The history of German can tell us how the language became what it is today. It is an interesting language to look at, filled with dialects and regional differences. Historians have found that the language went through several stages, spanning different countries. It is said to have changed the consonants for German dialects like Standard German, Yiddish, and Luxembourgish. If you’ve ever wondered why so many English words sound related to German, it’s because of this shift of consonants. This is a great language to learn. So now, let’s look into more of its history.
Development of German as a Standard Langauge
West Germanic starts in the Early Middle Ages. At this time, the language started as what is known as the High German consonant shift. This took place in the southern parts of German. The changes that occurred to the language happened over several centuries. Geography played a big part. With new land being conquered, and people moving north, the language followed and went through some changes. The consonant sounds shifted and those changes are now part of the modern standard language. Shockingly, this was later developed, growing popular in the 19th and 20th centuries.
Notably, the language was the language of business and government. During the Habsburg Empire, speaking the language usually meant that you were a merchant. Just because you spoke German, it didn’t mean you were from Germany. Its range was larger than that. Because of all the business, a few cities became “Germanized”. This includes Milan, Budapest, and Prague.
Now, it is one of the top languages spoken in the world. Hence, it is widely studied as a “foreign language” in much of the Western world. From high schools to colleges, the language can be found in a class schedule for students to learn. With many English words borrowed from the language, it’s a good one to use that might even be easier for most. So, start learning today!