According to estimations, there are 90-98 million native German speakers, and at least 80 million people that speak it as a second language (other sources say there are 120-130 million German speakers in the world). It’s not only the official language of Germany, Austria and Liechtenstein, but also of Switzerland and Luxembourg. Most people speak German in the European Union. The world-famous Grimm brothers were not only storytellers, but also linguists. They started working on a huge German dictionary in 1838, every German word’s meaning and origin was collected. They stopped at the word F, Jacob was working on the word “frucht” when he died. The whole dictionary, with all 32 volumes, was completed 132 years later, in 1962. German became internationally relevant in the 18th as the language of science and art – including Goethe, Schiller and Kant. The language lost this position after losing WWII and English took its place. Despite this, German is still the second most relevant language for science and the third for research and development. Every 10th published book is written in German. There are twenty German dialects altogether, but there are regional accents as well.
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