The Origin of the German Language

The Germanic language’s recorded history begins with their speakers’ first contact with the Romans in the 1st-century BCE. For several centuries after that, there was only a single “Germanic” language, with little more than minor dialect differences. All Germanic languages originated from Proto-Germanic, spoken in Iron Age Scandinavia. Only after about the 6th-century CE can one talk about the German language.

The Germanic languages are a branch of the Indo-European language family spoken natively by about 515 million people, mainly in Europe, North America and Oceania, and Southern Africa. The most widely spoken Germanic language, English, is the world’s most spoken language, with an estimated 2 billion speakers.

The majority of the German vocabulary stems from the ancient Germanic branch of the Indo-European language family. Although some originated from Latin and Greek, and fewer words are borrowed from French. The Germanic languages are a branch of the Indo-European language family spoken natively by about 515 million people, mainly in Europe, North America and Oceania, and Southern Africa.

German language outside of Germany

One of the world’s major languages, German is a native language to almost 100 million people worldwide. German is the third most spoken foreign language in the EU after English and French, making it the second most prominent EU language. It is spoken in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, South Tyrol in Italy, the German-speaking Community of Belgium and Liechtenstein.  It is one of Luxembourg’s official languages and co-official language in the Opole Voivodeship in Poland.

Many people learn German worldwide

German is a widely studied foreign language. Learning German is no easy task – every noun has a gender, and when you thought you were getting a handle on it, a new kind of rule bursts your language bubble. The language is riddled with quirky traits making learning German challenging.

Interesting facts of the German language 

All nouns need to be capitalized, and no, it is not optional.

Every noun has a gender in German, masculine, feminine, and neutral. Although gender in German does not seem to follow much logic at first glance because it does not necessarily comply with the gender of the object it is naming, it is purely grammatical.

The German language loves compound nouns. Do not panic when you read long, scary German nouns. They generally can be broken down into smaller, common nouns. The German langauge has a habit of building new words from existing ones. Let us take Schuhe (shoe) and Hand (hand) to form the noun Handschuhe, meaning gloves in English.

The longest word in the world is in the German language. The word had 63 letters. “Rindfleischetikettierungsüberwachungsaufgabenübertragungsgesetz” meaning “the law concerning the delegation of duties for the supervision of cattle marking and the labeling of beef,” was even too much of a mouthful for Germans, and the word was unused.

Where can I learn to speak German?

Right here at LingoHut. You can learn to speak German from your own language.

References

Wikipedia
Britannica.com
Culture tips.com

Explore the LingoHut blog

Read the latest