8 facts about the German language

written on 01/07/2020
by Jutta Triebe

Lately the German government published a fact list about German language.

We translated it for you, if you want to see it in German please click here


...in the world: Around 130 million people speak German as their mother tongue or second language worldwide. This puts the German language in eleventh place in the list of the most spoken languages ​​worldwide.

...in the EU: German is the most widely used mother tongue in the EU - even before English. German is the official language in Germany, Austria and Liechtenstein; it is also one of the official languages ​​of Switzerland, Belgium and Luxembourg.

...as a foreign language: Around 15.4 million people learn German worldwide, most of the learners are in the EU, where German is the second most spoken foreign language after English.

...as a minority language: About 7.5 million people in 42 countries belong to a German-speaking minority. In the United States alone, 45 million people state that they originate from a German-speaking area, including 1.4 million native German speakers. There are also large German-speaking minorities in Russia, Romania and Namibia.

...and science: German is the second most important language of science; Germany ranks third in the world for its contribution to research and development.

...and the genders of nouns: A special feature of the German language is the distinction between three genders: male, female and neutral. For example, "das Mädchen" (the girl) is neutral-even though it refers to a female person.

...and the articles: The most common German words are the definite articles "der, die das", followed by "in" and "und".

...and the additional consonant: The German language is based on the Latin alphabet. There is one exception: the "ß". This additional consonant only exists in German.