German (Deutsch [ˈdɔʏtʃ] is a West Germanic language. It derives most of its vocabulary from the Germanic branch of the Indo-European language family. A number of words are derived from Latin and Greek, and fewer from French and English. Widely spoken languages that most resemble German include Luxembourgish, Dutch, the Frisian languages, English and the Scandinavian languages.
German is written using the Latin alphabet. In addition to the 26 standard letters, German has three vowels with umlauts (Ä/ä, Ö/ö, and Ü/ü) and the letter ß (a special kind of “s(s)”, called “Eszett” or “scharfes Es”; it originated as a ligature of archaic forms of the letters s and z, which were represented as ſ and ʒ, respectively, that is, ſ + ʒ = ſʒ = ß).
German is spoken natively by about 100 million people, making it the most widely spoken native language in the European Union and one of the major languages of the world.
German is a pluricentric language, with multiple countries having their own standardised variants (e.g. Austrian German, Swiss Standard German) as well as many dialects. There is also one variant referred to as Standard German.
German is the only official language of Germany, Austria, and Liechtenstein; one of the official languages of Switzerland, Luxembourg, and Belgium; and a recognised minor language in many other countries, such as Italy, Slovenia, Hungary, Namibia, and Poland. At the same time, German is an important language in the sciences, business and culture and the second most common on the internet. One tenth of all books (including e-books) in the world are published in German.
VisionLingua’s wide range of courses includes beginner German classes for levels A1 and A2. If you want to learn German, try our courses! Our native-speaker, experienced teachers and small class sizes assure a productive, enjoyable journey.