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18 German Speaking Countries Around the World

Are you keen to know how many people speak German? What about the countries speak German as a first language? Aside from Germany, there are also plenty of other countries that speak German as well. Furthermore, around 130 million people use German as their first language throughout the world.

The German language is fascinating, and for many countries that speak it, learning and speaking the language is easy and enjoyable. You may benefit from this while traveling in countries where German is a native tongue.

German is spoken as a native language by citizens of Austria, Belgium, and Luxembourg, among other countries. However, there is more to it than that. If you want to learn German or want to understand more about countries that have an official national language in German, have a look at this list of 18 German-speaking nations to discover even more.

German-Speaking Countries in Europe

1. Germany 

Platz der Republik, Berlin, Germany

Germany has the most significant number of German speakers of any country in the world. German is the country’s official language, and it is spoken as the native tongue and first language by more than 95 percent of the population. The remaining percent is allocated to Sorbian, which is the country’s second language.

In addition to its historical events, castles, and tourist attractions in Germany, you travel around the country, and a large number of German-speaking residents greet you. Still, there are quite a few dialects spoken in the country as well. Best

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2. Austria

Salzburg Cityscape

Outside Germany, Austria is the most widely known country that features German as its official national language-speaking country.

Austrians speak German as their official language and are the most widely known out of Central and Western Europe besides Germany, itself.

Its sole official language is Standard Austrian German. It is spoken by about 98% of the Austrian population, about 8 million people. Like in Germany, various regional dialects have some differences, but it is still in German.

The southern province of Carinthia in Austria uses Slovene as its official language, but you’ll hear some speaking in German too. The German language is the sole official language of this country.

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3. Switzerland

Swiss Alps Scenery

Among one the main German-speaking countries in Europe is Switzerland. The nation is recognized as the main player in the predominantly German-speaking parts of Europe. On its territory, there are about 5.3 million native German speakers, who make up 64% of Switzerland’s population.

Switzerland is a peculiar but scenic country that uses four official languages. These are German, French, Italian, and Romansh. Even though the country has four languages, German is considered a second language.

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4. Belgium

Grand Place Architecture in Belgium

You will likely hear German spoken by the locals in the country of Belgium when touring the country, in addition to the country’s other two official languages.

It is a mix of Dutch and French. If you are traveling in this beautiful nation and know how to converse in German, you will find it quite easy to communicate with the people you meet. Over 2.4 million people in Belgium speak a second language, accounting for approximately 22 percent of the population.

You’ll likely hear a mix of German words alongside a mix of Dutch and French. This is a country where it is not unusual for people to speak a half dozen languages. Belgium is home to very sophisticated language speakers.

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5. Luxembourg

Luxembourg flag

The European Union is filled with countries that speak German and Luxembourg is among the nation to add to the list. Alongside the languages of Luxembourgish and French, the country also speaks German.

Luxembourg is a relatively small fascinating country, and only 11,00 of its population speaks German. It is about only 2% of locals speak German natively.

But the number of those who speak German as a second language is about 67.5% of the country’s population, a total of 380,000.

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6. Liechtenstein

Small Village in Liechtenstein

The tiny picturesque country of Liechtenstein’s official language is German. Liechtenstein is nestled between Switzerland and Austria, a German-speaking country. 86% of the country’s population, about 32,000 people, natively speaks German while the remaining 14% speak German as their second language.

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Other European Countries that recognized the German language

7. Italy

Bridge Rialto in Grand Canal

The charming province of South Tyrol in Northern Italy is among the places in Europe that recognize German as an official language. The province is bordered by Austria, a country that speaks German that links South Tyrol to speak the language too.

Seventy percent of the region’s population, about 350,00, were German native speakers.  Italy is a European Union country that has some of the population speaking German, particularly in the Northern region of Italy.

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8. France

Eiffle Tower and France Flag

This lovely nation isn’t recognized as an official German-speaking country by Germany, but a small number of people in France speak German. The dialect of Alsatian is spoken in the Alsace region. It’s Alemannic German from Alsace, which is spoken by 1.2% of the population in France and 750,000 people in this region.

The southeastern part of France is home to a number of German speakers. Many Alsatian and Lorraine Franconian dialects are spoken in the regions. About 1% of the population speaks it as their second language. This is a recognized minority language.

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9. Czech Republic

Prague, Czech Republic

The scenic landlocked country nation in Central Europe is among the countries that recognize German and use the German language in some parts of its region. The Czech Republic borders the state of Germany and other German-speaking countries which links to why there is a number of the country’s population speak German.

About 64% Czech population speaks Czech, and about 0.2% speak German so it’s obviously a minority language. But that doesn’t mean that people don’t know German. Relatively a small population, but this shows that the German language is still recognized in the country.

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10. Hungary

Parliament Building in Budapest, Hungary

Hungary is a beautiful country in Central Europe with a German-speaking population. The German language is spoken in Hungary by the German ethnic groups who have inhabited the area for many centuries.

Because the country was once a part of the former Kingdom of Hungary, it contains German ethnic groups who speak German, or where the German language is still spoken in some parts of the country.

In the country, there are approximately 130,000 German speakers who speak fluently. Aside from English, modern German is among the most significant and often learned commonly spoken languages in Hungary.

