With more than 95 million native speakers, German is the second most spoken West Germanic language after English. It is the official language of Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and Liechtenstein and is one of the world’s major languages. It is often learned as a second language. German is similar to other languages in the West Germanic family, including Dutch, English, and Frisian.
German is an Indo-European language from the West Germanic family of languages. It evolved into a separate entity around the 6th century after the migration period. German separated from other West Germanic languages with the High German consonant shift. Old High German presided in the Early Middle Ages. This era was rich with written examples, such as a Latin-German glossary.
The German language formed two dialectal groups with High German and Low German. Standard German is based on High German. During its first period, Old High German was primarily a spoken language with many dialects. Middle High German began around 1050, coinciding with the expansion of territory.
A unique feature of Middle High German is the rich secular literature with epic poems, such as Nibelungenlied and Iwein. Both date from the 13th century.
Early New High German emerged after the Thirty Years War and marked the transition of German as the primary administrative language. The pivotal moment was the publication of Martin Luther's translation of the Bible in 1534. This greatly influenced the language standard. The Habsburg Empire contributed to the spread of German language influence, and standardization was completed at the beginning of the 20th century.
It takes English speakers about 750 hours to learn German.
English native speakers shouldn’t have too hard of a time learning the German language. Both share many similarities. It is estimated, English speakers need 750 hours to become proficient in German, but mastering several key phrases like “hello” in the German language can be quicker. However, if you need content writing in German, you might need a professional to help you out!
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In German, there are up to six ways you can say the word “why”, depending on context and connotation.
The German language is well-known for having long compound words that are actually very specific phrases.
In German, each noun has a gender which also changes some in form depending on the grammar of a phrase.
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