Languages of Germany

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Languages of Germany
Official languages German (>95%)
Regional languages Low Rhenish; Limburgish; Luxembourgish; Alemannic; Bavarian; Danish; Upper Sorbian, Lower Sorbian; North Frisian, Saterland Frisian; Romani, Low German
Main immigrant languages Turkish, Russian, Polish, Serbo-Croatian, Dutch, Greek; and others
see further:immigration to Germany
Main foreign languages English (56%)
French (15%)
Russian (5%)
Sign languages German Sign Language
Common keyboard layouts
QWERTZ
KB Germany.svg
Source ebs_243_en.pdf (europa.eu)

The official language of Germany is Standard German, with over 95% of the country speaking Standard German or German dialects as their first language.1 This figure includes speakers of Northern Low Saxon, a recognized minority or regional language which is not considered separately from Standard German in statistics. Recognized minority languages have official status as well, usually in their respective regions. These are, together with Low Saxon, the following four:

Minority languages

Recognized minority first languages:

Immigrant languages

Immigrant languages spoken by sizable communities of first and second-generation (dominant origin of the speakers in brackets):

  • Turkish (southern Europe and Western Asia) c. 1.8%2
  • Kurdish (Western Asia)
  • Russian (eastern Europe and Northern Asia)
  • Arabic (the West Asia and North Africa)
  • Greek (southern Europe)
  • Dutch (Western Europe and southern Africa)
  • Igbo (Nigeria, West Africa)
  • Italian (southern Europe)
  • Polish (central Europe)
  • Serbo-Croatian (Western Balkans, southern Europe)
  • Spanish (southern Europe)

Most Germans also learn English as their first foreign language in school. Sometimes French or Latin are taught first, but usually English is, with French and Latin as common second or third foreign languages. Russian, Italian, Spanish, Polish, Dutch, classical Greek, and other languages are also offered in schools (often depending on the school's geographic location).

References

  1. ^ "BBC Education". 
  2. ^ http://www.bbc.co.uk/languages/european_languages/countries/germany.shtml







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