German is a West Germanic language. It derives most of its vocabulary from the Germanic branch of the Indo-European language family. A number of words are derived from Latin and Greek, and fewer from French and English. Widely spoken languages which are most similar to German include Luxembourgish, Dutch, the Frisian languages, English and the Scandinavian languages (Norwegian, Danish and Swedish). German is spoken natively by about 100 million people, making it the most widely spoken native language and one of the 20+ official languages in the European Union and one of the major languages of the world.
Germanic Studies has a strong extracurricular German program with a weekly coffee hour in German (as well as Dutch and Norwegian) and German House, Past activities of which include Stammtisch (conversation club), at least six film showings per year focusing on recent movies, and special events like Art Museum tours in German, question-and-answer sessions with alumni or students returning from abroad, seasonal parties, and field trips.
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