#13 German

German is a West Germanic language that is mainly spoken in Central Europe. Spoken by 76.8 million people, the language can be found in 27 countries.

Today Translates writes on the roots of modern German:

German departed from the Germanic branch of the Indo-European language (which includes English, Dutch, Scandinavian and the now extinct Gothic) by a shift in sounds called the Second Germanic Sound Shift. Its effect can still be seen by comparing modern German words with their English cognates: pound>Pfund; pipe>Pfeife; hope>hoffen; apple>Apfel, etc.

The Second Sound Shift divides Germany into a smaller Northern part (without the sound shift) and a larger central and Southern part (with the sound shift). Since the part of Germany where there was no Second Sound Shift are the North German Lowlands, their language is called Low German as distinct from High German.

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