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German is a language from the West Germanic group, predominantly used in Western and Central Europe. According to Wikipedia, this language is the primary language of Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, and South Tyrol in Italy, and also holds official status in Luxembourg and Belgium, with recognized importance in Namibia. Additionally, German-speaking populations can be found in regions of France (Alsace), the Czech Republic (North Bohemia), Poland (Upper Silesia), Slovakia, and Hungary (Sopron).
This language shares similarities with other West Germanic languages such as Afrikaans, Dutch, English, the Frisian languages, and Yiddish, and has vocabulary common with North Germanic languages like Danish, Norwegian, and Swedish. German is the second-most spoken Germanic language, following English.
With about 170 million native speakers and 80–85 million people who speak it as a second language as of 2014, German is one of the world’s major languages and the most spoken first language in the European Union. It’s a popular second language in Europe and the United States, coming in as the third most commonly taught foreign language in Europe. German has had a significant impact on philosophy, theology, science, and technology, being the second most used language in science and a common language on the internet. German-speaking countries are prolific in book publishing, responsible for about one-tenth of the world’s book production.
German is a language with complex grammar, including four cases for nouns, pronouns, and adjectives, three genders, and singular and plural forms. It primarily derives its vocabulary from the Germanic branch of the Indo-European family, with additional contributions from Latin, Greek, French, and English.
The language has three main standardized forms: German, Austrian, and Swiss Standard German. High German is another term for Standard German, referring to its High Germanic dialect roots. German is also characterized by its wide range of dialects, many of which have gained official recognition and protection in various regions.
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