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The main verb may appear in first position to put stress on the action itself. The auxiliary verb is still in second position.

Sentences using modal verbs place the infinitive at the end. For example, the English sentence "Should he go home? Thus, in sentences with several subordinate or relative clauses, the infinitives are clustered at the end.

Compare the similar clustering of prepositions in the following highly contrived English sentence: German subordinate clauses have all verbs clustered at the end.

Given that auxiliaries encode future , passive , modality , and the perfect , very long chains of verbs at the end of the sentence can occur.

In these constructions, the past participle in ge- is often replaced by the infinitive. Most German vocabulary is derived from the Germanic branch of the European language family.

Latin words were already imported into the predecessor of the German language during the Roman Empire and underwent all the characteristic phonetic changes in German.

Their origin is thus no longer recognizable for most speakers e. Borrowing from Latin continued after the fall of the Roman Empire during Christianization, mediated by the church and monasteries.

Another important influx of Latin words can be observed during Renaissance humanism. In a scholarly context, the borrowings from Latin have continued until today, in the last few decades often indirectly through borrowings from English.

During the 15th to 17th centuries, the influence of Italian was great, leading to many Italian loanwords in the fields of architecture, finance, and music.

The influence of the French language in the 17th to 19th centuries resulted in an even greater import of French words. The English influence was already present in the 19th century, but it did not become dominant until the second half of the 20th century.

At the same time, the effectiveness of the German language in forming equivalents for foreign words from its inherited Germanic stem repertory is great.

The tradition of loan translation was revitalized in the 18th century, with linguists like Joachim Heinrich Campe , who introduced close to words that are still used in modern German.

Even today, there are movements that try to promote the Ersatz substitution of foreign words deemed unnecessary with German alternatives.

As in English, there are many pairs of synonyms due to the enrichment of the Germanic vocabulary with loanwords from Latin and Latinized Greek.

These words often have different connotations from their Germanic counterparts and are usually perceived as more scholarly.

The size of the vocabulary of German is difficult to estimate. The modern German scientific vocabulary is estimated at nine million words and word groups based on the analysis of 35 million sentences of a corpus in Leipzig, which as of July included million words in total.

The Duden is the de facto official dictionary of the German language, first published by Konrad Duden in The Duden is updated regularly, with new editions appearing every four or five years.

As of August [update] , it is in its 27th edition and in 12 volumes, each covering different aspects such as loanwords , etymology , pronunciation , synonyms , and so forth.

The first of these volumes, Die deutsche Rechtschreibung German Orthography , has long been the prescriptive source for the spelling of German.

The Duden has become the bible of the German language, being the definitive set of rules regarding grammar, spelling and usage of German.

Bundesministerium für Unterricht, Kunst und Kultur. It is the Austrian counterpart to the German Duden and contains a number of terms unique to Austrian German or more frequently used or differently pronounced there.

The most recent edition is the 42nd from Since the 39th edition from the orthography of the ÖWB was adjusted to the German spelling reform of The dictionary is also officially used in the Italian province of South Tyrol.

This is a selection of cognates in both English and German. Instead of the usual infinitive ending -en German verbs are indicated by a hyphen "-" after their stems.

Words that are written with capital letters in German are nouns. German is written in the Latin alphabet. In addition to the 26 standard letters, German has three vowels with Umlaut , namely ä , ö and ü , as well as the eszett or scharfes s sharp s: The longest German word that has been published is Donaudampfschiffahrtselektrizitätenhauptbetriebswerkbauunterbeamtengesellschaft made of 79 characters.

Because legibility and convenience set certain boundaries, compounds consisting of more than three or four nouns are almost exclusively found in humorous contexts.

In contrast, although English can also string nouns together, it usually separates the nouns with spaces. For example, "toilet bowl cleaner".

Umlaut vowels ä, ö, ü are commonly transcribed with ae, oe, and ue if the umlauts are not available on the keyboard or other medium used.

Some operating systems use key sequences to extend the set of possible characters to include, amongst other things, umlauts; in Microsoft Windows this is done using Alt codes.

German readers understand these transcriptions although they appear unusual , but they are avoided if the regular umlauts are available because they are a makeshift, not proper spelling.

In Westphalia and Schleswig-Holstein, city and family names exist where the extra e has a vowel lengthening effect, e.

There is no general agreement on where letters with umlauts occur in the sorting sequence. Telephone directories treat them by replacing them with the base vowel followed by an e.

