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German

A bit about the language

Ger­man (Deutsch) is a West Ger­manic lan­guage re­lated to and clas­si­fied along­side Eng­lish and Dutch. It is one of the world's ma­jor lan­guages and the most widely spo­ken first lan­guage in the Eu­ro­pean Union. Glob­ally, Ger­man is spo­ken by ap­prox­i­mately 105 mil­lion na­tive speak­ers and also by about 80 mil­lion non-na­tive speak­ers. Stan­dard Ger­man is widely taught in schools, uni­ver­si­ties and Goethe In­sti­tutes world­wide. 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 the sec­ond most com­monly used sci­en­tific lan­guage and the third largest con­trib­u­tor to re­search and de­vel­op­ment, as well as an im­por­tant lan­guage in busi­ness and cul­ture. World­wide, Ger­many is ranked num­ber 5 in terms of an­nual pub­li­ca­tion of new books. One tenth of all books (in­clud­ing e-books) in the world are pub­lished in Ger­man.

German in Europe