丹下

flickr

パンダのリーリー by Copanda_

flickr

Honmonji Temple by ubic from tokyo
Via Flickr:
東京 池上 Ikegami, Tokyo SONY A7 + Planar T*1.4/85 ZF.2

German (Deutsch) is a West Germanic language that derives mostly from the Germanic branch of the Indo-European languages. Several German words are derived from Latin and Greek; fewer are borrowed from French and English. Widely spoken languages which are most similar to German include Dutch, Luxembourgish, English, and the Frisian and Scandinavian languages. Written German uses the Latin alphabet, but in addition to the 26 standard letters, it has 3 vowels called Umlaute (Ä/ä, Ö/ö, Ü/ü) and the letter ß, called “Eszett”, which originated as a ligature of archaic forms of the letters s and z. German is the native language of about 100 million people, making it the most widely spoken native language in the European Union and one of the major languages of the world. It’s a pluricentric language, with multiple countries having their own standardized variants (e.g. Austrian, Swiss) as well as many dialects. It’s the only official language in Germany, Austria, and Liechtenstein and one of the official languages in Switzerland, Luxembourg, and Belgium. It’s a recognized minor language in other countries, incl. Italy, Slovenia, Hungary, Namibia, and Poland. German also is the 2nd-most commonly used scientific language in the world and the 3rd-largest contributor to research and development. It’s a dominant language in business, culture, history, literature, philosophy, and theology. Worldwide, Germany is ranked #5 in terms of annual publication of new books, even though it only has a population of 80+ million, making it #16 in the world by population. Despite that, 1/10 of all books (including e-books) in the world are published in German. It also is the 3rd-most used language used by websites.

It’s the 3rd-most taught foreign language in the English-speaking world, after French and Spanish. It’s the main language of about 100 million in Europe (13% of all Europeans) and the 2nd-most spoken native language in Europe after Russian, above French (77 million) and English (64 million). It is therefore the most-spoken first language in the EU and the 2nd-most known foreign language in the EU. It’s one of the official languages of the European Union, and 1 of the 3 working languages of the European Commission (with English and French). Among citizens of the EU-15 countries, 32% say they can converse in German, either as a mother tongue or as a 2nd language.