Standard German
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Standard High German (SHG), less precisely Standard German or High German (not to be confused with
High German The High German languages or High German dialects (german: hochdeutsche Mundarten) comprise the varieties of German spoken south of the Benrath and Uerdingen isogloss Image:German dialectal map.PNG">300px, High German subdivides into Upp ...
) (german: Standardhochdeutsch, , or, in Switzerland, ), is the standardized variety of the
German language The German language (, ) is a West Germanic language mainly spoken in Central Europe. It is the most widely spoken and official or co-official language in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, and the Italy, Italian province of South ...

German language
used in formal contexts and for communication between different dialect areas. It is a pluricentric
Dachsprache In sociolinguistics Sociolinguistics is the descriptive study of the effect of any and all aspects of society, including cultural Norm (sociology), norms, expectations, and context, on the way language is used, and society's effect on language. ...

Dachsprache
with three codified (or standardised) specific regional variants:
German Standard German German Standard German, Standard German of Germany, or High German of Germany is the variety of Standard German Standard German, High German, or more precisely Standard High German (german: Standarddeutsch, , or, in Switzerland, ), is the standa ...
,
Austrian Standard German Austrian German (german: Österreichisches Deutsch), Austrian Standard German (ASG), Standard Austrian German (), or Austrian High German (), is the variety of Standard German written and spoken in Austria Austria (, ; german: Österreic ...
and
Swiss Standard German Swiss Standard German (german: Schweizer Standarddeutsch), or Swiss High German (german: Schweizer Hochdeutsch or ''Schweizerhochdeutsch''), referred to by the Swiss as ''Schriftdeutsch'', or ''Hochdeutsch'', is the written form of one of four of ...
. Regarding the spelling and punctuation, a recommended standard is published by the
Council for German Orthography A council is a group of people who come together to consult, deliberate, or make decisions. A council may function as a legislature A legislature is an deliberative assembly, assembly with the authority to make laws for a Polity, political ...
which represents the governments of all majority and minority German-speaking countries and dependencies. Adherence is obligatory for government institutions, including schools. Regarding the pronunciation, although there is no official standards body, there is a long-standing ''
de facto ''De facto'' ( ; , "in fact") describes practices that exist in reality, even though they are not officially recognized by laws. It is commonly used to refer to what happens in practice, in contrast with '' de jure'' ("by law"), which refers to th ...
'' standard pronunciation (
Bühnendeutsch (, "stage German") or (, "stage pronunciation") is a unified set of pronunciation rules for the German literary language A literary language is the form of a language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, incl ...
), most commonly used in formal speech and teaching materials. It is similar to the formal German spoken in and around
Hanover Hanover (; german: Hannover ; nds, Hannober) is the capital and largest city of the German States of Germany, state of Lower Saxony. Its 534,049 (2020) inhabitants make it the List of cities in Germany by population, 13th-largest city in German ...
. Adherence to those standards by private individuals and companies, including the print and audio-visual media, is voluntary but widespread.


Origins

Standard German originated not as a traditional dialect of a specific region but as a
written language A written language is the representation of a spoken or gestural language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (Signed language, sign language) and writing. Most la ...
developed over a process of several hundred years in which writers tried to write in a way that was understood in the largest area. Martin Luther's translation of the Bible in 1522 was an important development towards an early standardization of written German. Luther based his translation largely on the already developed language of the
Saxon The Saxons ( la, Saxones, german: Sachsen, ang, Seaxan, osx, Sahson, nds, Sassen, nl, Saksen) were a group of early Germanic * * * * peoples whose name was given in the early Middle Ages to a large country (Old Saxony Old Saxony is the ori ...
chancery, which was more widely understood than other dialects and as a
Central German Central German (german: mitteldeutsche Dialekte, mitteldeutsche Mundarten, Mitteldeutsch) is a group of High German dialects spoken from the Rhineland in the west to the former eastern territories of Germany. Central German divides into two sub ...
dialect, was felt to be "half way" between the dialects of the north and south. Luther drew principally on Eastern Upper and
East Central German East Central German (german: Ostmitteldeutsch) is the eastern, non-Franconian languages, Franconian Central German language, part of High German languages, High German. Present-day Standard German as a High German languages, High German variant ha ...
dialects and preserved much of the grammatical system of Middle High German. Later in 1748, a grammar manual by
Johann Christoph Gottsched Johann Christoph Gottsched (2 February 1700 – 12 December 1766) was a German philosopher, author, and critic. For about thirty years, he exercised an almost undisputed literary dictatorship in Germany. But by his later years, his name had become ...

