Speakers of German are the largest linguistic group in the European Union and have played a central role in European history and culture for nearly two thousand years. Germany's geographical position has made it a natural mediator between east and west, north and south. In the periods of Reformation, and of Romanticism and Modernism, the German lands saw the birth of literary, artistic, theological, philosophical and musical movements which continue to shape the world we live in today. German writers such as Goethe, the brothers Grimm, Thomas Mann, Brecht or Grass and thinkers such as Luther, Kant, Marx, Nietzsche and Freud rank among the most important writers and thinkers of the West.
German remains an important language in the twenty-first century. Germany has the third largest economy in the world and is the world's most successful exporting nation. Roughly 10% of all books published worldwide are written in German and there are more than twice as many German websites (.de) as British (.uk). German is spoken by over 100 million people in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.
Read more from the Goethe-Institut here.
AND read how a researcher at Cambridge University has shown that Germany is the happiest country in the world!