Some dictionaries sort each umlauted vowel as a separate letter after the base vowel, but more commonly words with umlauts are ordered immediately after the same word without umlauts.

As an example in a telephone book Ärzte occurs after Adressenverlage but before Anlagenbauer because Ä is replaced by Ae. In a dictionary Ärzte comes after Arzt , but in some dictionaries Ärzte and all other words starting with Ä may occur after all words starting with A.

Until the early 20th century, German was mostly printed in blackletter typefaces mostly in Fraktur , but also in Schwabacher and written in corresponding handwriting for example Kurrent and Sütterlin.

These variants of the Latin alphabet are very different from the serif or sans-serif Antiqua typefaces used today, and the handwritten forms in particular are difficult for the untrained to read.

The printed forms, however, were claimed by some to be more readable when used for Germanic languages. The Nazis initially promoted Fraktur and Schwabacher because they were considered Aryan , but they abolished them in , claiming that these letters were Jewish.

The Fraktur script however remains present in everyday life in pub signs, beer brands and other forms of advertisement, where it is used to convey a certain rusticality and antiquity.

Many Antiqua typefaces include the long s also. A specific set of rules applies for the use of long s in German text, but nowadays it is rarely used in Antiqua typesetting.

The long s only appears in lower case. The orthography reform of led to public controversy and considerable dispute. After 10 years, without any intervention by the federal parliament, a major revision was installed in , just in time for the coming school year.

In , some traditional spellings were finally invalidated, whereas in , on the other hand, many of the old comma rules were again put in force.

Traditionally, this letter was used in three situations:. In German, vowels excluding diphthongs; see below are either short or long , as follows:.

In general, the short vowels are open and the long vowels are close. Whether any particular vowel letter represents the long or short phoneme is not completely predictable, although the following regularities exist:.

Both of these rules have exceptions e. For an i that is neither in the combination ie making it long nor followed by a double consonant or cluster making it short , there is no general rule.

In some cases, there are regional differences: In central Germany Hessen , the o in the proper name "Hoffmann" is pronounced long, whereas most other Germans would pronounce it short; the same applies to the e in the geographical name " Mecklenburg " for people in that region.

German vowels can form the following digraphs in writing and diphthongs in pronunciation ; note that the pronunciation of some of them ei, äu, eu is very different from what one would expect when considering the component letters:.

With approximately 25 phonemes, the German consonant system exhibits an average number of consonants in comparison with other languages. The consonant inventory of the standard language is shown below.

German does not have any dental fricatives as English th. The th sounds, which the English language still has, disappeared on the continent in German with the consonant shifts between the 8th and the 10th centuries.

Likewise, the gh in Germanic English words, pronounced in several different ways in modern English as an f , or not at all , can often be linked to German ch: The German language is used in German literature and can be traced back to the Middle Ages , with the most notable authors of the period being Walther von der Vogelweide and Wolfram von Eschenbach.

The Nibelungenlied , whose author remains unknown, is also an important work of the epoch. The fairy tales collections collected and published by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm in the 19th century became famous throughout the world.

Reformer and theologian Martin Luther , who was the first to translate the Bible into German, is widely credited for having set the basis for the modern "High German" language.

Thirteen German-speaking people have won the Nobel Prize in literature: English has taken many loanwords from German, often without any change of spelling aside from, often, the elimination of umlauts and not capitalizing nouns:.

The government-backed Goethe-Institut [84] named after the famous German author Johann Wolfgang von Goethe aims to enhance the knowledge of German culture and language within Europe and the rest of the world.

This is done by holding exhibitions and conferences with German-related themes, and providing training and guidance in the learning and use of the German language.

The Dortmund-based Verein Deutsche Sprache VDS , which was founded in , supports the German language and is the largest language association of citizens in the world.

The VDS has more than thirty-five thousand members in over seventy countries. Its founder, statistics professor Dr.

Walter Krämer, has remained chairperson of the association from its beginnings. The German state broadcaster Deutsche Welle is the equivalent of the British BBC World Service and provides radio and television broadcasts in German and 30 other languages across the globe.

Deutsche Welle also provides an e-learning website to learn German. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For other uses, see Deutsch disambiguation and German disambiguation.

Not to be confused with Germanic languages. Co- Official and majority language. Co-official, but not majority language.

Early New High German. Geographical distribution of German speakers. Italy South Tyrol 0. German is official language de jure or de facto and first language of the majority of the population.

German is a co-official language, but not the first language of the majority of the population. German or a German dialect is a legally recognized minority language Squares: German or a variety of German is spoken by a sizeable minority, but has no legal recognition.

