German 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. It 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.