taking pleasure in someone else's misfortune, gloatingGerman language_cell_7_41_2
SpielGerman language_cell_7_42_0 German language_cell_7_42_1 lit. "game / play": sales pitch / lengthy speech with the intent to persuadeGerman language_cell_7_42_2
SprachraumGerman language_cell_7_43_0 sprachraumGerman language_cell_7_43_1 lit. "place/area/room of a language": area where a certain language is spokenGerman language_cell_7_43_2
UnterseebootGerman language_cell_7_44_0 U-boatGerman language_cell_7_44_1 lit. "under sea boat": submarine, abbreviated as U-BootGerman language_cell_7_44_2
überGerman language_cell_7_45_0 uberGerman language_cell_7_45_1 over, aboveGerman language_cell_7_45_2
ÜbermenschGerman language_cell_7_46_0 übermenschGerman language_cell_7_46_1 superhuman, "overhuman"German language_cell_7_46_2
verklemmtGerman language_cell_7_47_0 verklemmt (Amer.)German language_cell_7_47_1 lit. "jammed": inhibited, uptightGerman language_cell_7_47_2
WaldsterbenGerman language_cell_7_48_0 waldsterbenGerman language_cell_7_48_1 lit. "forest dieback", dying floral environmentGerman language_cell_7_48_2
WanderlustGerman language_cell_7_49_0 wanderlustGerman language_cell_7_49_1 desire, pleasure, or inclination to travel or walkGerman language_cell_7_49_2
WeltanschauungGerman language_cell_7_50_0 weltanschauungGerman language_cell_7_50_1 lit. "perception of the world": ideologyGerman language_cell_7_50_2
WunderkindGerman language_cell_7_51_0 wunderkindGerman language_cell_7_51_1 lit. "wonder child": child prodigy, whiz kidGerman language_cell_7_51_2
ZeitgeistGerman language_cell_7_52_0 zeitgeistGerman language_cell_7_52_1 lit. "spirit of the times": the spirit of the age; the trend at that timeGerman language_cell_7_52_2
ZeitnotGerman language_cell_7_53_0 zeitnotGerman language_cell_7_53_1 chess term, lit. 'time trouble'German language_cell_7_53_2
ZugzwangGerman language_cell_7_54_0 zugzwangGerman language_cell_7_54_1 chess term, lit. "compulsion to move"German language_cell_7_54_2
ZwischenzugGerman language_cell_7_55_0 zwischenzugGerman language_cell_7_55_1 chess term, lit. "intermediate move"German language_cell_7_55_2

Organisations German language_section_53

Several organisations promote the use and learning of the German language. German language_sentence_450

Goethe Institut German language_section_54

Main article: Goethe-Institut German language_sentence_451

The government-backed Goethe-Institut, (named after Johann Wolfgang von Goethe) aims to enhance the knowledge of German culture and language within Europe and the rest of the world. German language_sentence_452

This is done by holding exhibitions and conferences with German-related themes, and providing training and guidance in the learning and use of the German language. German language_sentence_453

For example, the Goethe-Institut teaches the Goethe-Zertifikat German language qualification. German language_sentence_454

Verein Deutsche Sprache German language_section_55

The Dortmund-based Verein Deutsche Sprache (VDS), founded in 1997, supports the German language and is the largest language association of citizens in the world. German language_sentence_455

The VDS has more than thirty-five thousand members in over seventy countries. German language_sentence_456

Its founder, statistics professor Dr. Walter Krämer, has remained chairperson of the association from its formation. German language_sentence_457

Deutsche Welle German language_section_56

Main article: Deutsche Welle German language_sentence_458

The German state broadcaster Deutsche Welle provides radio and television broadcasts in German and 30 other languages across the globe. German language_sentence_459

Its German language services are spoken slowly and thus tailored for learners. German language_sentence_460

Deutsche Welle also provides an e-learning website for teaching German. German language_sentence_461

See also German language_section_57

German language_unordered_list_29


Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German language.