German-Speaking World

German is one of the most useful languages to know in Europe. The German economy is very strong and, as Germany's influence in the European Union continues to grow, more and more people are learning German. Varieties of German are also the majority in Austria, Switzerland, Luxembourg and Liechtenstein, with minorities in Belgium, southern Italy, eastern France and southern Denmark. Around 95 million people are native speakers of German and, as well as being the top first language spoken in the European Union, it is an important language on a global scale both culturally and economically.

German Language Map

German Language

German (Deutsch, [ˈdɔʏtʃ]) is a West Germanic language, thus related to and classified alongside English and Dutch. Around the world, German is spoken by approximately 95 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 primarily spoken in Germany (where it is the first language for more than 95% of the population), Austria (89%), Switzerland (65%), the majority of Luxembourg, and Liechtenstein - the latter being the only state with German as the sole official and spoken language.

Other European German-speaking communities are found in Northern Italy (in South Tyrol and in some municipalities in other provinces), in the East Cantons of Belgium, in the French regions of Alsace and Lorraine, and in some border villages of the former South Jutland County of Denmark.

German-speaking communities can also be found in parts of the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Russia and Kazakhstan.