Johann Christoph Gottsched
, ''Grundlegung einer deutschen Sprachkunst'', was key in the development of German writing and standardization of the language. Similarly to Luther, Gottsched based his manual off the Central German variant of the
Upper Saxon Upper Saxon (german: Obersächsisch, ; ) is an East Central German dialect spoken in much of the modern States of Germany, German state of Saxony and in adjacent parts of southeastern Saxony-Anhalt and eastern Thuringia. Linguistically speaking, ...
area. Over the course of the mid-18th century and onward, a written standard then began to emerge and be widely accepted in German-speaking areas, thus ending the period of
Early New High German Early New High German (ENHG) is a term for the period in the history of the German language The German language (, ) is a West Germanic language mainly spoken in Central Europe. It is the most widely spoken and official or co-official lang ...
. Until about 1800, Standard German was almost entirely a written language. People in
Northern Germany Northern Germany (german: Norddeutschland) is the region in the northern part of Germany ) , image_map = , map_caption = , map_width = 250px , capital = Berlin , coordinates = , largest_city = capital , languages_type = Official ...
who spoke mainly
Low Saxon languages , , (in a stricter sense) nl, Nedersaksisch da, Plattysk, , , (rarely) , states = Northern and western Germany ) , image_map = , map_caption = , map_width = 250px , capital = Berlin , coordinates = , largest_city = ...
very different from Standard German then learned it more or less as a foreign language. However, later the Northern pronunciation (of Standard German) was considered standard and spread southward; in some regions (such as around
Hanover Hanover (; german: Hannover ; nds, Hannober) is the capital and largest city of the German States of Germany, state of Lower Saxony. Its 534,049 (2020) inhabitants make it the List of cities in Germany by population, 13th-largest city in German ...
), the local dialect has completely died out with the exception of small communities of Low German speakers. It is thus the spread of Standard German as a language taught at school that defines the German ''
Sprachraum In linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific study of language. It encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the methods for studying and modeling them. The traditional areas of linguistic analysis include ...
'', which was thus a political decision rather than a direct consequence of
dialect geographyDialectology (from Ancient Greek, Greek , ''dialektos'', "talk, dialect"; and , ''-logy, -logia'') is the scientific study of linguistic dialect, a sub-field of sociolinguistics. It studies variations in language based primarily on geographic distrib ...
. That allowed areas with dialects with very little mutual comprehensibility to participate in the same cultural sphere. Currently, local dialects are used mainly in informal situations or at home and also in dialect literature, but more recently, a resurgence of German dialects has appeared in mass media.


Terminology

In German, Standard German is generally called , reflecting the fact that its phonetics are largely those of the
High German The High German languages or High German dialects (german: hochdeutsche Mundarten) comprise the varieties of German spoken south of the Benrath and Uerdingen isogloss Image:German dialectal map.PNG">300px, High German subdivides into Upp ...
spoken in the southern uplands and the Alps (including
Austria Austria, officially the Republic of Austria, is a landlocked country in the southern part of Central Europe, located on the Eastern Alps. It is composed of nine States of Austria, federated states, one of which is Vienna, Austria's ca ...
,
Switzerland ,german: Schweizer(in),french: Suisse(sse), it, svizzero/svizzera or , rm, Svizzer/Svizra , government_type = Federalism, Federal semi-direct democracy under a multi-party assembly-independent Directorial system, directorial republic , leader_t ...

Switzerland
,
Liechtenstein Liechtenstein ( ; ), officially the Principality of Liechtenstein (german: link=no, Fürstentum Liechtenstein), is a German language, German-speaking microstate located in the Alps between Austria and Switzerland. Liechtenstein is a constituti ...

Liechtenstein
and parts of northern Italy as well as southern Germany). The corresponding term
Low German : : : : : , minority = (70,000) (30,000) (8,000) , familycolor = Indo-European , fam2 = Germanic languages, Germanic , fam3 = West Germanic languages, West Germanic , fam4 = North Sea Germ ...
reflects the fact that these dialects belong to the lowlands stretching towards the
North Sea The North Sea is a sea of the Atlantic Ocean between Great Britain (specifically England and Scotland), Norway, Jutland (in Denmark), Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium and Hauts-de-France (in France). An epeiric sea, epeiric (or "shelf") sea on ...

