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German (Deutsch{{#invoke:Category handler|main}} [ˈdɔʏtʃ]) is a West Germanic language that derives most of its vocabulary from the Germanic branch of the Indo-European language family.<ref name="Many tongues, one family">{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref> A proportion of German words are derived from Latin and Greek, and fewer are borrowed from French and English. Languages which are most similar to German include Afrikaans, Dutch, English, the Frisian languages, the continental Scandinavian languages and Luxembourgish.

German is the most widely spoken (and official) language in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, the Italian province of South Tyrol (Alto Adige) and Liechtenstein; it is also an official (but not majority) language of Belgium and Luxembourg. With slightly different standardized variants (German, Austrian, and Swiss Standard German), German is a pluricentric language. German is also notable for its broad spectrum of dialects, with many unique varieties existing in Europe and also other parts of the world.<ref name="Ammon, 2014"/><ref>Template:German L1 speakers outside Europe</ref> Due to the limited intelligibility between certain varieties and Standard German, as well as the lack of an undisputed, scientific difference between a "dialect" and a "language",<ref name="Ammon, 2014"/> some German varieties or dialect groups (e.g. Low German/Plautdietsch<ref name="Goossens2000">Jan Goossens: Niederdeutsche Sprache: Versuch einer Definition.{{#invoke:Category handler|main}} In: Jan Goossens (Hrsg.): Niederdeutsch: Sprache und Literatur.{{#invoke:Category handler|main}} Karl Wachholtz, 2. Auflage, Neumünster 1983, S. 27; Willy Sanders: Sachsensprache, Hansesprache, Plattdeutsch: sprachgeschichtliche Grundzüge des Niederdeutschen.{{#invoke:Category handler|main}} Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 1982, ISBN 3-525-01213-6, S. 32 f.; Dieter Stellmacher: Niederdeutsche Sprache.{{#invoke:Category handler|main}} 2. Auflage, Weidler, Berlin 2000, ISBN 3-89693-326-4, S. 92.</ref>) are alternatively referred to as "languages" and "dialects".<ref name="Ethnologue (2015)"/>

One of the major languages of the world, German is the first language of about 95 million people worldwide and the most widely spoken native language in the European Union.<ref name="Ammon, 2014"/><ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=news }}</ref> German also is the third most widely taught foreign language in both the US<ref name="MLA">Modern Language Association, February 2015, Enrollments in Languages Other Than English in United States Institutions of Higher Education, Fall 2013. Retrieved 2015-07-07.</ref> and the EU,<ref name="eurostat">Eurostat - Foreign language learning statistics</ref> the second most commonly used scientific language, the third largest contributor to research and development<ref name="goethe1">{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref> as well as the third most widely used language on websites.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref> Germany is ranked fifth in terms of annual publication of new books, with one tenth of all books (including e-books) in the world being published in the German language.<ref name="sdsu">{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref>


German language sections
Intro   History    Geographic distribution    Standard German    Dialects    Grammar    Vocabulary    Orthography    Phonology    Literature    German loanwords in the English language    Organisations    See also    References   Notes   Bibliography    External links   

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