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German is spoken by an estimated 126 Million people. The vast Mehrheit (majority) is found in Deutschland (Germany), with about 82 million German-speakers. Diese Zahl (this number) leaves us with 44 million other people. Wo wohnen die anderen (where do the others live)?
Österreich (Austeria) should be the first Land (country) to come to mind. After all, how could we forget such wonderful songs like “Favorite Things” from the musical “The Sound of Music? Austria is Germany’s Nachbar (neighbor) to the south and has a Bevölkerung (population) of about 8 million leute (people). Austria has a very mountainous landscape about the Gröβe (size) of Main. Wien (Vienna) is die Hauptstadt (the capital).
In der Schweiz, people speak four different Sprachen (languages). Sixty-five percent of the seven million people in Switzerland speak German and the rest speak French, Italian, or Rhaeto-Romansh.
After Switzerland, comes Liechtenstein, the small country from which its name is derived. The capital, Vaduz, is the largest city and has less than 5,000 inhabitants. It has neither a Flughafen (airport) nor a Bahnhof (train station). But, what it does have is the German-language Zeitung (newspaper), the Liechtenstein Vaterland (fatherland).
And lastly, there is the country of Luxembourg. Luxembourg is situated on Germany’s western border. French is used for street and place names, as well as for amtlich (official) business; however, most citizens speak a dialect of German called Letztebuergesch in day-to-day life. Luxembourg is considered a German-speaking country, along with Austeria, Germany, and Switzerland. Most of the newspapers are veröffentlichte (published) in German. The Luxemburger Wort is one example.
There is a small population in the towns of Eupen and Sankt, Belgium, where German is still used. The total population in this region is less than 100,000 people. There are small pockets, or regions –former Germanic areas—in Eastern Europe where German is still spoken on the street. One can find these regions in Poland, Romania and Russia. Furthermore, there are a few people who speak German in the areas where Germany had colonized in Africa—mostly Nambia.
The estimated number of native German speakers in the world is between 99 and 100 million. If you added speakers of German, who it as a second language, the number would rise to 126 million. German language (spoken by native speakers) ranks tenth place, China is number one, and English is in third place, next to Spanish’s second.
Die Mehrheit-the majority
Diese Zahl-this Number
wohnen-to live (domicile)
die-(the) feminine definitive article
Das Land-the country
Die Leute-the people
Die Gröβe-the size
Die Hauptstadt-the capital
In der Schweiz-in Switzerland
Die Sprachen-the languages
Der Flughafen-the airport
Der Bahnhof-the train station
Die Zeitung-the newspaper
Der Vaterland-the fatherland
Das Wort-the Word