North Sea
. The widespread but mistaken impression that Hochdeutsch is so-called because it is perceived to be "good German" has led to use of the supposedly less judgmental ("Standard German"), ("German standard language"). On the other hand, the "standard" written languages of Switzerland and Austria have each been codified as standards distinct from that used in Germany. For this reason, "Hochdeutsch" or "High German", originally a mere geographic designation, applies unproblematically to
Swiss Standard German Swiss Standard German (german: Schweizer Standarddeutsch), or Swiss High German (german: Schweizer Hochdeutsch or ''Schweizerhochdeutsch''), referred to by the Swiss as ''Schriftdeutsch'', or ''Hochdeutsch'', is the written form of one of four of ...
and
Austrian German Austrian German (german: Österreichisches Deutsch), Austrian Standard German (ASG), Standard Austrian German (), or Austrian High German (), is the variety of Standard German written and spoken in Austria Austria (, ; german: Österreic ...
as well as to
German Standard German German Standard German, Standard German of Germany, or High German of Germany is the variety of Standard German Standard German, High German, or more precisely Standard High German (german: Standarddeutsch, , or, in Switzerland, ), is the standa ...
and may be preferred for that reason.


Pluricentricity

A Standard German speaker from Germany. Standard German is pluricentric with different national varieties, namely:
German Standard German German Standard German, Standard German of Germany, or High German of Germany is the variety of Standard German Standard German, High German, or more precisely Standard High German (german: Standarddeutsch, , or, in Switzerland, ), is the standa ...
,
Austrian Standard German Austrian German (german: Österreichisches Deutsch), Austrian Standard German (ASG), Standard Austrian German (), or Austrian High German (), is the variety of Standard German written and spoken in Austria Austria (, ; german: Österreic ...
and
Swiss Standard German Swiss Standard German (german: Schweizer Standarddeutsch), or Swiss High German (german: Schweizer Hochdeutsch or ''Schweizerhochdeutsch''), referred to by the Swiss as ''Schriftdeutsch'', or ''Hochdeutsch'', is the written form of one of four of ...
. These varieties of standard German differ only in a few features, mostly in
vocabulary A vocabulary, also known as a wordstock or word-stock, is a set of familiar words within a person's language. A vocabulary, usually developed with age, serves as a useful and fundamental tool for communication and learning, acquiring knowledge. ...
and
pronunciation Pronunciation is the way in which a word or a language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (Signed language, sign language) and writing. Most languages have a writing ...
, but in some instances of
grammar In linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language, meaning that it is a comprehensive, systematic, objective, and precise study of language. Linguistics encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the me ...
and
orthography An orthography is a set of convention (norm), conventions for writing a language, including norms of spelling, hyphenation, capitalization, word, word breaks, Emphasis (typography), emphasis, and punctuation. Most transnational languages in the ...
. In formal writing the differences are minimal to nonexistent; in regards to the spoken language, the different varieties of Standard German are easily recognized by most speakers. These three national standards (German, Austrian and Swiss) have each been adopted by other German-speaking countries and communities as their standard form of German. The German standard is applied in
Luxembourg Luxembourg ( ; lb, Lëtzebuerg ; french: link=no, Luxembourg; german: link=no, Luxemburg), officially the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, ; french: link=no, Grand-Duché de Luxembourg ; german: link=no, Großherzogtum Luxemburg is a landlocked ...

Luxembourg
,
Belgium Belgium, ; french: Belgique ; german: Belgien officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a country in Western Europe Western Europe is the region of Europe Europe is a continent A continent is one of several large landmasses. G ...
, and
Namibia Namibia (, ), officially the Republic of Namibia, is a country in Southern Africa Southern Africa is the southernmost region of the African continent A continent is one of several large landmasses. Generally identified by conve ...

Namibia
while the Swiss standard has been adopted in
Liechtenstein Liechtenstein ( ; ), officially the Principality of Liechtenstein (german: link=no, Fürstentum Liechtenstein), is a German language, German-speaking microstate located in the Alps between Austria and Switzerland. Liechtenstein is a constituti ...