List of territorial entities where German is an official language. German language in Namibia. Brazilian German and Colonia Tovar dialect.

Grammatical gender in German. German orthography and German braille. Listen to a German speaker recite the alphabet in German.

German orthography reform of High German consonant shift. Deutsch disambiguation German family name etymology German toponymy Germanism linguistics List of German exonyms List of German expressions in English List of German words of French origin List of pseudo-German words adapted to English List of terms used for Germans List of territorial entities where German is an official language Names for the German language.

Retrieved 24 July Europeans and their languages" PDF report. Archived from the original PDF on 6 January Retrieved 11 October Auflage, Neumünster , S.

Retrieved 3 May Retrieved 7 July Retrieved 28 September Retrieved August 6, Old English and its closest relatives: An Anthology of German Literature.

Zur Geschichte der Deutschen Sprache. A history of the German language: University of Washington Press. A history of German: Geschichte der deutschen Sprache.

The Encyclopedia of Christianity. Eerdmans; Brill, —, 1: A history of the German language. University of California Libraries.

The German Nation and Martin Luther. Geographischer Atlas zur Vaterlandskunde an der österreichischen Mittelschulen.

The "Duden" and its History". Die Rolle der II. Orthographischen Konferenz in der Geschichte der deutschen Rechtschreibung. Deutsche Bühnenaussprache zuletzt als: Reine und gemässigte Hochlautung mit Aussprachewörterbuch.

Journal of the Simplified Spelling Society. Archived from the original on 23 September Retrieved 18 July Statista, The Statistics Portal.

Retrieved 11 July Archived from the original on 4 March Retrieved 20 June Supplement of the Allgemeine Zeitung. Archived from the original PDF on 24 June Retrieved 23 June Markedness and salience in language contact and second-language acquisition: Founding Provisions South African Government".

Retrieved 15 March German Dialects map ". Volume 2, Reference Survey" 1st ed. Retrieved 12 June Archived from the original on 10 May Retrieved 10 May Retrieved 17 October Inter- und übernationale Beziehungen".

Deutsche Sprachgeschichte vom Spätmittelalter bis zur Gegenwart. Retrieved 21 August Walter de Gruyter, Berlin Swiss Federal Statistical Office.

Archived from the original on 14 January Retrieved 13 January Archived from the original on 15 May The "Duden" and Its History". The Publisher as Teacher: Retrieved 5 December It is wrong to regard or to describe the so-called Gothic script as a German script.

In reality, the so-called Gothic script consists of Schwabach Jew letters. Just as they later took control of the newspapers, upon the introduction of printing the Jews residing in Germany took control of the printing presses and thus in Germany the Schwabach Jew letters were forcefully introduced.

All printed materials are to be gradually converted to this normal script. As soon as is feasible in terms of textbooks, only the normal script will be taught in village and state schools.

The use of the Schwabach Jew letters by officials will in future cease; appointment certifications for functionaries, street signs, and so forth will in future be produced only in normal script.

On behalf of the Führer, Herr Reichsleiter Amann will in future convert those newspapers and periodicals that already have foreign distribution, or whose foreign distribution is desired, to normal script".

Form und Geschichte der gebrochenen Schriften. Retrieved 24 January Retrieved 14 June The Consonants of German: The German Language in a Changing Europe.

Retrieved 6 February Lay summary 6 February The Structure of German. Retrieved 26 February König, Ekkehard; van der Auwera, Johan, eds.

Routledge Language Family Descriptions. Lay summary 26 February The survey of the Germanic branch languages includes chapters by Winfred P. The Advanced Learner's Guide.

Biography of a Language. Combines linguistic, anthropological, and historical perspectives in a "biography" of German in terms of six "signal events" over millennia, including the Battle of Kalkriese, which blocked the spread of Latin-based language north.

Find more about German language at Wikipedia's sister projects. Austrian German see also German. Minority languages of Austria.

French German Italian Romansh. Lombard Romand Sinte Swiss German. Oshiwambo Kwanyama Ndonga Afrikaans German. Languages of South Africa. English dialects Yola Fingallian Scots.

North Germanic and East Germanic. Gothic Crimean Gothic Burgundian Vandalic. Italics indicate extinct languages Languages between parentheses are varieties of the language on their left.

