The German language is spoken in a number of countries and territories in Europe. The language is used both as an official language and as a minority language in various European countries. To cover this speech area, they are often referred to as the German speaking countries, the German speaking area (Deutscher Sprachraum), or equivalently German-speaking Europe (the few overseas territories which speak German are not commonly included in the concept).
German is the main language of approximately 95 to 100 million people in Europe, or 13.3% of all Europeans, being the second most spoken native language in Europe after Russian (with 144 million speakers), above French (with 66.5 million) and English (with 64.2 million).
The European countries with German-speaking majorities are Germany (95%, 78.3 million), Austria (89%, 7.4 million) and Switzerland (65%, 4.6 million), also known as "D-A-CH" countries. Other European countries with a German-speaking majority include Luxembourg (0.48 million) and Liechtenstein (0.03 million).
- Germany (D for Deutschland)
- Austria (A for Austria, in German "Österreich")
- Switzerland (CH for Confoederatio Helvetica, in German "(die) Schweiz")
"Dach" is also the German word for "roof", and is used in linguistics in the term Dachsprache, which standard German arguably is in relation to some outlying dialects of German, especially in Switzerland and Austria.
The term is sometimes extended to D-A-CH-Li, DACHL or DACH+ to include Liechtenstein. Another version is DACHS (with Dachs meaning "Badger" in German) with the inclusion of the German-speaking region of South Tyrol in Italy.
|Official language||Majority language||Partially official|
|Switzerland (besides French, Italian and Rumantsch)
Luxembourg (besides French and Luxembourgish)
|Denmark - recognized minority language in the former South Jutland County
South Tyrol in Italy
Poland - a minority language in the Upper Silesia
Czech Republic (communally)
Hungary (Danube Swabians)
Romania (Transylvania and Banat Swabians)
- German is the country's only official language:
- German is the majority language, and shares official status with other languages:
- German is a minority language with official status:
- Belgium (besides Dutch and French)
- German language has official status only in a part of the country/territory:
- German language is recognized as a minority language:
German speaking minorities without official status
- High numbers of German speaking minorities, but no official recognition:
- German speaking minorities, but no official status:
- Austrian German
- Swiss German
- Swiss Standard German
- Alemannic German
- Swabian German
- Walser German
- Alemán Coloniero
- German-speaking Community of Belgium
- Languages in the European Union
- Germanic languages
- Germanic-speaking Europe
- English-speaking Europe
- German as a minority language
- German as a foreign language
- Example: DACHS-Projekt "Ergotherapie 2010
- "DACH+ Raumentwicklung im Grenzraum von Deutschland, Österreich, Schweiz und Liechtenstein" (in German). DACH. Retrieved 2008-03-22.[dead link]
- http://britishlibrary.typepad.co.uk/dach/ - DACH Blog: Blog about the British Library's German collection, and German culture, politics and literature.