As of today, I will be blogging about Germany and other German speaking countries and am starting off with an introduction to Germany! Here at Lingua Translations we have all chosen a country to write about as we all have links to a variety of countries around the world. I myself studied both French and German at university and have visited Germany on a number of occasions, mostly for trips associated with my course and even while I was learning the language at school.

I have visited the North-West and more specifically Münster – and from there Bremen and Nordeney Island (yes, Germany has some beaches!), as well as Berlin in the North-East of the country, and Schwetzingen, Mannheim and Heidelberg and the Black Forest (home of the famous gateau!) in the South-West of Germany. I have also briefly visited Austria and Switzerland and have been up the famous Matterhorn Mountain in the latter.

I have also visited Luxembourg City in which German is one of three official languages. German is also an official language in Liechtenstein, Belgium and the Italian province of South Tyrol, a region annexed from Germany by Italy at the end of World War One. South Jutland/Northern Schleswig in Denmark, and Upper Silesia in Poland are the other two regions in separate countries in which German has official status. German is also prominent in Namibia, although it is no longer an official language. It does however remain a National language and in some communities it still has official status.

Germany covers an area of around 357,000km² and has the highest population of all the EU member countries with approximately 82 million residents. While Germany’s gastronomy maybe not be as famous or refined as neighbouring France, its Bratwurst (and its variants such as Currywurst), Schnitzel and Sauerkraut are known the world over, are very tasty and are quintessentially German! Germany is of course also famous for its variety of strong beers and its famous Oktoberfest held annually in Munich, which is the largest fair in the world and welcomes more than 6 million people every year!

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Well that’s a (very!) basic overview of Germany and my experiences of the country. In the coming weeks I’ll be moving on to more specific subjects relating to the German speaking world… Watch this space!