German is one of the main cultural languages of the Western world, spoken by approximately 100 million people. It is the national language of both Germany and Austria, and is one of the four official languages of Switzerland. Additionally, eastern France (Alsace and parts of Lorraine), as well as parts of Luxembourg and Belgium speak it. Small groups of people who speak German also live in various eastern European countries. And, many people learn German in schools throughout the world.
Like the other Germanic languages, German is a member of the Indo – European family. Written German is quite uniform, but spoken dialects vary considerably. Occasionally this results in communication problems. The dialects fall within two general divisions: High German (Hochdeutsch), spoken in the highlands of the south, and Bavarian (Bayerisch), spoken notably in the region of Bavaria. In Switzerland formal settings require High German, but Swiss German, a distinctly different dialect, is used in everyday speech.
German is a Germanic language that carries a rich heritage of ancient languages and shows a strong regularity. Rigorous logic and complicated grammar make it challenging to study.

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