Language spoken in Germany, Austria, and part of Switzerland as well as Liechtenstein, Südtirol in Italy, a small part of Belgium and - still! - Siebenbuergen (Transylvania/ Erdély/ Ardeal) and some parts of Hungary and Yugoslavia. It is also one of the official languages of Luxembourg. Belongs to the western group of Germanic languages. There are a variety of spoken dialects:
- Middle German
- Austro Bavarian--see Austria/Language
- including ancient Southern Bavarian still spoken in the "Sieben Gemeinden" (Sette Comuni) and "13 Gemeinden" (13 Comuni) in Italy, near Asiago and Verona respectively
- Swiss German
- High Franconian
However, Low German is much closer to Dutch, and it is only seen as a German dialect due to the fact that it is spoken in a part of Germany. Characteristic of German is that /k/, /p/ and /t/ in some positions developed to /x/, /f/ and /ts/. In English as well as Dutch and Low German, the old /k/ /p/ /t/ are still there, cf. English make, Dutch maken, German machen etc.
Does this page do any justice whatsoever to this very fine language? No, it's just here so that Austrian and Luxembourgain have homes. It's sad, really, but it won't be this way forever. And there is a German version of wikipedia starting up, yes, at http://de.wikipedia.com!