Liechtenstein
. The variation of the Standard German varieties must not be confused with the variation of the local
German dialects German dialects are the various traditional local varieties of the German language. Though varied by region, those of the southern half of Germany beneath the Benrath line are dominated by the geographical spread of the High German consonant sh ...
. Even though the Standard German varieties are to a certain degree influenced by the local dialects, they are very distinct. All varieties of Standard German are based on the common tradition of the written German language, whereas the local dialects have their own historical roots that go further back than the unification of the written language, and in the case of Low German, belong to a different language entirely.


Continuum between Standard German and German dialects

In most regions, the speakers use a continuum of mixtures from more dialectical varieties to more standard varieties according to situation. However, there are two (or three) exceptions: * In Northern Germany, there is no continuum in the strict sense between the local indigenous languages and dialects of
Low German : : : : : , minority = (70,000) (30,000) (8,000) , familycolor = Indo-European , fam2 = Germanic languages, Germanic , fam3 = West Germanic languages, West Germanic , fam4 = North Sea Germ ...
("Plattdeutsch") on the one hand, and Standard German on the other. Since the former have not undergone the
High German consonant shift In historical linguistics Historical linguistics, also termed diachronic linguistics, is the scientific study of language change over time. Principal concerns of historical linguistics include: # to describe and account for observed changes ...
, they are too different from the standard for a continuum to emerge. High German and Low German are best seen as separate languages, but because High (Middle and Upper) and Low German form a
dialect continuum A dialect continuum or dialect chain is a spread of language variety, language varieties spoken across some geographical area such that neighboring varieties differ only slightly, but the differences accumulate over distance so that widely separ ...
and Standard German serves as
dachsprache In sociolinguistics Sociolinguistics is the descriptive study of the effect of any and all aspects of society, including cultural Norm (sociology), norms, expectations, and context, on the way language is used, and society's effect on language. ...
for all forms of German, they are often described as dialects of German. Under a socio-linguistic approach to the problem, even if Low German dialects are ''Abstandsprachen'' (linguistically quite different), they are perceived as dialects of German because they lack ''Ausbau''. However, Low German did influence the standard-based vernaculars spoken today in Northern Germany by
language transfer Language transfer is the application of linguistic features from one language to another by a bilingual or multilingual speaker. Language transfer may occur across both languages in the acquisition of a simultaneous bilingual, from a mature spea ...
(in pronunciation, vocabulary, grammar, and syntax), and it continues to do so to a limited degree. High German heavily influenced by Low German has been known as
Missingsch () is a type of Low-German-coloured dialect The term dialect (from Latin , , from the Ancient Greek word , , "discourse", from , , "through" and , , "I speak") is used in two distinct ways to refer to two different types of Linguistics, lingui ...
, but most contemporary Northern Germans exhibit only an intermediate Low German
substratum In linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific study of language. It encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the methods for studying and modeling them. The traditional areas of linguistic analysis include ...
in their speech. * In German-speaking
Switzerland ,german: Schweizer(in),french: Suisse(sse), it, svizzero/svizzera or , rm, Svizzer/Svizra , government_type = Federalism, Federal semi-direct democracy under a multi-party assembly-independent Directorial system, directorial republic , leader_t ...

Switzerland
, there is no such continuum between the
Swiss German Swiss German (Standard German Standard German, High German, or more precisely Standard High German (german: Standarddeutsch, , or, in Switzerland, ), is the standardized variety of the German language The German language (, ) is a W ...
varieties and
Swiss Standard German Swiss Standard German (german: Schweizer Standarddeutsch), or Swiss High German (german: Schweizer Hochdeutsch or ''Schweizerhochdeutsch''), referred to by the Swiss as ''Schriftdeutsch'', or ''Hochdeutsch'', is the written form of one of four of ...
, and the use of Standard German is almost entirely restricted to the written language. Therefore, this situation has been called a ''medial
diglossia In linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific study of language. It encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the methods for studying and modeling them. The traditional areas of linguistic analysis includ ...
''. Standard German is seldom spoken among native Swiss, and even then the accent and vocabulary is very much Swiss, except for instance when speaking with people who do not understand the
Swiss German Swiss German (Standard German Standard German, High German, or more precisely Standard High German (german: Standarddeutsch, , or, in Switzerland, ), is the standardized variety of the German language The German language (, ) is a W ...
dialects at all, and it is expected to be used in school. Standard German has, however, left a clear imprint on the contemporary variants of Swiss German, regional expressions and vocabulary having been replaced with material assimilated from the standard language. Of all the German-speaking countries Switzerland has however most fully retained the use of dialect in everyday situations. Dialect is used to a lesser extent for some everyday situations in southern Germany, Austria, Liechtenstein, Alsace, and South Tyrol. The regular use of dialect in Swiss media (radio, internet, and television) contrasts with its much rarer appearance in the media of Austria, Germany, East Belgium, South Tyrol, and Liechtenstein. *
Luxembourgish Luxembourgish ( ; also ''Luxemburgish'', ''Luxembourgian'', ''Letzebu(e)rgesch''; Luxembourgish: ) is a West Germanic language that is spoken mainly in Luxembourg Luxembourg ( ; lb, Lëtzebuerg ; french: link=no, Luxembourg; german: ...
is not a Standard German dialect but an independent language; Luxembourgers are generally trilingual, using French and Standard German in some areas of life, Luxembourgish in others. Standard German is taught in schools in Luxembourg and close to 90% of the population can speak it.


