Today’s spotlight language is German. We offer some background information and interesting facts about the language, as well as help finding German children’s books. Interested in learning about other languages as well? Check out our series of posts on world languages, including Spanish, Nepali, Hindi, Russian and Japanese!
Where is German spoken?
German is the official language of Germany, Austria and Liechtenstein, as well as being an official language of Luxembourg and Switzerland.
There are around 90 million German speakers around the world, making it the 11th most-spoken language globally.
How Many People Speak German in the US?
According to the most recent 2015 US Census data, there are about 1 million German speakers in the US. There are large German speaking populations along the East Coast, as well as in California and Illinois.
Interesting Facts About German
There are 30 letters in the German alphabet. The umlaut (the dots over the letters ä, ö, ü) changes a word’s pronunciation.
German nouns have three genders: masculine, feminine and gender-neutral.
When meeting someone new, you should use “sie” (the formal “you”) until invited to use the informal “du.”
German Books – Bilingual Children’s Books
If you interact with children who speak German, or are learning the language, you may want suggestions on some of the best bilingual children’s books and German audio books. Many engaging and popular stories with text in both English and the German language are available, including Goldilocks and the Three Bears, Hansel and Gretel and Pandora’s Box.
Do you speak German, or are you learning the language? Comment below and share your language knowledge and experience!
“Germany” by Thomas Depenbusch via Flickr is licensed under CC BY 2.0 https://flic.kr/p/9Z4Hhc