German counts 130 million speakers. It is the official language of Germany, but it is also widely spoken in other countries of the EU: Austria, Belgium, and Luxembourg, Poland and even small parts of Belgium and Italy (specifically, the South Tyrol province!), Liechtenstein and Switzerland. It is easy to hear it even worldwide! For example, in the US, Russia, Namibia. It is a very important language in the business world, it is the second most importan language in science and it is greatly important also in literature. In fact, many of the Western world’s most important works of literature, philosophy, literature, psychology, art and medicine are written in German and continue to be produced in German!
- German customers want to buy from brands that translate into German. In fact, according to a study performed by CSA Research, only 56% of German people confirmed that they would buy from a global brand who didn’t translate into German. For this reason, translating into German is important for business in order to reach these German-speaking consumers.
- Translating you website/content into German will Having a German will be great for SEO. In fact, a well translated website will contain the search terms that Germans are using.
- If you want to reach the German market you must keep in mind that German people much prefer to engage with companies that speak their language. In fact, Germans are among the most discriminatory towards global brands who don’t translate into their native tongue.
A BIT OF HISTORY
German is a West Germanic language, part of the Indo-European language family. Its history begins when German speakers got in contact for the first time with the Romans, in the 1st Century BCE. There are three main periods in the history of the German language: Old German (c.750 – c. 1050), Middle German (c.1050 – c. 1500) and Modern German (c. 1500 to the present). Until 1800 German was almost only a written language. It was during the 18th century that writers gave German its modern form which became the language of education, literature, and church. The language was standardized in the 20th century.
1. Dialect changes depending on where you are in Germany.
It is not surprising that even if you studied Germany, understanding German won’t come easy. This is caused by the fact that dialect changes drastically wherever you go in Germany, especially in the South. Even Germans joke about it! The Bavarian accent, for example, is the “German that not even Germans understand”.
2. English and German share 60% of their vocabulary.
Coming from the same language family, German and English have many similar words.
3. All nouns are capitalized.
In English and other languages, only proper nouns and people’s names are capitalized. In German, however, every single noun is!
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