Timeline Historiography Military history. Language portal Germany portal Austria portal Switzerland portal. Retrieved from " https: From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Retrieved May 29, The Power of Three Sisters ". Retrieved May 27, Writer ; Kretchmer, John T. Director October 7, What Happened To The Power of 3?

The WB Television Network. Episodes Season 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Comics and novels and short stories Season 9 Board games Merchandise Video game.

Retrieved from " https: Charmed TV series Fictional trios. Views Read Edit View history. This page was last edited on 15 October , at By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

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Whereas during the Old High German period the Germanic tribes extended only as far east as the Elbe and Saale rivers, the MHG period saw a number of these tribes expanding beyond this eastern boundary into Slavic territory this is known as the Ostsiedlung.

Along with the increasing wealth and geographic extent of the Germanic groups came greater use of German in the courts of nobles as the standard language of official proceedings and literature.

While these efforts were still regionally bound, German began to be used in place of Latin for certain official purposes, leading to a greater need for regularity in written conventions.

While the major changes of the MHG period were socio-cultural, German was still undergoing significant linguistic changes in syntax, phonetics, and morphology as well e.

A great wealth of texts survives from the MHG period. Significantly, among this repertoire are a number of impressive secular works, such as the Nibelungenlied , an epic poem telling the story of the dragon -slayer Siegfried c.

Also noteworthy is the Sachsenspiegel , the first book of laws written in Middle Low German c. The abundance and especially the secular character of the literature of the MHG period demonstrate the beginnings of a standardized written form of German, as well as the desire of poets and authors to be understood by individuals on supra-dialectal terms.

The Middle High German period is generally seen as ending with the decimation of the population of Europe in the Black Death of — While these states were still under the control of the Holy Roman Empire and far from any form of unification, the desire for a cohesive written language that would be understandable across the many German-speaking principalities and kingdoms was stronger than ever.

As a spoken language German remained highly fractured through this period with a vast number of often mutually-incomprehensible regional dialects being spoken throughout the German states; the invention of the printing press c.

One of the central events in the development of ENHG was the publication of Luther's translation of the Bible into German the New Testament in and the Old Testament , published in parts and completed in Copies of Luther's Bible featured a long list of glosses for each region that translated words which were unknown in the region into the regional dialect.

Concerning his translation method Luther says the following:. One who would talk German does not ask the Latin how he shall do it; he must ask the mother in the home, the children on the streets, the common man in the market-place and note carefully how they talk, then translate accordingly.

They will then understand what is said to them because it is German. When Christ says 'ex abundantia cordis os loquitur,' I would translate, if I followed the papists, aus dem Überflusz des Herzens redet der Mund.

But tell me is this talking German? What German understands such stuff? No, the mother in the home and the plain man would say, Wesz das Herz voll ist, des gehet der Mund über.

With Luther's rendering of the Bible in the vernacular German asserted itself against the dominance of Latin as a legitimate language for courtly, literary, and now ecclesiastical subject-matter.

Further, his Bible was ubiquitous in the German states with nearly every household possessing a copy. German was the language of commerce and government in the Habsburg Empire , which encompassed a large area of Central and Eastern Europe.

Until the midth century, it was essentially the language of townspeople throughout most of the Empire. Its use indicated that the speaker was a merchant or someone from an urban area, regardless of nationality.

Some cities, such as Prague German: Prag and Budapest Buda , German: Ofen , were gradually Germanized in the years after their incorporation into the Habsburg domain.

Others, such as Pozsony German: Pressburg , now Bratislava , were originally settled during the Habsburg period, and were primarily German at that time.

Prague, Budapest and Bratislava as well as cities like Zagreb German: Agram , and Ljubljana German: Laibach , contained significant German minorities.

In the eastern provinces of Banat and Transylvania German: The most comprehensive guide to the vocabulary of the German language is found within the Deutsches Wörterbuch.

This dictionary was created by the Brothers Grimm and is composed of 16 parts which were issued between and In , the 2nd Orthographical Conference ended with a complete standardization of the German language in its written form and the Duden Handbook was declared its standard definition.

In Northern Germany, Standard German was a foreign language to most inhabitants, whose native dialects were subsets of Low German.

It was usually encountered only in writing or formal speech; in fact, most of Standard German was a written language, not identical to any spoken dialect, throughout the German-speaking area until well into the 19th century.

Official revisions of some of the rules from were not issued until the controversial German orthography reform of was made the official standard by governments of all German-speaking countries.

