German: The Language Of The Indo-Europeans

Posted on September 26, 2011 in Specials

By Sanchita Gupta:

One may have not considered it deeply but a language is not just a medium of communication but it’s a reflection of one’s habits and cultural practices. How a language is born is supported by many theories like behaviorist, nativist etc. Some people support that the behavior of certain people living together creates their language, while others think that their native land makes up their language. There are so many dialects around us, some are even extinct now. A loss of a language is a loss of a cultural heritage, taking with it some mysteries and treasures of the past. Amongst the major languages of the world, resides GERMAN (Deutsche).

It is spoken by almost 200 million people. It’s a language of the Indo-Europeans. It originated not as traditional dialect but as a written language. German is a language of immense economic use in the German-speaking countries. However, it does not enjoy the lingua franca status of English, French or even Spanish. It is categorized as Old, Middle and Modern, with Modern being in existence since the 16th century. Deutsch is a high context language with etiquettes and respect. It shows the deep, rich and proud culture shared by its people. It was a language of government and commerce in the Habsburg Empire. It distinguished on the basis of class rather than nationality. It has been known as the language of educated and used almost always for written German. Books and newspapers are printed in standard German. It is also known as Hochdeutsch (High German). Geographically it was divided as East, West and North Germanic language. West uses the Hochdeutsch dialect, North uses the Plattdeutsch dialect and North uses the Bayerisch dialect. If one already knows English then learning German becomes all the more easy as the modern German and modern English both evolved from the common ancestor language Germanic. They share many similarities in both vocabulary and grammar.
In addition, German is spelled phonetically. Once the system of sounds is learned, it is easy to predict how the spoken word is written and pronounced.

Keeping its history and evolution in mind, the present scenario of this language is well known by all. It is amongst the most sought after language with 1 in every 10 books published in this language. German speaking nations have a rich cultural heritage; hence, people prefer it for better business opportunities and higher education. There are so many words that are now commonly used in English although they are originally part of German language. For instance, doppelganger, schadenfreude, alpenglow, etc.; reading these words one may know automatically how popular this language is becoming.