German: A language with a special letter
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10 facts about the German language
Origin of the language
German emerged in Northern Germany.
History of the language
German can trace its origins to the Nordic Bronze Age (1700 BC).
Learning the language
It takes English speakers about 750 hours to learn German.
German language diversity
German is the official language or co-official language of 7 countries: Germany, Austria, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Belgium and Namibia. German is also spoken in South Tyrol, Italy.
Did you know?
The group of countries and regions where German is an official or co-official language and the first language of the majority of the speakers is called the German Sprachraum.
The most commonly used letter across all German dialects is “e” while “q” is the least commonly used.
Gemütlichkeit (coziness) was voted the most beautiful word in German, followed closely by lieben which means “to love.”
According to a vote among children, libelle, which means “dragonfly,” is the most beautiful German word.
German dialects are divided into Hochdeutsch (high German) and Niederdeutsch (low German).
German language for beginners
Ten basic words to start learning in German:
Magic is believing in yourself, if you can do that, you can make anything happen.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Playwright, novelist, poet, scientist, statesman and critic
Laughter is a sunbeam of the soul.
Playwright, writer and novelist
Rules for happiness: something to do, someone to love, something to hope for.
Philosopher, social critic and writer
Fun facts about the German language
The longest German word
The longest German word is Donaudampfschifff-
beamtengesellschaft, which is the title for the Association for Subordinate Officials of the Main Maintenance Building of the Danube Steam Shipping Electrical Services.
The Language of great thinkers
Numerous well-known philosophers and writers wrote in German; Immanuel Kant, Freidrich Nietzsche and Goethe are just a few.
First printed book
The first printed book in the world, the Gutenberg Bible, was written in German, dating back to 1454.
In German, each noun has a gender which also changes some in form depending on the grammar of a phrase.
Multiple words for “why”
In German, there are up to six ways you can say the word “why”, depending on context and connotation.
Long compound words
The German language is well-known for having long compound words that are actually very specific phrases.
Letters Sound Different?
The German alphabet uses Latin letters and is similar to the English alphabet; however, some letters are pronounced differently. For example, “v” sounds much more like “f.”