An Overview of the German Language
German is the language mainly spoken in many regions of Europe. It’s the main language of about 95 to 100 million people in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg and Belgium. Some German words are derived from Latin and Greek, and a few more are borrowed from French and English. German is a pluricentric language and has several standard versions.
The History of German
German is a Germanic language and a member of the Indo-European language family. The recorded history of Germanic languages begins with their speakers’ first contact with the Romans, in the 1st-century BC. The following are the historical period of the German language.
- Old High German (from AD 750)
A group of dialects was spoken until about 1100 in the highlands of southern Germany. During this period, there was no standard literary language,
- Middle High German (from 1150)
A standard language based on the Upper German dialects (Alemannic and Bavarian) in the southernmost part of the German speech area began to arise.
- Early New High German (from 1350)
The translation of the Bible into Middle German by Martin Luther (1483-1546) was a major contribution to the final victory of this dialect as a common German language. East Middle German formed the basis of the modern standard language we know today.
- New High German (from 1650)
Within the modern High German speech area, Middle and Upper German dialect groups are differentiated, the latter group including Austro-Bavarian, Alemannic (Swiss German), and High Franconian.
5 German Language Facts:
- There are German words which are not translatable, like Kummerspeck, Schnapsidee or Fingerspitzengefühl.
- There are German words which have the same spelling with English words but with different pronunciation and meaning. Like Rat in German means advice, Gift is poison, bank for a bench, and a lot more.
- The longest German word is Donaudampfschifffahrtselektrizitätenhauptbetriebswerkbauunterbeamtengesellschaft. It has 80 letters and it means “Association for Subordinate Officials of the Head Office Management of the Danube Steamboat Electrical Services”.
- German has 3 noun genders. Masculine (der), feminine (die) and neuter (das).
- German is the 3rd most widely taught language in the world.
Learning how to speak the German language is like giving yourself a chance to visit Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg and Belgium. It’s like opening up yourself and being able to communicate to about 100 million people who speak German. German and English share 60% of their vocabulary, that’s why it’s easy to learn German if you already know how to speak English.
Learning German with Overpass Apps
Overpass has its continuous passion of creating language apps and helping learners to achieve their goals. A new language app has been released to aid in mastering German language and increasing one’s vocabulary. In this fun and engaging game, you practice listening to and reading German words and phrases. Each word floats in a bubble and you must tap on it and pop it by selecting the button with the translations. German Bubble Bath consists of 63 language categories (and over 600 vocabulary words) spoken by a native German speaker. So whether you are just planning to travel to Germany or just want to read about some German history, this game is for you.
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