Looking for the Full List of German Speaking Countries and Regions? Today is your lucky day as in this post we have gathered the Full List of German Speaking Countries and Regions in the world.
German is a language that is spoken all throughout the world, not only in Germany. According to studies, German, along with English, Mandarin Chinese, Spanish, French, and Russian, is one of the top 10 most widely spoken languages in the world. With around 135 million speakers globally, German is the world’s 12th most frequently spoken language. Many people speak it as their first language.
You don’t have to be European, though, to have a compelling reason to learn German. If you’re in the United States, you may just remain at home and you’ll probably run across someone who does: German is spoken by one-quarter of the almost 80 million tourists who visit the country each year. And if you go abroad, you may as well wind up in Germany, which is the second-most popular European destination for Americans. Enjoy this Full List of German Speaking Countries and Regions.
German as an official language
It should come as no surprise that German (or “Deutsch”) is the official language of Germany, where native German speakers account for 95 percent of the population. Turkish is spoken by 1.8 percent of the population, and Kurdish by 0.3 percent, reflecting the immigrant community. Serbian, at 0.09 percent, and indigenous Romani, at 0.08 percent, are the only two languages to reach even a tenth of a percent.
Despite German dominance, almost two-thirds of Germans (67 percent) speak at least one foreign language, and 27% can speak two. English is the most widely taught foreign language, followed by French and Latin.
The island was ruled by Germanic tribes: the Saxons and Angles until the Norman invasion introduced a French/Latin influence to England in 1066. The Angles are the ones who gave England its name.
Because of this history, German and English share a lot of terms that are similar or interchangeable, so you know that “Kamera” and “camera” are the same thing. “Wasser” means “water” in German, while “Haus” means “house” in English.
Although some frequent German terms aren’t nearly as close, the commonalities between the two languages provide useful common ground. German and English, for example, have comparable verb structures for various tenses. German and English, unlike several other languages, share the same alphabet, making translation a bit easier.
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The official languages of Belgium are Dutch, French, and German, which are the principal languages of the three nations with which it shares a border. Indeed, the presence of German speaking people along the border contributes to German’s position as the country’s third-most-dominant language.
Despite this, it ranks considerably behind Dutch, which is spoken by 55 percent of the population, and French, which is spoken by 39 percent of the population. German, on the other hand, is the first language of little under 1% of the population but the second language of 22%, indicating that it is spoken well even when it is not favoured.
Austria’s single official language is German, which is spoken by 98 percent of the population.
Austrian German is the formal name for the official language, which is a variant of German with Austro-Bavarian characteristics. Another West Germanic language spoken in portions of Hungary and the Czech Republic is Hungarian. However, Standard German is spoken by the majority of Austrians.
Switzerland has four official languages, with German being the most frequently spoken. Swiss German is spoken by six out of ten persons (60%) and contains several variants of standard German. It is widely spoken in Switzerland’s centre, northern, and eastern regions.
The languages spoken in each part of Switzerland, like in Belgium, mainly correlate to the nearest neighbouring countries: Swiss-French is spoken in the west, while Swiss Italian is spoken in the south, on a jut of territory bordered by Italy.
French is spoken by nearly a quarter of the population (22.9%), while Italian is spoken by 8.4%. Romansh (or Rumantsch) is the fourth official language, spoken by only 0.5 percent of the population in two or three tiny localities in the southeast.
There are 26 cantons in Switzerland, each with its own administration. This also implies that each country has its own official language. In 17 of those cantons, German is the only official language, while 19 are mostly German speaking.
Luxembourg is larger than Liechtenstein, but it is still a small country with a population of roughly 625,000 people and a land area of 998 square miles.
It is commonly referred to as one of the Benelux nations — meaning Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg — which have been in a political and economic union known as the Benelux Union since 1944. It lies nestled between Belgium and Germany and also has a minor, southern border with France.
Luxembourg’s major language is Luxembourgish, which is a dialect comparable to those spoken in Germany’s bordering areas and in the French town of Mosell. Since 1984, it has been the official language of the country, with 78 percent of the people speaking it. Luxembourg’s official languages are also German and French.
