German Language Blog

Some simple facts about Germany Posted by on Nov 21, 2011 in Culture, Language

Germany is located in the heart of Europe. It has nine Nachbarstaaten (neighboring states) and it naturally borders the Nordsee (North Sea) and Ostsee (Baltic Sea) and the European Alps in the south (The borders to all neighboring states are open, by the way. The only exception is Switzerland). With its 357.111,92 km², it is located in the gemäßigten Klimazone (temperate zone) and with a population of 81,3 millions it is a densely populated country.

Germany consists of 16 Bundesländer (federal states):

– Baden-Württemberg
– Bayern
– Berlin
– Brandenburg
– Bremen
– Hamburg
– Hessen
– Mecklenburg-Vorpommern
– Niedersachsen
– Nordrhein-Westfalen
– Rheinland-Pfalz
– Saarland
– Sachsen
– Sachsen-Anhalt
– Schleswig-Holstein
– Thüringen

If you measure with the Bruttoinlandsprodukt (gross domestic product), it is the biggest national economy in Europe and the fourth largest in the world.

The biggest Ballungsgebiete (city regions) are the following:

Berlin – 3.450.000
Hamburg – 1.780.000
München – 1.330.000
Köln – 1.000.000
Frankfurt am Main – 670.00
Stuttgart – 600.000
Düsseldorf – 590.000
Dortmund – 580.000
Essen – 575.000
Bremen – 550.000

But you have to bear in mind, that the numbers above are just the city boarders. In most cases, the agglomeration is much bigger. For example has an agglomeration of 1.800.000. The metropolitan area has even 5.290.000 inhabitants. The biggest metropolitan area is the „Ruhrgebiet“ with 11.690.000 people.

Germany is a parlamentarische Demokratie (parliamentary democracy). The Staatsoberhaupt (head of state) is Federal President Christian Wulff whereas Federal Chanellor Angela Merkel is head of government. The biggest Parteien (parties) are CDU/CSU, SPD, FDP, Die Linke, Bündnis 90/Die Grünen.

The most common language in Germany is German (of course:-)). But there are countless dialects that are really different. I mean, the base is mostly the same but the Aussprache (pronunciation) varies. I´m sure that if you speak German perfectly as a stranger, you wouldn’t understand a word if people from Bavaria, Cologne or Schwaben talk to each other. Even for native speakers it is hard to understand sometimes. One of the dialects is called „Niederdeutsch“ or „Plattdeutsch“. This is kind of an exception and could even be treated as an own language.

I personally don´t understand a word of it. Neither the dialect of Köln (Cologne).

Well, there would be countless more facts about Germany…For example, economics, traffic, social things etc… But I guess a blogpost wouldn’t be the right thing for it. Maybe some other details will follow in other posts. So stay tuned!

Vocabulary to this post:

nichtsdestotrotz – nevertheless
der Nachbarstaat – neighboring state
die Nordsee – Noth Sea
die Ostsee – Baltic Sea
die gemäßigte Klimazone – temperate zone
das Bundesland – federal state
das Bruttoinlandsprodukt – gross domestic product
das Ballungsgebiet – city region
die parlamentarische Demokratie – parliamentary democracy
das Staatsoberhaupt – head of state
die Partei – partie
die Aussprache – pronunciation
Köln – Cologne

All numbers in this post were found over the internet, especially Wikipedia. Therefor I cannot guarantee if they are always right.

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About the Author: jan

My name is Jan and I live in the south west of Germany. My profession is being a project manager at a company that creates digital media (first of all internet related things). This is my job since over a decade so I´m quite familiar with the web and its tools. Whereat today almost every school kid does. But that´s one of the main reasons why nowadays there are quasi no more limits in the internet and so it can be used for all imaginable types of things. For example learning languages! And that´s where we are at the moment. I first got in touch with Transparent Language when my family and I used to live in France a couple of years ago. I just had a break from work and by coincidence I produced some cultural videos in French. A few months later the whole blogging thing came up and I was lucky to be a part of it. So now my (second) job is to feed you with information, exercises, vocabulary, grammar and stories about Germany and German language. For being a passionate videographer I´m trying to do this more and more by videos. If you have any wishes or needs of topics that should be treated here, please don´t hesitate to contact me via a comment field. I´m open to your suggestions (as long as they are not too individual) and will try to satisfy your needs.