The History of German

Guten Tag. Ich heiße Deutsch… (Good day. My name is German.)
The word ”Deutsch” literally means national or native. It comes from the word ”diet” which means nation.
German has been used since the mid-eighth century as a common language between the German tribes and the name later carried over to the German-speaking nation.

German’s Origin

The language originated from Ancient Germanic.

Ancient Germanic, with time evolved into three groups. West Germanic, North Germanic and East Germanic. The largest, of which, the West Germanic Branch. The North Germanic is a lot smaller with about 20 million speakers in total. On the other hand the East Germanic Languages have all been extinct since the 18th century.

West Germanic

This branch of the Germanic languages contains some of the most spoken languages. English, German and Dutch. The  one of interest here is of course German.

With more than 100 million native speakers, German is the most-spoken home language in Europe.


German is an inflected language. This means that German words are made up of a lot of stems and endings which one can prove by looking at cases and  concord.

As written language it is quite standard across the world yet there are some differences by region. As spoken language there are many variations. Each of these dialects can be grouped under high and low German, which should not be confused with the regional standard German.

The greatest difference between these dialects is the sound system and to someone whom is only familiar with standard German. It might seem like a whole new language yet linguistically it still is the same language.

Some Fun Facts on German

  • Besides Germany, German an official Language in four other countries namely Austria, Switzerland, Liechtenstein and Luxembourg.
  • Apart from English and French, German is the most widely thought language world wide.
  • German has one  more consonant than languages like English. The ß letter.
  • One of my favourite things of German is its original words. Words that simply doesn’t exist in other languages.

German is a very special language therefore we simply have to look deeper.


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