Face-to-face German language learning

With offices returning to almost normality in London, face-to-face German language lessons are back on the agenda for many businesses. We have all spent the last 19 months online, our eyes watery and kaputt, with patience wearing thin. Why would you not want face-to-face language training with a German tutor delivering lessons at your office? […]

Minority Languages in Germany

The general view is that in Germany people only speak German. Not directly related to learning German but an interesting aspect of German culture are Germany’s minority languages, three of which recently gained protected status: the Danish language, the North Frisian language and Low German in the State of Schleswig Holstein. Probably the most well-known […]

What did Napoleon do for the German language?

Do you know what Gallicism are? Gallicisms are words from French that have found use in another language. When learning German, you will come across a lot of Gallicisms. They found their way into the German language during the reign of Louis XIV, who was revered across the German aristocracy. Amusement, fashion, cuisine, the military […]

German words of Russian origin

When taking German lessons or attending a German course, you’ll come across many German words of foreign origin. German, like other languages, borrows words typically from Latin, Greek, English and French. Less well known are Russian words that have made their way into the German language, often through the linguistic development of the part of […]

How many people do speak German?

Only 1.571% of the world speaks German Why learn German, you may ask? Please read on. There are about 7,000 languages worldwide. Many languages are threatened by extinction, especially languages natives speak in Asia and America. Only a handful of people speak some languages. More than 50% of languages have less than 10,000 speakers; more […]

Plautdietsch – low German

What is Plautdietch (Plattdeutsch), and how comes that language variants are spoken the world over? Plautdietsch or Mennonite Low German is a Low Prussian dialect. ‘Low’ refers to the plains of northern Germany, and Dietsch (Deutsch) means German. As mentioned in our previous article, Germans were invited by the Russian Empire to settle there. Amongst […]

German in a Globalised World

In an increasingly globalised world where English is more or less the undisputed international language of business, what place is there for multilingualism? Well, there are several global companies who believe that foreign languages, and specifically German, play an important role in helping employees integrate in today’s multi-cultural workplace. The software giant SAP, which has […]

Martin Luther and the German Language

Few people can be unfamiliar with the name Martin Luther, the German theologian and instigator of the Reformation. The story of Luther posting his disputations of some of the doctrines and practices of Roman Catholicism, his 95 Theses, on the door of his local church in Wittenberg is exceedingly well known, even though some scholars […]

Konrad Duden & German Orthography

Since 1880 one name has been the authoritative source for the correct spelling, pronunciation and usage of German words: Duden. Duden is to German what the OED is to English. Konrad Alexander Friedrich Duden was born on 3 January 1829 in Wesel, Germany. After completing his secondary education, he studied history and philology at Bonn […]

German Words of Arabic Origin

Like many languages, German has evolved to include words that originate from other languages; many of these are surprisingly derived from Arabic. Arabic words featured commonly in many Western languages and were most often introduced centuries ago. However you prefer to drink it, ‘Kaffee’ derives from the Arabic ‘qahwa’. Coffee drinking originated in 15th century […]

You know more German than you think

You shouldn’t be daunted at embarking on German lessons. It’s likely you already know a lot more German than you think. Our two languages are closely related, both being West Germanic languages, so you’ll find that many words are almost identical, if not in spelling, then in pronunciation. The words Hand and Finger for example, […]

Swiss German

Have you ever taken a plane to Zurich or Basel, expecting upon arrival that people would sound like your friends or colleagues from Germany – but then feeling rather puzzled when hearing them talk? The reason is that Swiss Germans have a very strong Allemanic dialect when it comes to their everyday conversation, which is […]

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