Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Learning German

The best books, eBooks, articles, media, and open access sources on learning German.

Focus on German Language for Travelers

German is a member of the Germanic group of the Indo-European language family, the national language of Germany and Austria, and an official language of Switzerland. There are many spoken varieties of German, including High German (Hochdeutsch) and Low German (Plattdeutsch).

‘High’ and ‘Low’ refer to dialects spoken in the highlands or the lowlands rather than to social status. Hochdeutsch originated in the central and southern highlands of Germany, Austria, and Switzerland; Plattdeutsch from the lowlands of northern Germany.

Standard and literary German is based on High German, in particular on the Middle German dialect used by Martin Luther for his translation of the Bible in the 16th century. Low German is closer to English in its sound system, the verb ‘to make’ being machen in High German but maken in Low German. Such English words as angst, blitz, frankfurter, hamburger, poltergeist, and sauerkraut are borrowings from High German.

From CREDO German Language: Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia with Atlas and Weather Guide.

Language Guides

""