Phonology

While the three principal national varieties are recognized as three distinct standards, the differences are few, perhaps comparable to the difference between British and American English. Duden does codify the standard pronunciation for German Standard German, allowing for a small number of divergences: for example, the string "äh" has two authorized pronunciations, /ɛː/ and /eː/. Some regions see only the first as correct, while others use only the second; Duden now recognizes both as correct. Standardized High German pronunciation is generally used in radio and television as well as in German learning materials for non-natives, and at least aspirationally by language teachers. This accent is documented in reference works such as ''Deutsches Aussprachewörterbuch'' (German Pronunciation Dictionary) by Eva-Maria Krech et al., ''
Duden The Duden () is a dictionary A dictionary is a listing of lexeme A lexeme () is a unit of lexical meaning that underlies a set of words that are related through inflection In linguistic morphology, inflection (or inflexion) is ...

Duden
6 Das Aussprachewörterbuch'' (Duden volume 6, The Pronunciation Dictionary) by Max Mangold and the training materials at the ''
Westdeutscher Rundfunk Westdeutscher Rundfunk Köln (WDR; ''West German Broadcasting Cologne'') is a German public-broadcasting institution based in the Federal State of North Rhine-Westphalia North Rhine-Westphalia (german: Nordrhein-Westfalen, ; Low Franconian: ...
'' (West German Broadcasting) and ''
Deutschlandfunk Deutschlandfunk (DLF, ) is a public-broadcasting radio station in Germany ) , image_map = , map_caption = , map_width = 250px , capital = Berlin , coordinates = , largest_city = capital , languages_type = Official language , la ...

Deutschlandfunk
'' (Radio Germany). It is an invented accent rather than radiating from any particular German-speaking city. It is often said that the people of
Hannover Hanover (; german: Hannover ; nds, Hannober) is the capital and largest city of the German States of Germany, state of Lower Saxony. Its 534,049 (2020) inhabitants make it the List of cities in Germany by population, 13th-largest city in German ...

Hannover
speak German with an accent that comes closest to the standard of the Duden dictionaries, but the claim is debatable, particularly since it may apply equally well to the rest of Northern Germany.


Grammar


Orthography


Features

Standard High German is written in the
Latin alphabet The Latin alphabet or Roman alphabet is the collection of letters originally used by the ancient Romans to write the Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European lan ...

Latin alphabet
. In addition to the 26 standard letters, German has three vowels with an
umlaut mark
umlaut mark
, namely ''ä'', ''ö'' and ''ü'', as well as the or (sharp s): ''
ß
ß
''. In Switzerland and Liechtenstein, ''ss'' is used instead of ''ß''. Since ''ß'' can never occur at the beginning of a word, it has no traditional uppercase form.


History

A first step to standardisation, although non-prescriptive, of
Early New High German Early New High German (ENHG) is a term for the period in the history of the German language The German language (, ) is a West Germanic language mainly spoken in Central Europe. It is the most widely spoken and official or co-official lang ...
was introduced by the
Luther Bible The Luther Bible (german: Lutherbibel) is a German language The German language (, ) is a West Germanic language mainly spoken in Central Europe. It is the most widely spoken and official or co-official language in Germany, Austria, Switze ...
of 1534. In consequence, the written language of the chancery of Saxony-Wittenberg rose in importance in the course of the 17th century so much so that it was used in texts such as the 1665 revision of the Zürich Bible. The First Orthographical Conference convened in 1876 by order of the government of
Prussia Prussia, , Old Prussian Distribution of the Baltic tribes, circa 1200 CE (boundaries are approximate). Old Prussian was a Western Baltic language belonging to the Balto-Slavic branch of the Indo-European languages The Indo-Europe ...

