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Historical Forms of German

The German language, like others, has changed over time.

Items shown below:  
(going back in time)

modern German (modern alphabet, old Kurrent script, old Sütterlin script, old Fraktur script), Early New High German, Middle High German, Old High German, and Proto-Germanic

top Modern German as it's written today

1) Wo ist mein Zimmer?

2) Wo ist der Strand?

3) Wo ist die Bar?

4) Fassen Sie mich nicht da an!

Language information at Wikipedia and Ethnologue

Writing system information at Omniglot

See the modern German page for additional dialects



top Modern German shown in the old cursive Kurrent script (Kurrentschrift / Alte Deutsche Schrift / Old German Script)

Kurrent script was taught in German schools until the 1930s.

[using the old cursive Kurrent script]

Writing system information at Wikipedia and the Walden Font Company



top Modern German shown in the old Sütterlin script (Sütterlinschrift)

The Sütterlin form of the Kurrent script was devised for school children and was taught in German schools from the 1910s to the 1940s.

[using the old cursive Sutterlin script]

Writing system information at Omniglot, Wikipedia, and the Walden Font Company.



top Modern German shown in the old Fraktur script (deutsche Schrift)

Fraktur script was used for German from the 1500s to the 1940s.

[using the old Fraktur script]

Writing system information at Omniglot, Wikipedia, and the Walden Font Company.



top Early New High German (also known as Frühneuhochdeutsch)

ENHG was used around 1350 - 1650 CE. (Estimated dates vary depending on the source.)

[Early New High German]

Language information at Wikipedia



top Middle High German (also known as Mittelhochdeutsch)

MHG was used around 1050 - 1350 CE.

[Middle High German]

Language information at Wikipedia



top Old High German (also known as Althochdeutsch)

OHG was used around 750 - 1050 CE. (Estimated dates vary depending on the criteria.)

[Old High German]

Language information at Wikipedia



top Proto-Germanic (also known as Common Germanic)

Proto-Germanic is the hypothetical common ancestor of all Germanic languages (modern Dutch, English, Frisian, German, Icelandic, Low Saxon, Swedish, and many others). It would have been used around 500 BCE - 200 CE.

Reconstructed:

[Proto-Germanic]
       

Shown using the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA):

[Proto-Germanic using IPA]

Language information at Wikipedia

Chart of Germanic languages over time




The four essential
travel phrases in English:

1) Where is my room?
2) Where is the beach?
3) Where is the bar?
4) Don't touch me there!
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