Deutsch ist kein Land

German is the most widely spoken first language in Europe. There are German-speaking communities throughout the world as a result of colonisation or migration, forced emigration during war time and mobility in a global community.

German is a language, not a country, and the languages and cultures of all German-speaking communities are of equal value and relevance to the teaching of German.

Standard German & Standard Varieties

German is a pluricentric language with different standards and varieties.

There are three recognised standards of German:

  • Bundesdeutsches Hochdeutsch – German Standard German
  • Österreiches Deutsch – Austrian Standard German
  • Schweizer Hochdeutsch / Schriftdeutsch – Swiss Standard German*

*NB: no ess-tsett in Swiss Standard German

Teachers of German have a responsibility to inform students of the different standards and varieties of German as well as to highlight diversity within and across German-speaking communities.


German is the or an official language in Austria, Belgium, Germany, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg and Switzerland in Europe, and Namibia in Africa.

Information about D – Deutschland

Comprehensive information about Germany for young and old.

Information about A – Österreich

Information about Austria.

Information about CH – Switzerland

German is the most widely used language in Switzerland, a country with four official languages: German, French, Italian and Romansch as well as many local dialects.

Switzerland created a website for IDT2022 in Wien and it has lots of information about Switzerland.

Information about L – Liechtenstein



Südtirol in Italien