Approximate distribution of native German speakers assuming a rounded total of 95 million worldwide. Due to the German diaspora as well as German being the second most widely spoken language in Europe and the third most widely taught foreign language in the US [11] and the EU in upper secondary education [38] amongst others, the geographical distribution of German speakers or "Germanophones" spans all inhabited continents.

As for the number of speakers of any language worldwide, an assessment is always compromised by the lack of sufficient, reliable data. In Europe, German is the second most widely spoken mother tongue after Russian and the second biggest language in terms of overall speakers after English.

The area in central Europe where the majority of the population speaks German as a first language and has German as a co- official language is called the " German Sprachraum ".

It comprises an estimated 88 million native speakers and 10 million who speak German as a second language e. Although expulsions and forced assimilation after the two World Wars greatly diminished them, minority communities of mostly bilingual German native speakers exist in areas both adjacent to and detached from the Sprachraum.

In France , the High German varieties of Alsatian and Moselle Franconian are identified as " regional languages ", but the European Charter for Regional and Minority Languages of has not yet been ratified by the government.

Namibia was a colony of the German Empire from to Mostly descending from German settlers who immigrated during this time, 25—30, people still speak German as a native tongue today.

Although it is nearly extinct today, some older Namibians still have some knowledge of it. German, along with English and Afrikaans was a co-official language of Namibia from until its independence from South Africa in At this point, the Namibian government perceived Afrikaans and German as symbols of apartheid and colonialism, and decided English would be the sole official language, claiming that it was a "neutral" language as there were virtually no English native speakers in Namibia at that time.

Hoffmann , radio the Namibian Broadcasting Corporation produces radio programs in German , and music e. The Allgemeine Zeitung is one of the three biggest newspapers in Namibia and the only German-language daily in Africa.

Mostly originating from different waves of immigration during the 19th and 20th centuries, an estimated 12, people speak German or a German variety as a first language in South Africa.

The South African constitution identifies German as a "commonly used" language and the Pan South African Language Board is obligated to promote and ensure respect for it.

In the United States, the states of North Dakota and South Dakota are the only states where German is the most common language spoken at home after English.

In Australia , the state of South Australia experienced a pronounced wave of immigration in the s from Prussia particularly the Silesia region.

With the prolonged isolation from other German speakers and contact with Australian English , a unique dialect known as Barossa German has developed and is spoken predominantly in the Barossa Valley near Adelaide.

Usage of German sharply declined with the advent of World War I , due to the prevailing anti-German sentiment in the population and related government action.

It continued to be used as a first language into the twentieth century but now its use is limited to a few older speakers. German migration to New Zealand in the 19th century was less pronounced than migration from Britain, Ireland, and perhaps even Scandinavia.

Despite this there were significant pockets of German-speaking communities which lasted until the first decades of the 20th century.

German-speakers settled principally in Puhoi , Nelson , and Gore. At the last census , 36, people in New Zealand spoke German, making it the third most spoken European language after English and French and overall the ninth most spoken language.

There is also an important German creole being studied and recovered, named Unserdeutsch , spoken in the former German colony of German New Guinea , across Micronesia and in northern Australia i.

The risk of its extinction is serious and efforts to revive interest in the language are being implemented by scholars. Like French and Spanish , German has become a classic second foreign language in the western world, as English Spanish in the US is well established as the first foreign language.

Standard German originated not as a traditional dialect of a specific region but as a written language. However, there are places where the traditional regional dialects have been replaced by new vernaculars based on standard German; that is the case in large stretches of Northern Germany but also in major cities in other parts of the country.

It is important to note, however, that the colloquial standard German differs greatly from the formal written language, especially in grammar and syntax, in which it has been influenced by dialectal speech.

Standard German differs regionally between German-speaking countries in vocabulary and some instances of pronunciation and even grammar and orthography.

This variation must not be confused with the variation of local dialects. Even though the regional varieties of standard German are only somewhat influenced by the local dialects, they are very distinct.

German is thus considered a pluricentric language. In most regions, the speakers use a continuum from more dialectal varieties to more standard varieties according to circumstances.

In German linguistics , German dialects are distinguished from varieties of standard German. The varieties of standard German refer to the different local varieties of the pluricentric standard German.

They differ only slightly in lexicon and phonology. In certain regions, they have replaced the traditional German dialects, especially in Northern Germany.

Swiss Standard German is used in the Swiss education system, whereas Austrian Standard German is officially used in the Austrian education system.

A mixture of dialect and standard does not normally occur in Northern Germany either. Because their linguistic distance to it is greater, they do not mesh with Standard German the way that High German dialects such as Bavarian, Swabian, Hessian can.