Luxembourg has a population of 78 percent German speakers. French is also extensively spoken, with 98 percent of Luxembourgers speaking it, reflecting the country’s history of being ruled by both Germany and France. Although English is not an official language, it is spoken by 80% of the population.
If you can’t find Liechtenstein on a map, it’s understandable. It’s so little that it’s referred to as a “microstate.” With a land area of about 62 square miles and a population of under 40,000 people, it is Europe’s fourth-smallest country.
Liechtenstein’s native language is German, and around 86 percent of the population speaks it as a first language. Almost everyone else speaks it as a second language: In all, 92 percent of the population speaks German. Swiss German (spoken by roughly 29,000 people), Alemannic, and the Walser Language are among the Germanic languages and dialects spoken.
South Tyrol, Italy
In northern Italy, German is a co-official language at the provincial level; equal to Italian. A sign in the colours of the Austrian flag may be seen right before crossing the Italian border on the way from Innsbruck, Austria, to Bolzano/Bozen, Italy: “South Tyrol is not Italy.” It was made as a reminder of Tyrol’s ‘unjust’ boundary that has divided the country since the annexation of its southern half in 1919, during World War I. However, it may also be read in a different way, acknowledging the various distinctions between Italy’s northernmost Province and the rest of the nation.
In reality, South Tyrol is a unique location. The “Autonomous Province of Bolzano/South Tyrol” is not only rightly considered a “quasi-federal reality” within Italy’s regional system, but also a “model” for resolving ethno-linguistic conflicts peacefully through dialogue. Situated in the beautiful Dolomite mountains south of the Brenner pass marking the border between Austria and Italy and inhabited by three linguistic groups — German speakers (69 percent), Italian speakers (26 percent), and Ladin speakers (4.5 percent)
Opole Voivodeship & Silesian Voivodeship, Poland
Opole Voivodeship, often known as Opole Province, is Poland’s smallest and least populous voivodeship (province). The name of the province comes from Opole, the region’s capital and largest city. Upper Silesia includes it. In the voivodeship, there is a sizable German minority with representation in the Sejm, and the German language is co-official in 28 communes.
In the Silesian province, a nearly-extinct German dialect called Silesian German is spoken. It is a West Slavic and Lechitic language that is part of the East Central German-language region.
Not all countries with a German population added the German language as an official language at the National or provincial level. However, the German language has other legal statuses around the world. Keep reading this Full List of German Speaking Countries and Regions.
Other Legal Statuses
German is the national language in Namibia and used to be its co-official language from 1884 to 1990. Around 30,000 Namibians speak German as their first language, with hundreds of thousands more using it as a second or third language. Namibians speak Afrikaans and English, demonstrating the impact of Dutch and British colonial activities in Southern Africa.
For more information, visit our post on Namibia – The only German speaking country in Africa.
German is one of Czech Republic’s four official minority languages alongside Polish, Hungarian, and Ukrainian. In the Czech Republic, there are many German communities. Migration between the two nations became largely open when the Czech Republic joined the European Union in the 2004 expansion and was placed into the Schengen Area. Both nations have an 815-kilometre land boundary (506 mi).
Approximately 15,000 individuals in Denmark are members of an ethnic German minority known as hjemmetyskere, which means “domestic Germans” in Danish and Nordschleswiger in German. This small group of Germans is Danish-born and self-identifies as ethnic Germans. Their native languages are German or Low German, as well as a South Jutlandic dialect of Danish. Furthermore, there are thousands of German immigrants in Denmark who have no historical ties to this ethnic group.
The linguistic rights of North Schleswig Germans are safeguarded by the Copenhagen-Bonn Declarations of 1955. Members of St. Peter’s parish in Copenhagen use German outside of the minority area. The German School and Language Association manage 24 German kindergartens and 18 German schools. Despite the fact that the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages grants the German minority the freedom to use their own forms of geographical names, no measures have been done in that regard.
The German-speaking minority of Hungary is known as the Danube Swabians (German: Donauschwaben, Hungarian: dunai svábok), and many of them refer to themselves as “Shwoveh.” In Hungary, there are 131,951 German speakers (according to the 2011 census). The word “Danube Swabian” refers to a collection of German ethnic groups that lived in the old Kingdom of Hungary, encompassing Croatia-Slavonia and Vojvodina.
