Appendix:"German" in various languages

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Due to the history of Germany, different words are used to designate the people living in Germany.

Deutsch[edit]

The ethnonym Deutsch derives from Old High German diutisc, which in turn derives from Proto-Germanic *þiudiskaz. The stem of it, *þeudō, means "people". This term was used early in history to differentiate the language of the German peoples from those of the Romance peoples and the Latin language of the Romans.

In English, the related term Dutch is nowadays used to designate the people of the Netherlands. Only in some limited compounds like Pennsylvania Dutch is it still used to designate the Germans.

Languages that use a derived form of this word to designate the Germans are in most cases Germanic languages as well and therefore, derived it from the same source:

Only some Indo-European languages that are not Germanic use a derived form as well:

Non-Indo-European languages that use a derived form of this word usually borrowed it directly from a Germanic language through direct contact:

  • Chinese: 德意志 (déyìzhì)
    • Vietnamese: Đức (borrowed from Chinese through Chu nom)
  • Japanese: ドイツ (doitsu)
    • Korean 독일 (dogil) (borrowed from Japanese through Hanja)
  • Northern Sami: Duiska

Saxon[edit]

The Saxons were a tribe who settled in German territory. Some Finno-Ugric languages derived their name for Germans from this tribe:

Nemec[edit]

The Slavic root *němьcь means "silent", and refers to the tribes who could not understand the Slavic languages. Eventually, it was applied to the German tribe.

Some non-Slavic languages also borrowed this word due to Slavic influence:

Alemannic[edit]

The Alemans were another tribe who settled in German territory. Many Romance and Celtic languages derived their word for German from this tribe:

Some non-Indo-European languages derived their word for Germans from this as well:

German[edit]

This word, finally, is derived from the Latin Germania. It was adopted into English and from there, spread around the world.

Baltic languages[edit]

Finally, the Baltic languages have their own words used for designating the Germans.

The West Baltic languages derived their name for Germans from a verb which roughly means "to speak in a disordered manner":

The East Baltic languages derived their name for German from another, unknown source:

Sign languages[edit]

In sign languages, the word German is formed by holding your fist with the index finger stretched out against the forehead and pointing the index finger upward. This imitates the Pickelhaube traditionally worn by Germans since the 19th century.