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Fascinating F​acts About The German Language​

German is the most widely spoken native language in the European Union. It is spoken by 120 million people in Europe. German Sprachraum refers to the Central Europe German-speaking area, which includes Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Liechtenstein. It is also an official language in South Tyrol (Italy), Belgium and Luxembourg, and a minority language in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Czech Republic, Denmark, Hungary, Poland, Romania, and Namibia.

German has often been referred to as the language of the Dichter und Denker or the writers and thinkers. For example, the great Johann Wolfgang von Goethe – author of the epic Faust – is considered one of Germany’s greatest national treasures. Other notable thinkers are Kant, Marx, Humboldt, Kafka and Nietzsche.

The first printed book was written in German. The Gutenberg Bible, published in 1454, was the first book printed by using movable type, which spawned the age of the printed book. The German book market produces around 60, 000 new publications every year. It represents 18% of all the books published worldwide.

German is furthermore central in the field of tourism and in the hospitality industry due to the influx of tourists from German-speaking countries who are avid travelers and are noted as the world’s biggest spenders when on holiday. The need for German-speaking staff continues to grow both in Malta and around the world.

As noted by the Goethe Institute, an institution set up to promote the learning and culture of German around the world, knowledge of German is beneficial for global business connections and increases job opportunities with German and foreign companies. Knowledge of the language is central for effective communication and to build stronger relations with German business partners.