For the first time since 1933, a member of Hungary’s German minority, Imre Ritter of the National Self-Government of Germans in Hungary, was elected to the Hungarian parliament in 2018.
German is an official minority language in Romania. The main groups of Germans in Romania are the Transylvanian Saxons and the Banat Swabians, who were traditionally known as the Transylvanian Saxons and the Banat Swabians. Germans used to make up a far bigger percentage of Romania’s population than they do now, however they remain the fourth most ethnolinguistic group. There were 780,000 in 1938 and 111,301 in 1992, but just 45,129 Germans were counted in the 2002 census. They have been represented in Romania by the Democratic Forum of Germans in Romania, which operates in German, since 1989.
The German language is recognized as a minority language in the Azovo German National District in Russia. The Volga Germans (German: Wolgadeutsche, Russian: оволскиe нем, romanized: povolzhskiye nemtsy) are a group of ethnic Germans who settled and resided along the Volga River in southern European Russia, particularly in Saratov and to the south. They were permitted to keep their German culture, language, customs, and churches after being recruited as immigrants to Russia in the 18th century (Lutheran, Reformed, Catholics, Moravians and Mennonites).
The Russian Federation has 394,138 Russian or Volga Germans, according to the 2010 national census. The religion of the Volga Germans is largely Lutheran and Mennonite. Since 1989, their numbers have plummeted as many have taken advantage of naturalization chances in Germany.
The German language is a regional minority language in Slovakia. Ethnic Germans are called Carpathian Germans. According to national censuses, Slovakia had 6,108 Germans (0.11 percent) in 2007, 5,405 in 2001, 5,414 in 1991, and 2,918 in 1980. A Carpathian German Homeland Association was established to preserve traditions, and a museum of Carpathian German culture has been open in Bratislava since 2005. The Slovak government supports two German-language media outlets: Karpatenblatt (weekly) and IKEJA news (Internet). On Slovak radio, there is also a minority that broadcasts in German. Following the war, their countrymen in Germany and Austria formed cultural organizations as well. A Carpathian German Landsmannschaft exists in North America as well.
Because of the German’s isolation from places where German has been standardized (Germany, Austria, and Switzerland), numerous obscure German dialects have survived in Slovakia, however many are endangered.
According to Wikipedia, In the states of Espirito Santo and the Rio Grande do Sul, German is a statewide cultural language, with standard German being the official language in two municipalities and non-standard German dialects being the official language in 16 others. As a 1999 poll by IBGE researcher Simon Schwartzman mentioned, 3.6 percent of the Brazilian population claimed to have some degree of German ancestry, a number that equates to 7.2 million descendants in a population of roughly 200 million. According to Deutsche Welle, there are 5 million Brazilians of German heritage. According to a 2016 study published by the Institute of Applied Economic Research, out of 46,801,772 Brazilian names studied, 1,525,890, or 3.3 percent, had a German surname as their only or last surname, a proportion that would equal about 6.7 million people if applied to the entire population in that year.
After Portuguese, German dialects make up Brazil’s second most spoken first language. In Southern Brazil and Espirito Santo, a few municipalities have Brazilian Hunsrückisch and Germanic East Pomeranian as co-official languages with Portuguese. Brazilian Hunsrückisch is spoken by an estimated 2 to 3 million people.
Keep reading this Full List of German Speaking Countries and Regions to learn about the German diaspora around the world.
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There are 3,322,405 Canadians of full or partial German ancestry, according to the 2016 census. Some came from what is now Germany, while others came from parts of the German Confederation, Austria-Hungary, and Switzerland; others came from sections of the German Confederation, Austria-Hungary, and Switzerland. However, there is no recognition of the German language in Canada as of 2022.
German-Americans (Deutschamerikaner) are citizens of the United States who have German ancestry or are Germans who have become naturalized citizens of the United States. Such individuals have a dual identity, with the Germanic language and culture ingrained in their traditions. German-Americans are the most common self-reported ancestry group in the United States, accounting for over 49 million individuals and nearly 17% of the population. California and Texas are both home to significant German-American populations. Many other states, on the other hand, have a unique German-American ethnic community. Albert Einstein is the most famous German-American in history.
