Sejarah Perkembangan Bahasa Jerman

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Berikut ini adalah tulisan mengenai sejarah perkembangan bahasa Jerman. Bahasa Jerman dipergunakan oleh 95 juta penutur asli di dunia, terutama mereka yang tinggal di Eropa Tengah. Ada 10 -15 juta lagi yang menggunakannya sebagai bahasa kedua.

Di samping itu terdapat banyak negara yang menjadikannya sebagai bahasa resmi dan bahasa mayoritas penduduknya seperti Jerman sendiri, Austria, Swiss, Liechtenstein, Tyrol Selatan di Italia.  Adapun negara seperti Luksemburg dan Belgia hanya menjadikannya sebagai bahasa resmi saja.

Tahukah Anda beberapa fakta menarik bahasa Jerman berikut ini?

  1. Bahasa Jerman adalah bahasa mayoritas di Uni Eropa
  2. Bahasa Jerman dipelajari sebagai bahasa asing oleh 75 – 100 juta orang di dunia
  3. Bahasa Jerman adalah bahasa ke-3 yang paling banyak diajarkan di Amerika Serikat dan Eropa
  4. Bahasa Jerman menjadi bahasa dari sepersepuluh total jumlah buku yang dicetak di dunia
  5. Bahasa Jerman menjadi bahasa terbanyak kedua yang dipakai sebagai bahasa ilmiah


(Baca juga: Sejarah Perkembangan Bahasa Arab)


Untuk mengetahui sejarah perkembangan bahasa Jerman silakan ditonton video berjudul The History of German Language berikut ini:



Here is the script of the above video:

1. Introduction

German deserves all of our attention that makes it an important language. It is spoken by ninety five million native speakers, mainly in Central Europe. It is also spoken by additional 10 to 15 second language speakers, mainly in Eastern Europe.

In Germany, it becomes the majority language and an official language, of course, but also it is spoken widely in Austria, Switzerland, Liechtenstein and the South Tyrol region of Northern Italy. Luxembourg and Belgium also make it as an official language, but it is not a majority language there.

German is the most widely used language in the European Union. It is also one of the most widely taught language in the world, with between 75 and 100 million people having studied it as a foreign language.

In both the U.S. and in Europe, it is the 3rd most widely taught foreign language. Did you know that one tenth of the world’s books are published in German language?

German is also the second most widely-adopted scientific language. Many doctors have some reading knowledge of German, because so much scientific research is documented in German. These facts hopefully will give you some ideas why German language is so important.


2. The Origins of German Language

German is a branch of the west Germanic language family, which also covers Dutch, Afrikaans, Frisian, English and Yiddish. The West Germanic languages are part of the wider Germanic language family. So, let’s take a look at the origins of the Germanic language family.

All Germanic languages developed from Proto-Germanic which was used around 500 BCE. Proto-Germanic possibly can be traced back to Scandinavia, and different varieties of Germanic began to come up with migration.

Runic inscriptions from the second century CE tell us that, by that time, Proto-Germanic had began to divide into distinct Western, Eastern and Northern dialects.

The West Germanic dialects were probably closely related enough to be mutually intelligible until around 8th century CE. But at that time, something was happening that would separate the Germanic language family and give birth to the German language as we are familiar with it today.

The change was known as the High Germanic Sound Shift (or the High Germanic Consonant Shift). Some West Germanic varieties later underwent a number of changes in sound. Nine consonants changed to be exact and this developed two distinct groups of Germanic dialects:
A. High German (Hochdeutsch)
B. Low German (Plattdeutsch)

High German dialects arose in the southern areas of Germany which have higher elevation. That’s why they are known as “High German”. “The Low German” dialects developed in the northern part of Germany which are at a lower elevation and also in the Netherlands.

Those terms do not refer to high and low status, but rather to the elevation of the areas they were spoken in. High German can then be further subdivided into two segments: upper German and central German…(Please watch the entire video above to find out the rest of the story)


Source: Langfocus Channel on Youtube

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