German language

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The German language is a West Germanic language and one of the world's major languages. German is closely related to and classified alongside English and Dutch. Around the world, German is spoken by ~100 million native speakers and also ~80 million non-native speakers, and Standard German is widely taught in schools and universities in Europe. Worldwide, German accounts for the most written translations into and from a language.

German is spoken primarily in the Federal Republic of Germany (95 %), Republic of Austria (89 %) and Switzerland (64 %) together with Liechtenstein, Luxembourg constituting the countries where German is the majority language.

Other European German-speaking communities are found in Italy (Alto Adige/Südtirol), in the East Cantons of Belgium, and in some border villages of the former South Jutland County (in German, Nordschleswig, in Danish, Sønderjylland) of Denmark.

Some German-speaking communities still survive in parts of Romania, the Czech Republic, Hungary, and above all Russia and Kazakhstan, although forced expulsions after World War II and massive emigration to Germany in the 1980s and 1990s have depopulated most of these communities. It is also spoken by German-speaking foreign populations and some of their descendants in Portugal, Spain, Italy, Morocco, Egypt, Israel, Cyprus, Turkey, Greece, United Kingdom, Netherlands, Scandinavia, Siberia in Russia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, and the former Yugoslavia (Bosnia, Serbia, Macedonia, Croatia and Slovenia).

In Luxembourg and the surrounding areas, big parts of the native population speak German dialects, and some people also master standard German (especially in Luxembourg), although in the French regions of Alsace and Lorraine French has replaced the local German dialects as the official language, even though it has not been fully replaced on the street.

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