Kazakhstan’s Germans, also known as German Kazakhstanis, are a small minority in Kazakhstan, accounting for only a small percentage of the population numbering 176,107 in 2020 according to the Kazakhstan Census. The majority of them live in urban areas in the northeastern region of the country, between the cities of Nur-Sultan and Oskemen.
German Australians are citizens of Australia of German origin. The German population is one of Australia’s largest ethnic groupings, accounting for 982,266 people (3.1 percent) in the 2016 Census. After English, Irish, Scottish, and Italian, German is Australia’s sixth most common European heritage.
According to Israel’s 2015 Census, there are 70,800 people who directly immigrated to Israel from Germany and Austria combined. Almost all of them are the Jewish population that lived in either of these countries. However, there is reverse immigration from Israel to Germany these days, not by Germans, but by Israelis. Moving to Berlin is one of the hot topics among the Israeli LGBT and Liberal community.
In the United Kingdom, Germans are one of the country’s major minority groups. Many Germans now live in the United Kingdom, and many Britons or German British, including the British royal family, have German heritage. While German-born people make up one of the UK’s major foreign-born populations, many of them are British nationals who were born in Germany to British military personnel stationed there.
According to population estimates by country of birth and nationality, there were 144,000 German citizens living in the UK in the 2016 Census.
German Argentines are both Argentine nationals of German heritage and German citizens who live in Argentina. They are descended from German immigrants who came to Argentina from Germany and other parts of Europe. Some German Argentines began their lives in Brazil before moving to Argentina. Germany as a political entity was founded only in 1871, but due to their shared ethnic heritage, language, and culture, immigrants from earlier dates are also considered German Argentines. With over two million Volga Germans, German Argentines are now Argentina’s fourth-largest ethnic community.
Córdoba, Entre Ros, Buenos Aires, Misiones, Ro Negro, and La Pampa are the provinces with the greatest number of people of German heritage, in order of population.
There are 11,398 German nationals currently living in Mexico while it is estimated that there might be up to 40,000 Mexicans of German descent in the country. The majority of reported ethnic Germans migrated to Mexico during the mid-to-late nineteenth century, pushed on by Porfirio Daz’s government initiatives. Many of them took advantage of Mexico’s open laws at the time and started businesses in the mercantile, industrial, and educational sectors.
There are 2,325 Caucasian people living in Guyana, most of them being from Germany or the Netherlands.
In the comments section, let us know what you think about this Full List of German-Speaking Countries and Regions. Also, let us know if you think another country or region should be added to this List of German speaking countries and regions.
9 thoughts on “Full List of German Speaking Countries and Regions in the World”
I would be interested in finding out how the dialects are different in these regions. I know the difference between Swiss French and French French having been born in those two countries. Also, technically because I was born in the French Swiss area I’m supposed to “hate” the German-Swiss. It’s interesting about Israel too, but hardly surprising. My great-grandfather was German, which was quite an interesting time for my grandmother and her brothers during the two World Wars. My great-uncles fought for the US against Germany. My grandmother disowned her German cousins during WWII. When my parents moved to France/Switzerland, my Mum wanted to get in touch with our German family but my grandmother refused to give her any info. That info died with her
Wow! That is so sad your mom couldn’t get in touch with them! It reminds me of one of my friends whose mother never told her they are indigenous because she thought she was protecting her daughters! They only figured it out after her death and now all of their connections is lost, so they can’t get their indigenous status anymore!
Oh no! That’s so sad too 🙁
If in Michigan (the U.S.) there’s a tourist town called Frankenmuth. It’s definitely German and is extremely popular at Christmas time! They have a store called Bronner’s that is the largest Christmas store in the world. (They have much, much more too!)
That is true, thank you so much for mentioning it. I kind of got lazy towards the end of the post and didn’t expand the diaspora as good as I should have. But I’ll add it in near future. Thank you very much for your comment! 🙂
I think it’d be impossible to list them all. You did a good job!
Thank you for your kindness 🙂
I guess you can include Majorca (in Spain). Or that I heard. In the 80’s the German gov made a serious offer to buy the island. Or that I heard 😁😁. Great article! ❤️❤️
That’s so interesting, I’ll do some research and will definitely add it to the list.
Thanks a lot for the info and your comment! 🙂