Why is German not a global language

German in the world

Some examples:

  • In the USA, a country of immigration, more than 45 million people use “German” when they are asked to name their origin. German is the mother tongue of around 1.4 million of them.
  • 800,000 people with German roots live in Russia, some of whom still speak German. In the 18th century, their ancestors accepted an invitation from the Russian Tsarina Catherine the Great, who came from Germany.
  • 20,000 German Namibians live in Namibia in south-west Africa who speak German as their mother tongue. They are descendants of German colonists (the German South West Africa colony existed from 1884 to 1915).
  • The Transylvanian Saxons settled in Romania in the 12th century and the Banat Swabians from the 17th to 19th centuries. In 2011, 36,000 Romanian Germans lived in the country.

One of them is the 35-year-old journalist Raluca Nelepcu:
“I was born in the Banat, a multicultural region in western Romania, where Germans, Hungarians, Serbs, Croats, Bulgarians, Romanians and many other ethnic groups live together peacefully. My paternal grandmother was a Banat Swabian. She raised me and practically put the German language in my cradle. That should shape my professional career. Today I am writing articles in German for the Allgemeine Deutsche Zeitung für Romania (General German Newspaper for Romania) and creating radio reports for the German language broadcast on Radio Timisoara. A lot of German is also spoken in my family and among friends. I would like to pass the German language on to my son so that he too can benefit from bilingualism for a lifetime. "


On the International Mother Language Day, deutschland.de is organizing a competition. From February 17 to 28, 2020 you can register here and win a handy digital translation device and attractive German learning packages!