German is a member of the West Germanic language of the Germanic family of languages , which in turn is part of the Indo-European language family.

The German dialects are the traditional local varieties; many of them are hardly understandable to someone who knows only standard German, and they have great differences in lexicon , phonology and syntax.

If a narrow definition of language based on mutual intelligibility is used, many German dialects are considered to be separate languages for instance in the Ethnologue.

However, such a point of view is unusual in German linguistics. The variation among the German dialects is considerable, with often only neighbouring dialects being mutually intelligible.

Some dialects are not intelligible to people who know only Standard German. Middle Low German was the lingua franca of the Hanseatic League.

It was the predominant language in Northern Germany until the 16th century. In , the Luther Bible was published.

The translation is considered to be an important step towards the evolution of the Early New High German. It aimed to be understandable to a broad audience and was based mainly on Central and Upper German varieties.

The Early New High German language gained more prestige than Low German and became the language of science and literature. Around the same time, the Hanseatic League, based around northern ports, lost its importance as new trade routes to Asia and the Americas were established, and the most powerful German states of that period were located in Middle and Southern Germany.

The 18th and 19th centuries were marked by mass education in Standard German in schools. Gradually, Low German came to be politically viewed as a mere dialect spoken by the uneducated.

Today, Low Saxon can be divided in two groups: Low Saxon varieties with a reasonable Standard German influx [ clarification needed ] and varieties of Standard German with a Low Saxon influence known as Missingsch.

Sometimes, Low Saxon and Low Franconian varieties are grouped together because both are unaffected by the High German consonant shift. However, the proportion of the population who can understand and speak it has decreased continuously since World War II.

The largest cities in the Low German area are Hamburg and Dortmund. The Low Franconian dialects are the dialects that are more closely related to Dutch than to Low German.

Most of the Low Franconian dialects are spoken in the Netherlands and in Belgium , where they are considered as dialects of Dutch, which is itself a Low Franconian language.

These dialects are more closely related to Dutch also North Low Franconian than the South Low Franconian dialects also referred to as East Limburgish and, east of the Rhine , Bergish , which are spoken in the south of the German Low Franconian language area.

The High German varieties spoken by the Ashkenazi Jews have several unique features, and are considered as a separate language, Yiddish , written with the Hebrew alphabet.

Modern Standard German is mostly based on Central German dialects. These dialects are considered as. Luxembourgish as well as the Transylvanian Saxon dialect spoken in Transylvania are based on Moselle Franconian dialects.

They consist of the East- and South Franconian dialects. The East Franconian dialect branch is one of the most spoken dialect branches in Germany.

These dialects are spoken in the region of Franconia and in the central parts of Saxon Vogtland. The largest cities in the East Franconian area are Nuremberg and Würzburg.

South Franconian is mainly spoken in northern Baden-Württemberg in Germany, but also in the northeasternmost part of the region of Alsace in France.

While these dialects are considered as dialects of German in Baden-Württemberg, they are considered as dialects of Alsatian in Alsace most Alsatian dialects are however Low Alemannic.

The largest cities in the South Franconian area are Karlsruhe and Heilbronn. The Upper German dialects are the Alemannic dialects in the west, and the Bavarian dialects in the east.

The Alemannic dialects are considered as Alsatian in Alsace. The largest cities in the Alemannic area are Stuttgart and Zürich.

The largest cities in the Bavarian area are Vienna and Munich. German is a fusional language with a moderate degree of inflection , with three grammatical genders ; as such, there can be a large number of words derived from the same root.

German nouns inflect by case, gender and number:. This degree of inflection is considerably less than in Old High German and other old Indo-European languages such as Latin , Ancient Greek and Sanskrit , and it is also somewhat less than, for instance, Old English , modern Icelandic or Russian.

The three genders have collapsed in the plural. In nouns, inflection for case is required in the singular for strong masculine and neuter nouns only in the genitive only in archaic use in the dative , and even this is losing ground to substitutes in informal speech.

Weak masculine nouns share a common case ending for genitive, dative and accusative in the singular. Feminine nouns are not declined in the singular.

The plural has an inflection for the dative. In total, seven inflectional endings not counting plural markers exist in German: In German orthography, nouns and most words with the syntactical function of nouns are capitalised to make it easier for readers to determine the function of a word within a sentence Am Freitag ging ich einkaufen.

