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Around the World-German Speakers

It is believed that approximately 7150 languages are spoken through out the world. 

Language is not just means of communication but also reflects ones culture. The Inuktitut (Eskimos) use more than a dozen word to describe snow, where snow is part of their culture.

Unfortunately, Some languages die off with time and some other languages broaden their horizon. Busuu language is one amongst the endangered language spoken by only 3 people .German on the other hand is receiving more second language speakers from around the world. Let us have a brief look in to German language.

German is one of the official language of European Union and is the Official language of Germany and Austria. German shares also the Official language status in addition to their native languages in the following countries Switzerland, Liechtenstein ( Yes !!! There is a country called Liechtenstein), Belgium and Luxembourg. German is recognized minority language in following countries Czechia, Hungary, Italy (Trentino), Poland, Romania, Russia, and Slovakia.

Around 135 million people speak German roughly either as First language or Second language. It is the 12th most spoken language by people in the world. (English, Chinese, Hindi takes first 3 places) . Most spoken language by country in Europe (Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Belgium, Luxembourg, Liechtenstein). It is the official language of the following International  Institutions European Patent Office, European Space Agency, European Union,

European Commission, Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, International Union of Railways, European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts, International Trade Union Confederation, European Investment Bank, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers. Lets have a look into various places where German is spoken through out the world.


German is spoken as official language by around 80 million people in Germany, 9 million in Austria, 5 million in Switzerland, 500000 in Luxembourg, 77000 in Belgium, 30000 in Liechtenstein. German is co-official language in the  South-Tyrol(Italy Around 300000 ) ,  Opole Voivodeship, Silesian Voivodeship regions in Poland speak German. German is also spoken by around half a million people in Spain and canary island.

There are huge German speaking communities also in the following countries in Europe including  France, England, Denmark, Sweden, Russia, Hungary, Czechia, Italy, Croatia, Slovakia and Finland, summing up to more than 105 million people approximately in Europe making German most spoken language in Europe by country.

Please turn on the Subtitle CC while watching the video.


Why did the Germans go to Russia/Kazakhstan /Israel?

During the reign of "Catherine the Great" ( 1762 –  1796 ) millions of Germans moved to Russia. She promised Germans farmlands and better life in Russia if they choose to migrate. She believed these distinctly professional farmers and tradesmen would promote progress and lead Russia to Development. However , after the collapse of Soviet union  many Germans returned back to Germany in 1990s. But a majority of Germans (400000)still decided to stay in Russia. In Kazakhstan another 400000 Germans were stationed and forced to stay there during the World war. Many Jews from Germany (100000) decided to migrate to Israel and stay there for Religious reasons and anti-Semitism in Germany.


Why did the Germans go to North America?

During the 17, 18 and 19th century Germans migrated to USA and Canada. They migrated mainly as opportunities for farm owners were not good and and prosecution of some religious groups were taking place in Europe. Around 1.4 million  people speak German in USA and Canada as mother tongue. Texasdeutsch  is a dialect spoken in Texas in USA by Germans who migrated to Texas during 1850s and Pennsylvania Dutch is another dialect spoken in USA which has a very close similarity to Pfälzisch. In Mexico around 200000 people speak German as first or second language. Liberal Government policies of Porfirio Díaz favored Germans to come to Mexico .



Why did Germans go to South America?

Germans were migrating in large numbers ever since 19th century. They were welcome by political elites as they believe in the myth of Protestant work ethic and superiority of Northern European protestants. Hermann-Otto-Blumenau came in 1850s with couple of sailors to Brazil and settled there spreading the German culture . Blumenau has even their own October-fest since 1983 as tourist attraction where 600000 people come to this day . By the end of World war 2, many Nazi Germans would flee to South America to avoid being captured by the Allies. Brazil, has the highest German speaking community (1.5 million). On total, over 2 million German speakers reside in South America. Most of them live in Brazil (1.5 million), but others live in Argentina, Ecuador, Paraguay, Uruguay  and Chile


Why did Germans go to Africa?

The Berlin Conference - "Congo Conference" of 1884–85 put forth some rules for European colonization and trade in Africa. The following countries were part of German colony

Namibia, Cameron ,Togoland (parts of Togo and Ghana), Burundi, Rwanda and Tanzania were colonies of Germany. In 1919 - Treaty of Versailles (End of World war 1)was signed and as reparation Germany have to give back every country in Africa. Still in Namibia 11200 people speak German. Due to migration during the 18th and 19th centuries, approximately around 12000 people speak German or a German variety as a first language in South Africa

(There is also a  place in South Africa called sauerkraut hill)

German settlers bring in their culture when they settle on a place. That can be vividly seen on the Architecture of the buildings in Brazil (blumenau) and in Africa ( Namibia - luderitz) The two buildings on the right side resemble the German Rothernburg architecture.

German architecture in the world

 German speakers as mother tongue in the following countries Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Belgium, Luxembourg and Lichtenstein. German shares the national minority language status in certain regions of the following countries world wide Brazil, Czech Republic, Denmark, Hungary, Namibia, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and in Russia. German people living outside Germany are called German Diaspora. This includes German L1 speakers in parts of Australia, Argentina, Bolivia, Paraguay, Kazakhstan, Israel, Mexico, USA and Canada. On total around 150 million people speak German world wide either as L1/L2/L3 Languages. Many Foreign Language schools offer German language programs expanding even further the horizon of the language

Language Training Institute

Sprachlingua offers Foreign language classes in Chennai in the Following languages  - GermanChineseFrenchSpanishSwedishDutch, ItalianJapanese

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