The German population is no different to any other when arriving at a new country in which to settle and have set up small communities easily identified as German speaking throughout the United States. In the early twentieth century Chicago, New York, St. Louis and Cincinnati were the most common regions where German immigrants settled. After the Second World War large numbers settled in Los Angeles, Chicago and New York and quickly adopted the native language in place of their own possibly as a mechanism to overcome any anti-German feelings after the war. However no such practice was adopted by Germans who settled in South America, especially the large numbers who arrived in Brazil and Argentina who adopted English as the spoken language in favour of the native Portuguese or Spanish, perhaps because English is an easier language to learn and become fluent in. The largest numbers of German immigrants in Brazil are found in the regions around the Rio Grande, Santa Catarina, Parana and Esp’Irito Santo.
German is the main language of just under 100 million Europeans and as such is the second most spoken language in Europe behind Russian. French and English run it a close third and fourth respectively. In our modern Internet connected world German has evolved as the second most common language online behind English.
The commercial industry and most notably German motor manufacturers have brought the German language to the attention of the public in the United Kingdom through their advertising with terms such as ‘vorsprung durk Technik’ regularly appearing on UK television screens when promoting a specific German make of car.
German names have also become regularly heard in the UK. German names such as Maria and Marie were adopted by English speaking countries and have been commonly used for most of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. While German names such as Lukas have only recently become regularly recognizable via the television screen in shows from the US. Female German names such as Michelle and Lea have also begun to be heard much more in the past twenty years in the UK. The significance of the adoption of names from other cultures has to do with the continued development of any language, by introducing fresh sounding words taken from another language introduces the creation of subtle changes within the original language.
The German alphabet is outlined below together with the recognized pronunciation. The German alphabet uses the vowel ‘a’ more commonly than the English alphabet in the way that its words are pronounced. For example notice that the letter ‘B’ is spoken as ‘bay’ and ‘C’ as ‘say’.
It is arguable that the German language is already a global language because so many communities around the world are already using it. Whether it could be seen as some future global language is more doubtful as its chief competitors are well established. However the introduction of as totally new language but one that incorporates all the chief world languages might be a development that will significantly contain German.