Like the other Germanic languages, German forms noun compounds in which the first noun modifies the category given by the second,: Hundehütte "dog hut"; specifically: Unlike English, whose newer compounds or combinations of longer nouns are often written in "open" with separating spaces, German like some other Germanic languages nearly always uses the "closed" form without spaces, for example: Like English, German allows arbitrarily long compounds in theory see also English compounds.

The longest German word verified to be actually in albeit very limited use is Rindfleischetikettierungsüberwachungsaufgabenübertragungsgesetz , which, literally translated, is "beef labelling supervision duty assignment law" [from Rind cattle , Fleisch meat , Etikettierung s labelling , Überwachung s supervision , Aufgaben duties , Übertragung s assignment , Gesetz law ].

However, examples like this are perceived by native speakers as excessively bureaucratic, stylistically awkward or even satirical.

The meaning of basic verbs can be expanded and sometimes radically changed through the use of a number of prefixes. Other prefixes have only the vaguest meaning in themselves; ver- is found in a number of verbs with a large variety of meanings, as in ver suchen to try from suchen to seek , ver nehmen to interrogate from nehmen to take , ver teilen to distribute from teilen to share , ver stehen to understand from stehen to stand.

Other examples include the following: Many German verbs have a separable prefix, often with an adverbial function. In finite verb forms, it is split off and moved to the end of the clause and is hence considered by some to be a "resultative particle".

For example, mitgehen , meaning "to go along", would be split, giving Gehen Sie mit? German word order is generally with the V2 word order restriction and also with the SOV word order restriction for main clauses.

For polar questions, exclamations and wishes, the finite verb always has the first position. In subordinate clauses, the verb occurs at the very end.

German requires for a verbal element main verb or auxiliary verb to appear second in the sentence. The verb is preceded by the topic of the sentence.

The element in focus appears at the end of the sentence. For a sentence without an auxiliary, these are some possibilities:. The position of a noun in a German sentence has no bearing on its being a subject, an object or another argument.

In a declarative sentence in English, if the subject does not occur before the predicate, the sentence could well be misunderstood.

The flexible word order also allows one to use language "tools" such as poetic meter and figures of speech more freely.

When an auxiliary verb is present, it appears in second position, and the main verb appears at the end. This occurs notably in the creation of the perfect tense.

Many word orders are still possible:. The main verb may appear in first position to put stress on the action itself. The auxiliary verb is still in second position.

Sentences using modal verbs place the infinitive at the end. For example, the English sentence "Should he go home? Thus, in sentences with several subordinate or relative clauses, the infinitives are clustered at the end.

Compare the similar clustering of prepositions in the following highly contrived English sentence: German subordinate clauses have all verbs clustered at the end.

Given that auxiliaries encode future , passive , modality , and the perfect , very long chains of verbs at the end of the sentence can occur.

In these constructions, the past participle in ge- is often replaced by the infinitive. Most German vocabulary is derived from the Germanic branch of the European language family.

Latin words were already imported into the predecessor of the German language during the Roman Empire and underwent all the characteristic phonetic changes in German.

Their origin is thus no longer recognizable for most speakers e. Borrowing from Latin continued after the fall of the Roman Empire during Christianization, mediated by the church and monasteries.

Another important influx of Latin words can be observed during Renaissance humanism. In a scholarly context, the borrowings from Latin have continued until today, in the last few decades often indirectly through borrowings from English.

During the 15th to 17th centuries, the influence of Italian was great, leading to many Italian loanwords in the fields of architecture, finance, and music.

The influence of the French language in the 17th to 19th centuries resulted in an even greater import of French words. The English influence was already present in the 19th century, but it did not become dominant until the second half of the 20th century.

At the same time, the effectiveness of the German language in forming equivalents for foreign words from its inherited Germanic stem repertory is great.

The tradition of loan translation was revitalized in the 18th century, with linguists like Joachim Heinrich Campe , who introduced close to words that are still used in modern German.

Even today, there are movements that try to promote the Ersatz substitution of foreign words deemed unnecessary with German alternatives.

As in English, there are many pairs of synonyms due to the enrichment of the Germanic vocabulary with loanwords from Latin and Latinized Greek.

These words often have different connotations from their Germanic counterparts and are usually perceived as more scholarly. The size of the vocabulary of German is difficult to estimate.

The modern German scientific vocabulary is estimated at nine million words and word groups based on the analysis of 35 million sentences of a corpus in Leipzig, which as of July included million words in total.

The Duden is the de facto official dictionary of the German language, first published by Konrad Duden in The Duden is updated regularly, with new editions appearing every four or five years.

