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German language


German (Deutsch [ˈdɔʏtʃ] ( listen)) is a West Germanic language. It derives most of its vocabulary from the Germanic branch of the Indo-European language family. A number of words are derived from Latin and Greek, and fewer from French and English. Widely spoken languages which are most similar to German include Luxembourgish, Dutch, the Frisian languages, English and the Scandinavian languages. History The history of the language begins with the High German consonant shift during the migration period, separating Old High German dialects from Old Saxon. The earliest evidence of Old High German is from scattered Elder Futhark inscriptions, especially in Ale mannic, from the sixth century AD; the earliest glosses (Abrogans) date to the eighth; and the oldest coherent texts (the Hilde brand slied, the Muspilli and the Merse burg Incantations) to the ninth century. Old Saxon at this time belonged to the North Sea Germanic cultural sphere, and Low Saxon was to fall under German rather than Anglo-Frisian influence during the Holy Roman Empire. Oceania In Australia, the state of South Australia experienced a pronounced wave of immigration in the 1840s from Prussia (particularly the Silesia region). With the prolonged isolation from other German speakers and contact with Australian English, a unique dialect known as Barossa German has developed and is spoken predominantly in the Barossa Valley near Adelaide. Usage of German sharply declined with the advent of World War I, due to the prevailing anti-German sentiment in the population and related government action. It continued to be used as a first language into the twentieth century but now its use is limited to a few older speakers. Word order There are two common word orders: one is for main clauses and another for subordinate clauses. In normal affirmative sentences the inflected verb always has position 2. In polar questions, exclamations, and wishes it always has position 1. In subordinate clauses the verb occurs at the very end.