Languages of Germany

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Languages of Germany
Official languages German (95%)
Regional languages Low Rhenish; Limburgish; Luxembourgish; Alemannic; Bavarian; Danish; Upper Sorbian, Lower Sorbian; North Frisian, Saterland Frisian; Romani, Low German
Main immigrant languages Turkish, Arabic, Russian, Polish, Serbo-Croatian, Dutch, Italian, Greek, Tamil, Spanish; and others
see also:immigration to Germany
Main foreign languages English (56%)
French (15%)
Russian (5%)
Sign languages German Sign Language
Common keyboard layouts
KB Germany.svg
Source ebs_243_en.pdf (

The official language of Germany is Standard German, with over 95 percent of the country speaking Standard German or German dialects as their first language.[1] This figure includes speakers of Northern Low Saxon, a recognized minority or regional language that is not considered separately from Standard German in statistics. Recognized minority languages have official status as well, usually in their respective regions.

Minority languages[edit]

Recognised minority languages:[1][2]

Immigrant languages[edit]

Immigrant languages spoken by sizable[clarification needed] communities of first and second-generation (dominant origin of the speakers in brackets):

Second languages[edit]

Most Germans learn English as their first foreign language at school. Sometimes French or Latin are taught first, but usually English is, with French and Latin as common second or third foreign languages. Russian, Italian, Spanish, Polish, Dutch, classical Greek, and other languages are also offered in schools, often depending on the school's geographic location.

The recognition of English as an official language is frequently[citation needed] discussed in the German public.[4] According to a representative 2013 survey carried out by the English research firm YouGov, 59 percent of all Germans would welcome the establishment of English as an official language in the whole European Union.[5]


  1. ^ a b c d "BBC - Languages across Europe". Retrieved 17 January 2015. 
  2. ^ National Minorities in Germany. BMI. 2010. p. 44.[1].
  3. ^ "Tamil Diaspora - Germany - ஜெர்மனி". Retrieved 31 January 2017. 
  4. ^ English should become an administration language in Germany (German), Die Welt, Essay by Alexander Graf Lambsdorff, 15 December 2014
  5. ^ "Umfrage: Mehrheit der Deutschen für Englisch als zweite Amtssprache". Retrieved 17 January 2015.