About GermanEdit

The German language is spoken in many countries including Germany, Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Lichtenstein, Luxembourg, Mozambique, Namibia, Paraguay, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Switzerland, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, the United States, Uruguay, and Uzbekistan. In Germany, 75,300,000 people speak the German language, and 90,294,110 people totalled from all of the German speaking countries speak German. In addition, when comparing the standard High German dictionary with the English and the French dictionary, sixty percent of the German dictionary is similar to the English dictionary, while twenty-nine percent of the German dictionary is similar to the French dictionary. [1]

How German words made their way into EnglishEdit

The English language is a West Germanic language. English originated from the Anglo-Frisian dialects that Germanic invaders brought to Britain when they conquered and colonized Britain in the 8th and 9th centuries. Through this, English became a borrowing language, using many loanwords from German. [2] In addition, many words from German come into English through Yiddish, which is a High German language written in Hebrew characters and spoken by Jews and descendants of Jews. [3] Also, in the early 1700s about 13,500 Germans migrated to America. By 1776, about a third of Pennsylvania's population consisted of German immigrants. [4] German also influenced English greatly through the Pennsylvania German language, or the Pennsylvania Dutch. Pennsylvania Dutch is a varient of West Central German spoken by over 250,000 people in North America. It was spread throughout the United States states of Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, and North Carolina through the immigrants from Germany, France, and Switzerland to the United States in the late 17th century and the early 18th century. The word Dutch in Pennsylvania Dutch is a corruption of the German word for German, Deutsch. Today, the Pennsylvania German language is spoken in Ontario, Canada, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Indiana. [5]

Some English words borrowed from GermanEdit







Wiener Schnitzel

Hamburger: The word Hamburger, a cooked ground-beef patty sandwich, of Hamburg was taken from the German word for the hamburger patty Hamburger. The hamburger patty was brought to America by German immigrants.

Gummi Bear




Blitz, Blitzkrieg

Kindergarten: The German word Kindergarten, is the equivalent of an English preschool. The English version of Kindergarten would be a Vorschule in Germany. The word kindergarten can be broken down into Kinder meaning children and Garten meaning garden.

Heimlich Maneuver: The German word heimlich meaning familiar, confidential, secret, was named for Henry Jay Heimlich, an American surgeon, who coined the phrase which means a firm embrace with clasped hands just below the rib cage from behind to force an object from the trachea of a choking person/[6]

Volkswagen: The word Volkswagen in German means the people’s car, and is a German automobile manufacturer. The word Volkswagen can be broken into Volk meaning people or folk, and Wagen meaning that which moves, or vehicle. [7]

Common PhrasesEdit

Kaputt: The German word Kaputt means broken, and in English is used to describe something destroyed or outmoded.

Schadenfreude: The word Schadenfreude in German means joy of harm, and is translated into the malicious pleasure one feels at someone else’s misfortune. This word is commonly used in the English language, including in an episode of the popular television show The Simpsons. [8]

Gesundheit: The German word Gesundheit, which means healthiness, is used as an exclamation in English to wish someone good health after they have sneezed.

Types of dogsEdit

  • Scnnauzer
  • Dachshund
  • Doberman
  • Poodle
  • Pincher
  • German Shepherd
  • Rottweiler [9]




Etymological processes

        Word creation

                Eponyms · Toponyms · Onomatopoeia · Reduplication · Blend · Back-formation

        Word evolution

                Phonological: Assimilation · Dissimilation · Metathesis

                Morphological: Folk etymology

                Semantic: Semantic widening · Semantic narrowing · Elevation · Degeneration · Metaphorical extension

Languages which have influenced English

        Latin · Greek · French · German · Spanish · Arabic · Old Norse · Proto-Indo-European

Special topics

        Shakespeare's impact on English · Origin and evolution of the alphabet