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German Language – History

Sprechen Sie Deutsch? German is an official language of Germany, Austria, and Liechtenstein, is a co-official language in Switzerland, Belgium, Luxembourg, and the European Union. Hence, German has various dialects being a part of Indo–European Language Family which includes English, Dutch, Scandinavian and the now extinct Gothic.

Pundits believe that the roots of the German language, Proto – Germanic, began to evolve about 2100 B.C., as people began to settle in western areas of the Baltic Sea. One of the first ever records of the German language dates back to the 1st Century B.C. when the Romans came into contact with inhabitants of the Rhine–Danube area during their occupation. The modern German we know today is likely to be unrecognisable from the language that the Romans first observed. It has gone through several modifications, from Old German (about 750 AD to the 11th Century); Middle German (1050 AD to 1350 AD); Early New German (1350 AD to 1500 AD); and New German (1500 AD till present).

The German of the consulate of Saxony was adopted by Martin Luther for his translation of the Bible. The reason behind his choice of this intonation was the language of the civic center alone stood out as a norm in a multitude of dialects, and Luther thought he could reach numerous people at a time. During the initial phase, local dialects were used in writing and there was no standard language.

The Middle era of the German usually said to begin with the German used by Luther which became the basis of Modern German. The spread of uniformity in writing was also helped by printers, who, like Luther, wanted to attract as many readers as possible. Moreover, in the middle period, a relatively uniform written language developed in government after the various chancelleries of the Holy Roman Empire began, in the 14th Century, to use a combination of certain dialects of Middle German in place of the Latin that until then, had dominated official writings.

During the 18th Century, a number of outstanding writers gave modern standard German essentially the form it has today. It is now the language of church and state, education and literature. A corresponding norm for speaking the language, influenced by the written standard, is used in education, the theatre and broadcasting as well.

And then with the same significance, Modern German is often referred to as ‘High German’ or Hochdeutsch. It is used widely as the language of administration, higher education, literature and the mass media carried out by the early times German.

Although dialectal differences within both the High German and Low German (Since the part of Germany where there was no Second Sound Shift that is from Pound in English to Pfund, Apple to Apfel, Hope to Hoffen, is the North German Lowlands, their language is called Low German as distinct from High German.) regions remain a trend towards uniformity in the direction of the written standard is expected partly as a result of widespread broadcasting, diminishing isolation and increased socio–economic mobility.



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