10 Interesting Linguistic Facts About The German Language

Below is a list consisting of 10 interesting linguistic facts you should know about the German language. Thus, without further ado, here are the facts:

1) German is a Germanic language, part of the West Germanic sub-branch, and is spoken by around 110 million native speakers worldwide, of whom most live in Germany, Switzerland, Austria, and Luxembourg.

2) Aside from the 26 standard letters of the alphabet, German has three vowels with umlauts (Ä/ä, Ö/ö, and Ü/ü) and the special character ß (a distinct kind of ‘s’, called ‘Eszett’ or ‘scharfes Es’ — sharp S in translation).

3) German is the second most commonly used scientific language and the third largest contributor to research and development in the world.

4) German has a long standing history as a noteworthy language of culture, philosophy, theology, and economy in Europe and overseas. Throughout the passing of time, it had also influenced some of the languages with which it entered in contact, such as Czech, Polish, French, Italian, Hungarian, or Romanian.

Overlapped flag of Germany, Switzerland, and Austria. Image source: www.pixabay.com

5) One tenth of all books (including electronic books) that are published yearly worldwide are written in German.

6) German is the third most used language on the world wide web after English and Russian according to w3techs.com.

7) German is pluricentric, implying that each country in which it is official has a standardised version of its own. Consequently, aside from the Standard German spoken in Germany there are also other standardised versions of German used as official languages in Central Europe as in Switzerland where one of the official languages is Standard Swiss German or in Austria, where the official language is the Standard Austrian German.

8) Additionally, German is spoken by roughly 70 million speakers as a second language around the world.

9) The most closest living Germanic languages to German are Luxembourgish, Dutch, Frisian, and English, all of them pertaining to the same linguistic sub-branch of the Germanic languages as it (i.e. West Germanic).

10) German is also spoken and recognised in various countries from Europe such as in Romania, Slovakia, Poland, the Czech Republic, or Hungary.

Documentation sources and external links:

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