CHAPTER III
LANGUAGES OF THE GERMANIC GROUP

Of the three leading Indo-European divisions (Germanic, Romance, Slavic), the Germanic holds first place in point of numbers and political and commercial importance, vying for cultural first honors with the Romance group. Its main modern subdivisions are English, German, Dutch-Flemish, Dano- Norwegian, Swedish and Icelandic. Of these, the first three belong to the West Germanic family, while the others are of the Scandinavian, or North Germanic variety.

English, with over 200,000,000 native speakers, located principally on the North American continent, the British Isles, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand, is also by far the most important and far-reaching among the tongues of colonization in Asia, Africa and Oceania. It is, furthermore, the language of commercial intercourse par excellence. During its past history, it differentiated itself from its sister Germanic tongues by the inclusion of larger numbers of borrowed words, especially from the Latin-Romance languages, and this mixture gives it a distinctive international flavor that makes it ideal for general use throughout the world.

German, with over 80,000,000 native speakers in the Reich and Switzerland, serves also as a tongue of international exchange throughout Central Europe, being used as a secondary language by large sections of the populations of countries that formerly formed part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire ( Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia), and, to a lesser degree, of Poland, the Netherlands, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, etc. As a "cultural" language, German is current among large segments

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