As of August [update] , it is in its 27th edition and in 12 volumes, each covering different aspects such as loanwords , etymology , pronunciation , synonyms , and so forth.

The first of these volumes, Die deutsche Rechtschreibung German Orthography , has long been the prescriptive source for the spelling of German.

The Duden has become the bible of the German language, being the definitive set of rules regarding grammar, spelling and usage of German.

Bundesministerium für Unterricht, Kunst und Kultur. It is the Austrian counterpart to the German Duden and contains a number of terms unique to Austrian German or more frequently used or differently pronounced there.

The most recent edition is the 42nd from Since the 39th edition from the orthography of the ÖWB was adjusted to the German spelling reform of The dictionary is also officially used in the Italian province of South Tyrol.

This is a selection of cognates in both English and German. Instead of the usual infinitive ending -en German verbs are indicated by a hyphen "-" after their stems.

Words that are written with capital letters in German are nouns. German is written in the Latin alphabet. In addition to the 26 standard letters, German has three vowels with Umlaut , namely ä , ö and ü , as well as the eszett or scharfes s sharp s: The longest German word that has been published is Donaudampfschiffahrtselektrizitätenhauptbetriebswerkbauunterbeamtengesellschaft made of 79 characters.

Because legibility and convenience set certain boundaries, compounds consisting of more than three or four nouns are almost exclusively found in humorous contexts.

In contrast, although English can also string nouns together, it usually separates the nouns with spaces. For example, "toilet bowl cleaner".

Umlaut vowels ä, ö, ü are commonly transcribed with ae, oe, and ue if the umlauts are not available on the keyboard or other medium used.

Some operating systems use key sequences to extend the set of possible characters to include, amongst other things, umlauts; in Microsoft Windows this is done using Alt codes.

German readers understand these transcriptions although they appear unusual , but they are avoided if the regular umlauts are available because they are a makeshift, not proper spelling.

In Westphalia and Schleswig-Holstein, city and family names exist where the extra e has a vowel lengthening effect, e. There is no general agreement on where letters with umlauts occur in the sorting sequence.

Telephone directories treat them by replacing them with the base vowel followed by an e. Each sister has individual magical powers , which is noticeably stronger when they are combined as the "Power of Three".

The sisters use their powers to protect innocent lives and vanquish demons and warlocks , often invoking their joint "Power of Three" to defeat their enemies.

However, following Prue's death in the third season finale , their long-lost younger half sister Paige Matthews Rose McGowan takes Prue's place within the "Power of Three" from the fourth season until the eighth and final season.

In the original Charmed series — , the "Power of Three" is represented by the triquetra symbol , which is placed on the cover of the Halliwell sisters' book of witchcraft, the Book of Shadows.

The "Power of Three" refers to the bond and connection between the three Halliwell sisters, which is noticeably stronger when their individual powers are combined.

The most well-known "Power of Three" spell was used in the pilot episode, when the sisters are heard chanting, "the power of three will set us free," to vanquish a warlock and protect themselves against fire.

This has been explored in several episodes throughout the series, mostly notably the season three episode "Power Outage", when the sisters lose their powers after using them against each other during an argument, only regaining them once they reconcile.

The Halliwell sisters are also known as The Charmed Ones, said to be the most powerful witches ever known.

In addition to their combined "Power of Three", each sister has individual powers; the eldest Prue initially receives the ability to move objects with her mind by channeling telekinesis through her eyes, middle sister Piper initially receives the power to "freeze" people and objects in time, and the youngest Phoebe initially has the power of premonition , enabling her to see into the future and the past.

Prue eventually channels her telekinesis through her hands and gains the power of astral projection in season two , while in season three, Piper gains the ability to cause objects or evil beings to spontaneously explode, and Phoebe gains the power to levitate.

Paige was given up at birth to protect her from the wrath of The Elders if they were to discover her Whitelighter heritage.

Paige's magical abilities represent her dual heritage as both a witch and whitelighter; like Prue, she possesses a form of telekinesis, but she has to verbally call for objects to orb "teleport" them to their intended destination.

The "Power of Three" has also been seen in other forms throughout the series. For example, in the season one episode "That 70s Episode", Patty casts a spell with young Prue and Piper as she is pregnant with Phoebe at the time.

Any three people possessing each of the Charmed Ones' powers through their blood or casting the "To Call a Witch's Powers" spell can form their own "Power of Three", provided they can stop the original users from channeling it in the first place.

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