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11. Denmark

Colorful Houses in Copenhagen, Denmark

Denmark is a Scandinavian country in Europe known for its breathtaking sceneries and the famed statue of the Little Mermaid, as well as an amusement park on its soil. The nation is also a member of those that acknowledge German as a first language and members of those that have people who speak German as their native language.

The Nord-Schleswig region of Denmark speaks German as its primary language, in addition to Danish, which is the country’s official language.

The territory of Nord-Schleswig made use of the German language as its official regional tongue. As a result of Germany’s proximity to Nord-Schleswig, it is not surprising that the language is spoken fluently by 12% to 14% of the population.

German is spoken by roughly 23,000 people throughout the area, including Danish, English, Swedish, and Greenlandic Inuktitut. There is also a population of Germans in southern Denmark or South Jutland County who speak German.

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12. Poland

Motlawa River, Poland Sunset Scenery

In the historical region of Silesia in Poland, there are minorities that speak German. The region is bordered by parts of the Czech Republic and Germany that drive and influence the locals with the German language.

Silesia s also filled with Polish and German elements throughout its land. The German-spoken language in the region is called the Silesian. It is a dialect German dialect spoken in Silesia, especially in the Opole Voivodship.

As you travel through the historically significant and fascinating region of Silesia, you will not only hear locals talk in German, but you will also find multilingual signage posted across the region.

German is also taught in schools, including bilingual schools that use German as a second language. The language has been profoundly ingrained in the terrain of the region.

If you know how to communicate in German, getting around and engaging with the locals will be much easier because there will be no language barrier to overcome. If you are planning a trip to Poland, such convenience will provide you with an outstanding and hassle-free travel experience.

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13. Russia

St. Basil's Cathedral Architecture

 Wondering what countries speak German? Russia is among these countries. You might find it bizarre or uncommon, but Russia has minorities that speak native German. There are a huge number of Germans in the country that does not speak Russian.

Ethic Germans also reside in eth country for years that share and influence the other population to speak in German. There is also the use of languages that is mixed of German and Russian. It is the macaronic language sometimes known as Deutschrussisch or also referred to as the Qualia.

German is one of the ten most spoken languages in the world. It is also taught in schools in Russia. Traveling bilingual or multilingual, especially if you know German, is convenient everywhere you go in Europe for most countries used and speak in German.

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14. Romania

Brasov, Romania Cityscape

As you visit the spectacular country of Romina, especially in Transylvania, you will hear locals speaking in German. The historical region and its city of Sibiu is the reason why Romania is among the German-speaking countries.

German is common for students to be taught at school. It is the second foreign language you have to learn in school aside from French.

The German language is embedded into the culture and history of the country after World War I and the Treaty of Trianon. Also, when there are about 800,000 ethnic Germans settled in Romania due to World War.

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15. Slovakia

Bratislava, Slovakia Aerial View

Slovakia is one of the major countries in Europe with a substantial population that is proficient in a variety of foreign languages. German is among these minority languages that are used and spoken in the country. Also, most of these German speakers were relatives of those who migrated to Upper Hungary.

Bratislava is a city in Slovakia where you can hear German spoken; most young locals speak English. Older people and rural dwellers were the most common speakers of foreign languages, particularly modern German.

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16. Vatican City

Saint Peter's Square Aerial View

As the smallest country not only in Europe but in the world, the Vatican is influenced by an array of different foreign languages. The Vatican mostly uses Italian languages, but you’ll hear different languages as you visit the country. From English, Spanish, and French. Arabis is also spoken in the country.

Aside from the mentioned languages, you will also hear locals speaking in German, a reason why the Vatican is considered among the countries that speak in German.

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German-speaking countries in Africa

17. Namibia

Windhoek, Namibia Cityscape

Namibia is one of the countries in Africa that speaks German as a co-official language or is better suited as a first language. German is not the country’s official language, although it is acknowledged as a national language by the government. Between 1884 to 1915, Namibia was a German colony, and the German language played a role in shaping the country’s culture.

In Namibia, German was re-established as an official language. In South Africa, German was reinstated to be an official language as well, but Afrikaans is the country’s main language. As a result of the country’s past as a German colony, the German language has been firmly embedded in the country’s culture.

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18. South Africa

South Africa flag

You might be wondering how the German language reaches Africa. There’s a significant number of South Africans descended from Germans. There are Germans waves of immigration in South Africa that influence the culture and the country and its language.

For years that Germans resided in the country, its influence is deeply rooted in the country’s language and history. However, South Africa’s main language is Afrikaans.

Though most of the locals speak in their native mother tongue, you will hear some of the locals speak in German on your visit to South Africa.

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Other German-Speaking Countries

Aside from Europe and Africa, the German language reaches other countries. You might be bewildered about which these countries are.

During World War II, there were a lot of early German settlers looking for somewhere to stay in Australia. Some Australians are bilingual in German. If you go to Germany, you may be surprised to hear some people speaking their native language.

German is spoken in a number of nations throughout the world, including Australia and Latin American, and North American countries.

Minorities that speak German as a first language can be found throughout Latin America, particularly in the countries of Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Chile, Colombia, and Costa Rica. However, the German language is also spoken in Canada, which is located in North America. Germans arrived in the country after migrating from Germany during the time of World War

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