Five Fun Facts About The German Language
The German language is a truly wonderful and interesting language. There are many people who speak the language around the world. It is a language with a rich history and rich German culture behind it. However, there are also many links between the German language and the English language. There are many unique aspects to the German language, including words that are only German words. This can make it a hard language to learn. Some German translations may be hard to grasp or pronounce. But, perhaps these quick and interesting facts will make you feel a little more motivated in your endeavors.
German is a Popular Language around the World
The German language is the 11th most popular language in the entire world. This means that more than almost 1.5% of the world’s population speaks the language. According to numbers, that is equal to about 130 million people who speak German and enjoy some of the German culture. It is the official language of Germany (of course), Austria, and Liechtenstein. It is also one of two official languages in Switzerland and Luxembourg.
German is the most popular language of the European Union. There are almost 8 million people around the world who are in a German-speaking minority. There are an estimated 15 million people who are currently learning the German language as a second language. Most of these people are students in school. There are some adult learners who have chosen to dedicate themselves to professional German translations and make German as their language to learn.
The German Language has a Long and Full History
Just like many other languages, German has a long and interesting history. German dates back thousands and thousands of years, though it has gone through many changes through the years. One of these major changes took place during the Roman era when the Roman soldiers began invading the area. Therefore, there are a lot of Roman influences on the German language that we know today. However, there is not enough Roman influence to classify German as a Romance language.
The German language is all its own: a Germanic language. Other Germanic languages include English, Dutch, and Frisian. These languages all have a heavy German influence in their grammar and pronunciation, and there are many German words spoken. Of course, there are different dialects, and it can sometimes be hard for one German speaker to communicate clearly with another one. The first German writing was a copy of the Bible that was translated in the 4th century by a German bishop.
The language continued to grow and evolve to what we know it as now. There was not an official, or even a widely used dialect until 1545, due to the Bible becoming available for all to read in their native language. To do this, German speakers would need to understand the dialect that the Bible was written in. Eventually, German speakers grew familiar with the Bible’s dialect and that became the unified German language. From this point forward, the German language and the German culture grew and expanded.
Unique Aspects of the German Language
Just like most languages, German has certain things that are completely different from any other language on planet Earth. One of these things is that all nouns are in capital form, not just important ones. For instance, in English, the word “book” is never capitalised, unless it is included in the title of a book. However, in German, “Buch,” the German to English translation of which is “book,” is always capitalised, no matter how it is being used.
Another unique aspect of the language is that there are certain words and phrases that simply have no simple German to English translation. Some of these are actually pretty funny to hear. In German, it is a common saying to say “Das ist nicht dein Bier.” The German to English translation is literally “That is not your beer.” However, it translates more loosely to “None of your business!” I guess the German culture appreciates their beer.
There are also unique German words. One such word is “Schadenfreude.” The German to English translation describes the happiness that some people get from somebody else’s misfortune. Another example is the fear that grows larger as you age and you realise that your time on Earth is getting shorter and shorter. The German translation of this is “Torschlusspanik.” Based on these two examples, the German language seems a little dark!
The German language also holds the record for the longest word among all languages. That German word is Rindfleischetikettierungsüberwachungsaufgabenübertragungsgesetz. Yes, you read that right. No, I did not just type in a bunch of random letters. Rindfleischetikettierungsüberwachungsaufgabenübertragungsgesetz is literally the German translation of “the law concerning the delegation of duties for the supervision of cattle marking and the labeling of beef.” Even in English, it is a mouthful!
Similarities between English and German
Since English is a Germanic language, it stands to reason that there are a lot of similarities. In fact, the two are sister languages and share over 60% of their vocabulary. Interestingly, German and English both evolved from the West Germanic language. There are many words that are similar between the two languages. However, there are also a lot of words that look similar but the meaning is totally different.
For instance, German has a word that is spelt “gift.” However, do not be tricked! The German to English translation for this word is “poison,” which is not a gift that I would like to receive. Some common English words used in German include baby, computer, and radio. Some common German words that are used in English include angst, hamster, and kindergarten. The German translation for “garden of children” is “kindergarten.” I don’t know about you, but I feel much more comfortable saying that my daughter is in kindergarten than my daughter is in a garden of children.
German is a Fun Language!
The German language is one that is fun to listen to and even more fun to learn. Though some German translations sound a bit funny, remember that not every word that looks the same will mean the same thing. There are many German words that give us an insight into the strong and old German culture. Get to learning German today so that you will blend right in with the German culture.
Doing German Translations is Fun too!
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