This site contains a wide range of materials to help you learn German. Pick up some basic phrases, expand your vocabulary, or find a language partner to practise with.

About the German language

German is spoken by about 75 million people in Germany, with a further 20 million people worldwide speaking it as a first language.

Along with English and Dutch, to which it is closely related, German belongs to the West Germanic branch of the Germanic family of languages.

The Reichstag, Berlin

So why learn German?

A major world language
As one of the world's major languages, German has been the conduit for publications in many learned fields: medicine, the natural sciences, philosophy, and languages. Many terms now used in these fields originated from German.

German has a rich literature dating from mediaeval times until the present day. Its most famous writers from the classical period (18th century) include Goethe, Schiller, and Lessing, and from the twentieth century Brecht, Böll, and Grass.

Many of the German speaking countries such as Austria and Switzerland boast exotic scenery and historic towns. A knowledge of the language will enhance a visit to these countries.

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