How many German-speaking countries are there in the world?

In a world where languages serve as bridges between cultures, one language has impressively found its place in global communication: German. You'll find that German has found its way not only in Europe, but also on other continents - whether in the charming cafés of Vienna or the modern innovation centers of Germany. But let's dive even deeper. The spread of the German language is not limited to national borders or familiar places. It forms a network of opportunities, discoveries and connections that captivates all who engage with it. Let's explore together in which countries German is spoken as an official language or where German-speaking communities can be found around the world. Let's go!

Where is the German language spoken?

We have looked around the world to find out in which countries the German language is spoken. Besides the obvious candidates Germany, Austria and Switzerland, there are so many other countries where German is spoken.

A distinction should be made between countries where German is spoken as a native language, or as an official language, and countries where only a large number of Germans have settled. Let's take a look at the countries where German is spoken as an official language.

German language as an official language

In these countries, German is spoken as the official language


The German language is the main language in Germany. What is interesting is that there are many dialects of the German language in Germany. They differ only slightly from Standard German, as taught, for example, by the Goethe Institute or our language schools in Frankfurt and Munich. According to surveys, the purest standard German is spoken in the city of Hanover.


When it comes to languages, Switzerland is something special. In addition to German, there are several official languages ​​in Switzerland. In addition to Standard German, Switzerland has a deviation from the German language, the so-called Swiss German. This migration away from the German language is very different from standard German and is very difficult to understand, even by native German speakers.


German is used in Liechtenstein in all official matters, administration, education and daily life. It is important to note that Liechtenstein is geographically and culturally closely linked to the German-speaking region, as it lies between Switzerland and Austria.


German is the official language in Austria. The German language in Austria has some peculiarities that distinguish it from other German-speaking regions. This is particularly noticeable in the Austrian pronunciation and some words typical of the country. If you have already heard of Bavarian German, the transition to German in Austria will be easier for you.


In parts of Belgium, especially in the east of Belgium, the German language is spoken as the official language. The German language is recognized there as an administrative language, in educational institutions and in jurisprudence. In addition to German, French and Flemish, a language similar to Dutch, are also recognized as official languages.


In Luxembourg, German is one of the three official languages, along with Luxembourgish and French. Together with Luxembourgish, the German language is used as an official language for administrative, legal and school areas. German is also used in the media and in the world of work.

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The German language as an unofficial language

Due to historical reasons, German is also spoken as an unofficial and regional language in many countries around the world. German-speaking communities can be found in a wide variety of countries on all continents of our world. We will take a closer look at these German-speaking countries below.


In Alsace and Lorraine, German is spoken as a regional language, although French is the predominant language


In some rural areas of Santa Catarina and Rio Grande do Sul, German is spoken by descendants of German immigrants.


German immigrants have contributed to German being spoken in some parts of Argentina, particularly in the Entre Ríos province.


South Tyrol, in the north of Italy, is an autonomous province. In addition to Italian, German is also spoken there.


German-speaking communities have settled in some regions of Canada, such as parts of Manitoba and Ontario.


There are German-speaking communities in some rural areas of Australia, such as parts of Queensland and South Australia.


German was once a colonial language in Namibia, and there are still some German-speaking communities in this country.


There are also German-speaking communities in the United States, particularly in states such as North Dakota and Texas.

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Where is German still spoken?

Country Number of German speakers
Netherlands 400000
Kazakhstan 358000
Israel 200000
Ireland 100000
Spain 100000
Mexico 80000
Australia 77500
Great Britain 77000
Sweden 50000
Greece 45000
Romania 45000
Thailand 25000
Türkiye 25000
Chile 20000
Dominican Republic 20000
Kyrgyzstan 20000
Namibia 20000
Serbia 5000
Ukraine 3800
Croatia 3000
Latvia 3000
Lithuania 3000
Estonia 2000
Slovenia 1600
Papua New Guinea 100

German language is trendy

Along with Spanish and French, the German language is one of the most trendy languages ​​in the world. Many people who are interested in learning a new language choose German as their target language. The reason for this trend is varied and every German learner has their own background. Below we will show you the reasons why German is currently a trendy language.

The economic power of Germany

Germany is one of the leading economic countries in the world. International companies choose Germany as their headquarters and operate there throughout the world. In addition, many international companies have business relationships with German companies. For this reason, learning the German language is a very good way to increase your professional opportunities and thus develop a unique selling point.

Study in Germany

One of the most popular destinations for international students is Germany. Many universities in Germany offer first-class education. The many different training opportunities also make Germany a very attractive destination for many young people in Europe and outside Europe. Learning the German language makes studying or training in Germany much easier.

International organizations

Along with French, the German language is one of the languages ​​of many international organizations such as the European Union and the United Nations. If you are aiming for an international career, learning the German language will improve your chances of a successful career.

Culture and travel destination

Last but not least, Germany is an extremely popular travel destination. 'Germany offers travelers a rich history, culture and beautiful landscapes as well as exciting cities. The banking metropolis of Frankfurt and the Bavarian capital Munich are particularly popular. Not to be forgotten are Berlin, steeped in history, as well as Hamburg and Cologne with their impressive cathedrals. That's why many people learn German for traveling.

The German language is widespread

As we have already found out, the German language is spoken as an official language in many countries and in some regions outside of these countries there are still isolated German-speaking communities. In total, around 130 million people worldwide speak German as their native language. This makes German the most widely spoken native language in the European Union. But German is also learned as a foreign language. A further 15.4 million people are learning German as a foreign language. German learners come primarily from Europe, Africa and Asia.