The German language, also known as Deutsch, is one of the world’s most common languages, and considered the most-spoken language in Europe. According to Wikipedia, more than 300 million people speak German as a primary or secondary language, including 90 million in the nation of Germany alone. German is one of the world’s ancient languages, but it has loanwords from other ancient languages as well, including Greek and Latin words, and a few modern languages, such as French and English.
German has two main dialects, High German and Low German (also known as Low Saxon), each with many regional sub-dialects that are very distinctive and unique. In fact, the dialects and sub-dialects are often so different that some German speakers cannot understand each other when they visit other German-speaking regions. Neighboring sub-dialects are sometimes understandable to other neighbors, but the greater the distance becomes the less intelligible and interchangeable the dialects (or sub-dialects) become.
- Low Saxon and Low Franconian are the main sub-dialects of Low German, although these speakers are often the uneducated.
- Central German, High Franconian, and Upper German are the main sub-dialects of High German, each with many different sub-dialects of their own.
The English language has been influenced by the German language, with many words adapted into new, English words or borrowed as-is, especially United States English. Some of these everyday words have not changed during transition at all, including common words such as kindergarten, sauerkraut, wanderlust, poltergeist, rucksack, delicatessen, kaput, angst, and blitz.