Prussia
, but failed.
Konrad Duden Konrad Alexander Friedrich Duden (3 January 1829 – 1 August 1911) was a Gymnasium (school), Gymnasium (high school) teacher who became a philology, philologist. He founded the well-known German language dictionary bearing his name Duden. L ...
published the first edition of his dictionary, later simply known as the ''
Duden The Duden () is a dictionary A dictionary is a listing of lexeme A lexeme () is a unit of lexical meaning that underlies a set of words that are related through inflection In linguistic morphology, inflection (or inflexion) is ...

Duden
'', in 1880. The first spelling codification by the Second Orthographic Conference of 1901, based on Duden's work, came into effect in 1902. In 1944 there was a failed attempt at another reform; this was delayed on the order of
Hitler Adolf Hitler (; 20 April 188930 April 1945) was an Austrian-born German politician who was the dictator of Nazi Germany, Germany from 1933 to 1945. Adolf Hitler's rise to power, He rose to power as the leader of the Nazi Party, becoming Chan ...

Hitler
and not taken up again after the end of
World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a World war, global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. It involved World War II by country, the vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great ...
. In the following decades German spelling was essentially decided ''de facto'' by the editors of the Duden dictionaries. After the war, this tradition was followed with two different centers:
Mannheim Mannheim (; Palatine German language, Palatine German: or ), officially the University City of Mannheim (german: Universitätsstadt Mannheim), is the List of cities in Baden-Württemberg by population, second-largest city in the States of Germ ...

Mannheim
in
West Germany ) , capital = Bonnf , largest_city = Hamburg en, Hamburgian(s) , timezone1 = Central European Time, CET , utc_offset1 = +1 , timezone1_DST = Central Eu ...
and
Leipzig Leipzig (, ; Upper Saxon Upper Saxon (german: Obersächsisch, ; ) is an East Central German dialect spoken in much of the modern States of Germany, German state of Saxony and in adjacent parts of southeastern Saxony-Anhalt and eastern Thuring ...

Leipzig
in
East Germany East Germany, officially the German Democratic Republic (GDR; german: Deutsche Demokratische Republik, , DDR, ), was a state that existed from 1949 to 1990 in eastern Eastern may refer to: Transportation *China Eastern Airlines, a current C ...
. By the early 1950s, a few other publishing houses had begun to attack the Duden monopoly in the West by publishing their own dictionaries, which did not always conform to the "official" spellings prescribed by Duden. In response, the Ministers of Culture of the federal states in West Germany officially declared the Duden spellings to be binding as of November 1955 ("Duden-Monopol" or "Dudenmonopol", "Duden-Privileg" or "Dudenprivileg").


Orthography Reform of 1996

The orthography reform of 1996 was based on an international agreement signed by the governments of the
German German(s) may refer to: Common uses * of or related to Germany * Germans, Germanic ethnic group, citizens of Germany or people of German ancestry * For citizens of Germany, see also German nationality law * German language The German la ...

German
-speaking countries
Germany ) , image_map = , map_caption = , map_width = 250px , capital = Berlin , coordinates = , largest_city = capital , languages_type = Official language , languages = German language, German , demonym = Germans, German , government_ ...

Germany
,
Austria Austria, officially the Republic of Austria, is a landlocked country in the southern part of Central Europe, located on the Eastern Alps. It is composed of nine States of Austria, federated states, one of which is Vienna, Austria's ca ...
,
Liechtenstein Liechtenstein ( ; ), officially the Principality of Liechtenstein (german: link=no, Fürstentum Liechtenstein), is a German language, German-speaking microstate located in the Alps between Austria and Switzerland. Liechtenstein is a constituti ...

Liechtenstein
and
Switzerland ,german: Schweizer(in),french: Suisse(sse), it, svizzero/svizzera or , rm, Svizzer/Svizra , government_type = Federalism, Federal semi-direct democracy under a multi-party assembly-independent Directorial system, directorial republic , leader_t ...

