German is spoken all over the world. The number of native speakers is estimated at 100 million and approximately 80 million people speak German as a foreign language. German is the official language of Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Belgium and Liechtenstein. In addition, it is a regional language in northern Italy, western France, Romania and southern Denmark. German is also a minority language in South Africa, Namibia and in many American states with significant German-speaking immigration. As is the case in Brazil, mainly in the states of Rio Grande do Sul, Santa Catarina, São Paulo and Espírito Santo. The language is everywhere, as some German words in Brazilian Portuguese show: Blitz, Diesel, Fest, Hamburger, kitsch or uber.
The German language is Western Germanic and therefore is well related to English and Dutch. However, speakers of German and English are not understood automatically, since the English language has been strongly influenced and transformed in its history by the British Celts and the immigration of Scandinavia, as well as conquest by the French-speaking Normans in the Middle Ages.
German is a flexed language with a total of four cases. These have a similar function and are as complicated as in Latin or living languages, such as Russian. As a flexed language, German has many different forms of words, just as in English, words are also changed at their root according to time, mode or person.
For Portuguese speakers, the difficulty of the German language probably consists of the construction of sentences, because it is very different in their primary and subordinate clauses. Also, the verb in the subordinate sentence always comes at the end of a sentence – sometimes very long. German is also a very dynamic and creative language: so, it is possible to invent new words frequently, gathering only existing words. For example, the word “Lebensabschnittspartner” consisting of “Leben” (life), “Abschnitt” (phase) and “Partner” is the person with whom you are (or was) with, but only for a particular phase of life.
Learning German is not as difficult as it is claimed. Once the first difficulties are overcome, it is much easier than many other essential business languages, given that 15 million people around the world are learning German. They are convinced that it is worth it because when you speak German, you have access to the best universities in Germany and Switzerland, which cost almost nothing. Indeed, their speakers have excellent job opportunities and access to the labor market of the German-speaking countries, which are among the most dynamic economies in the world. Many global players are based in countries that have that mother tongue and have business relationships with companies from other countries with the same language. Some of the most important industrial and commercial conventions in the world are in German-speaking countries. Additionally, language opens up new possibilities for scientists, since German is considered a scientific language. Many significant works in the history of science and culture are initially published in German.