German language facts
- Every 10th book published worldwide is in German language!
- Due to its feudal history, unification and standardization of
German language was not brought about till the 18th century when
many outstanding writers (Goethe, Schiller,
) took great
pains to form the language.
Some characteristics of German language
- German is fond of lengthy compounds: i.e. 'history of
language' translates as 'Sprachgeschichte'
- All nouns are capitalized
- Formal / informal address
Deference and politeness is expressed by the switch between formal
'Sie' (3rd person plural) and informal 'du' (2nd person singular).
- Inflection, declination and grammatical gender are important
features of German grammar
- Written German uses several letters in addition to the 26 letters
used in the English alphabet: ä, ö, ü (called umlauts)