Switzerland
; but acceptance of the reform was limited and led to public controversy and considerable dispute. The states () of
North Rhine-Westphalia North Rhine-Westphalia (german: Nordrhein-Westfalen, ; Low Franconian Low Franconian, Low Frankish, NetherlandicSarah Grey Thomason, Terrence Kaufman: ''Language Contact, Creolization, and Genetic Linguistics'', University of California Press, ...
and
Bavaria Bavaria (; german: Bayern, , officially the Free State of Bavaria (german: Freistaat Bayern, link=no, ; bar, Freistoot Bayern, link=no), is a federal state A federation (also known as a federal state) is a political entity characterize ...

Bavaria
refused to accept it. At one point, the dispute reached the highest court, which quickly dismissed it, claiming that the states had to decide for themselves and that only in schools could the reform be made the official rule – everybody else could continue writing as they had learned it. While, , most German print media followed the reform, some newspapers, such as ''
Die Zeit ''Die Zeit'' (, literally "The Time") is a German national weekly newspaper published in Hamburg in Germany. The newspaper is generally considered to be among the German newspapers of record and is known for its long and extensive articles. His ...
'', ''Neue Zürcher Zeitung'' and ''
Süddeutsche Zeitung The ''Süddeutsche Zeitung'' (; ), published in Munich Munich ( ; german: München ; bar, Minga ) is the capital and most populous city of Bavaria. With a population of 1,558,395 inhabitants as of 31 July 2020, it is the List of cities ...

Süddeutsche Zeitung
'', created their own in-house orthographies. After 10 years, without any intervention by the federal parliament, a major revision of the spelling reform was installed in 2006 because there were disagreements regarding
capitalization Capitalization (American English American English (AmE, AE, AmEng, USEng, en-US), sometimes called United States English or U.S. English, is the set of varieties of the English language native to the United States. Currently, American En ...
and splitting of German words. Also revised were the rules governing punctuation marks. The most noticeable change was probably in the use of the letter ''ß'', called '' scharfes s'' (''Sharp S'') or (pronounced ''ess-tsett'', coming from ſz). Traditionally, this letter was used in three situations: # After a long vowel or vowel combination; # Before a ''t''; # At the end of a syllable. Examples are , , and . Currently, only the first rule is in effect, making the reformed spellings , , and . The word 'foot' has the letter ''ß'' because it contains a long vowel, even though that letter occurs at the end of a syllable. The logic of this change is that an 'ß' is a single letter whereas 'ss' are two letters, so the same distinction applies as (for example) between the words and .


English to Standard German cognates

This is a selection of
cognate In linguistics, cognates, also called lexical cognates, are words that have a common etymology, etymological origin. Cognates are often inherited from a proto-language, shared parent language, but they may also involve loanword, borrowings from ...
s in both English and Standard German. Instead of the usual infinitive ending ''-en'', Standard German verbs are indicated by a hyphen after their stems. Words that are written with capital letters in Standard German are nouns.


Loanwords from Standard German to English

English has taken many
loanword A loanword (also loan word or loan-word) is a word In linguistics, a word of a spoken language can be defined as the smallest sequence of phonemes that can be uttered in isolation with semantic, objective or pragmatics, practical meaning (lin ...
s from German, often without any change of spelling (aside from frequently eliminating umlauts and not capitalizing nouns):


Organisations

Several organisations promote the use and learning of the Standard German language.


Goethe Institut

The government-backed , (named after Johann Wolfgang von Goethe) aims to enhance the knowledge of German culture and language within Europe and the rest of the world. This is done by holding exhibitions and conferences with German-related themes, and providing training and guidance in the learning and use of the German language. For example, the teaches the German language qualification.


Deutsche Welle

The German state broadcaster provides radio and television broadcasts in Standard German and 30 other languages across the globe. Its Standard German language services are spoken slowly and thus tailored for learners. also provides an website for learning Standard German.


See also

* History of the German language * Standard language


Notes


References


Bibliography

* * {{Germanic languages German language Standard languages, German High German languages German dialects Languages of Germany Languages of Austria Languages of Switzerland Languages of Belgium Languages of Liechtenstein Languages of Luxembourg Fusional languages Stress-timed languages History of the German language Articles containing video clips