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The German Language

German is spoken by more than 120 million people in Austria, Germany, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Switzerland, and in parts of Belgium, Northern Italy and Eastern France. There are German speaking communities in Canada, US, South America, South Africa and Australia.

The German language is one of the most important languages in the European Union and the new economies of Central and Eastern Europe. It is also an important cultural language. It was spoken and written by many great people in the arts and sciences including Mozart, Beethoven, Goethe, Nietzsche, Kafka, Freud, Klimt, and Einstein.

The German language ("Old High German") originates dates back to 8th Century and is, in may ways, similar to Anglo-Saxon. One of the earliest examples of a form of German appears on Runes from the 6th century. The first written Germanic texts, such as the epic 'Hildebrandslied', appear in the 8th century. Traditionally German was written in a Gothic style known as Fraktur, which dates from the fourteenth century.

The German language is one of the most important languages in the European Union and the new economies of Central and Eastern Europe. That is why it is so important choosing from the best companies out there. It is also an important cultural language. It was spoken and written by many great people in the arts and sciences including Mozart, Beethoven, Goethe, Nietzsche, Kafka, Freud, Klimt, and Einstein.

There are three German language categories: Low German, spoken in the flat northern areas, Upper German, spoken in the mountainous south and Austria, and Central German. These three German language categories are also all divided into west and east. Additionally, there is a separate designation of the German spoken in Switzerland, Swiss German or Schwyzerttsch.

The German language uses the Latin alphabet with the addition of the diacritics as in , , and . Written German uses several letters in addition to the 26 letters used in the English alphabet: , , (called umlauts) and

Standard German language is known today simply as "Hochdeutsch" (High German), and this is used almost always for written German. "Hochdeutsch" is spoken by educated speakers everywhere, and media, such as newspapers and books are printed in standard German.

"Hochdeutsch" in its purist form can be heard on the classical stage (known as "Bühnendeutsch"). A speaker of "Hochdeutsch" would be understood everywhere and this is used in the Linguaphone courses.

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