The German language specifically, developed as its own language sometime in the late 19th-century. The following diagram, composed by linguistic scholars in an attempt to explain the phenomenon of different dialects of different geographical areas nicely illustrates this development. Linguists continue to stress, however, that a language tree as such may create very definite splits when in fact language dialects tend to be better defined as blends.

And there are some other facts about German you might be interested in knowing. In no particular order, here are some of the numbers about German:

  • German is the most widely spoken native language in the EU.
  • Germany boasts a 99% literacy rate.
  • German belongs to the three most learned languages in the world as well as the ten most widely spoken languages in the world.
  • German is among the top five most widely used languages on the Internet.
  • One fourth of the tourists in the U.S. are German speaking.
  • Germany is the second most popular European destination for American tourists.
  • German is the official language in seven countries (Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Luxemburg, as well as parts of Italy and Belgium).
  • German is spoken by over 100 million people world-wide.
  • With 22 %, German-Americans represent the largest ethnic group in America today (according to the 1990 Census). Some prominent examples include Albert Einstein, Levi Strauss, Henry Kissinger, and Werner von Braun.

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