- German-speaking Europe
German language(both as an official language and as a minority language) is spoken in a number of countries and territories in West and Central Europe(" _de. Deutscher Sprachraum"). To cover this speech area they are often referred to as the German speaking countries, the German speaking area, or equivalently German-speaking Europe (the few overseas territories which speak German are not commonly included in the concept). Together with English-speaking Europe, the Nordic countriesand the Dutch-speaking area, German-speaking Europe forms Germanic Europe.
German is the main language of about 90–95 million people in Europe (as of 2004), or 13.3% of all Europeans, being the second most spoken native language in Europe after Russian, above French (66.5 million speakers in 2004) and English (64.2 million speakers in 2004).
Infobox Geopolitical organization
name = D-A-CH
linking_name = D-A-CH
languages = German
official_website = [http://d-a-ch.org/ www.d-a-ch.org]
D-A-CH or DACH is an
acronymused to represent the dominant states of the German language" Sprachraum". It is based on the official automobile license plate abbreviations for:
Germany(D for "Deutschland")
Switzerland(CH for "Confoederatio Helvetica")
"Dach" is also the German word for "roof", and is used in linguistics in the term
Dachsprache, which standard German arguably is in relation to some outlying dialects of German, especially in Switzerland and Austria.
The term is sometimes extended to D-A-CH-Li or DACHL to include
DACH is also the name of an
InterregIIIA project, which focuses on crossborder cooperation in planning. [cite web|title=DACH+ Raumentwicklung im Grenzraum von Deutschland, Österreich, Schweiz und Liechtenstein|language=German|publisher="DACH"|url=http://www.d-a-ch.org/|accessdate=2008-03-22]
*German is the country's only official language:
*German is the majority language, and shares official status with other languages:
Luxembourg(besides French and Luxembourgish, the latter being a standardised High Germandialect)
Switzerland(besides French, Italian and Rumantsch)
*German is a minority language with official status:
Belgium(besides Dutch and French)
*German language has official status only in part of the country/territory:
Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirolin Italy
*German language is recognized as a minority language:
Hungary( Danube Swabians)
Romania( Transylvaniaand Banat Swabians)
Outside Europe, German is recognised as a regional language in
German speaking minorities without official status
*High numbers of German speaking minorities, but no official recognition:
Poland(particularly in Opole Voivodeship)
France( Alsaceand Moselle)
*German speaking minorities, but no official status:
Owing to tourism and second-home colonies some areas around the
Mediterranean Sea(like the Balearic Islands) have small German-speaking communities.
German as a foreign language
German was once the
lingua francaof Central, Eastern and Northern Europeand remains one of the most popular foreign languages in Europe. 32% of citizens of the EU-15 countries say they can converse in German (either as a mother tongue or as a second/foreign language). [http://europa.eu.int/comm/education/policies/lang/languages/index_en.html] This is assisted by the widespread availability of German TV by cable or satellite.
German is the third most taught
foreign languageworldwide, including the United States; [After Spanish and French] it is the second most known foreign language in the EU. [After English; cite web|url=http://europa.eu.int/comm/public_opinion/archives/ebs/ebs_237.en.pdf|title=Europeans and Language|publisher= European Commission|year=2005|accessdate=2007-12-08|format=PDF] It is one of the official languages of the European Union, and one of the three working languages of the European Commission, along with English and French.
German-speaking people include composers (e.g.
Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Wagner, Mahleror Schönberg), lyrical poetryand literature(e.g. Walter von der Vogelweide, Goethe, the Brothers Grimm, Schiller, Heine, Brecht or Thomas Mannas well as important works written by authors as the Nibelungenliedor Ludwigslied) and scientific philosophy(e.g. Albertus Magnus, Kant, Hegel, Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, Heidegger, Wittgenstein or Adorno).
These cultures are quite diverse as a result of the varied history of the German speaking people. The German speaking world has consisted of independent principalities (e.g:
Liechtenstein), of larger confederations, (e.g: the Holy Roman Empire, Prussiaor the Confederation of the Rhine), or of political units (e.g: Bohemia), or of political states (e.g:Germany, Austria; etc.)
German languagewas once the lingua francaof central, eastern and northern Europe, and remains one of the most popular foreign languages taught worldwide, and in Europe it is the second most popular after English [ Eurobarometer: [http://ec.europa.eu/public_opinion/archives/ebs/ebs_237.en.pdf Europeans and Languages] from September 2005 (Languages most commonly used in the EU: 47% English, 30% German, 23% French) ]
Swiss Standard German
German-speaking Community of Belgium
Languages in the European Union
German as a minority language
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