German is one of the most popular languages in international communication. It is not only recognized as an official language in countries such as Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, and Luxembourg. Still, it is also spoken by the inhabitants of some regions in Italy, Belgium, and France. German is also widely used in various science, technology, business, and culture areas.

Fun Facts about the German Language

German, like French and Spanish, also occupies a special place in linguistic society. German is one of the ten most popular languages in the world and represents a real linguistic challenge. Let’s find out why. In this section, we look at the most important features and grammatical subtleties of German that make it extremely fascinating on the one hand but difficult to learn on the other.

Additional unique letters in the alphabet

The first special feature is the extra letters in the alphabet, the umlauts. Of the 26 letters in the German alphabet, ä, ö, ü and ß stand out. These letters represent special sounds that do not exist in other languages. For example, the letter ä is pronounced as [æ], ö as [œ], ü as [y] and ß as [s] or [z].

Complex and long or short words

The second surprising feature of the German language is its complex and sometimes excessively long words. There is even a record holder for the longest word in the Germanic language family, listed in the Guinness Book of Records.

Long compound words are created by combining word roots varying the prefixes and suffixes without changing the basic meaning. For example, the word “Buchhandlung” is made up of the roots “Buch” and “Handel” without its meaning changing as a result of the combination.

On the other hand, there are also very short words that consist of only one or two syllables, such as “ich”, “du”, “das”.

Overall, long and short words are characteristic features of the German language.

The presence of the middle gender in the language

In German, the case (Fall) and gender (Geschlecht) of a noun play an important role in the grammatical structure of a sentence.

There are three grammatical genders: Maskulinum (male), Femininum (female) and neuter (neuter). These genders are used not only to indicate gender but also to coordinate the syntax of words in a sentence. A grammatical peculiarity of German is that the gender of a noun does not always correspond to its natural gender. For example, “das Mädchen” (the girl) is neutral, while “der Mann” (the man) is masculine.


The fourth feature is the special syntax. The verb always comes second in a sentence, distinguishing German syntax from many other languages.

Similar sounding words

There are many words in German that sound similar but have different meanings and spellings. For example, words such as Mahl-Mal, Stadt, and Staat sound similar but have different meanings.


This describes the influence of English on German. Many English words integrated into German pronunciation make communication in this language more familiar for those who already speak English.

Figures of speech
The language is rich in collocations, i.e., stable expressions with a symbolic meaning. For example:
  • Jemanden über den Tisch ziehen (cheat someone);
  • Jemanden ins kalte Wasser werfen (put someone in a difficult situation unprepared);
  • Jemanden auf die Palme bringen (to upset someone very much).
These features of the German language add color and emotion to the conversation.

How to learn German fast

Learning German can be a challenge, but it is entirely possible. To effectively learn and understand all the grammatical features of the German language, we recommend turning to experienced teachers. At our institute, the IISC, you can take German courses for all language levels from A1 to C1. Immerse yourself in the fascinating world of Germanic linguistics and discover new horizons in communication!
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