Cal Interpreting & Translations (CIT) offers German interpreters and translators with legal, medical and specialty experience, including criminal and civil matters, employee meetings, engineering, patent cases, labor disputes, immigration and more.

Although based in Los Angeles, CIT offers comprehensive German language services including interpretation, translation and transcription, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, worldwide. Our interpreters and translators are native speakers who have been screened, certified, have provided credentials, field tested, and kept up to date with developments in both English and the German language through means such as lectures, conferences, and travel. CIT’s German language interpreters and translators possess in depth knowledge of the German language, as well as of the culture and history of the German people, allowing them to provide informed and complete interpretation and translation.

The German Language

The German language is the official language of Germany and Austria along with being an official language of Switzerland. It is spoken by about 90 million people worldwide. It belongs to the West Germanic group of languages within the Indo-European languages (same as English, Frisian and Dutch).
The first recorded event of the German language stems from the 1st century BC, having had contact with the Romans. For many years after, there was only one Germanic language and within that language, very few dialects. It was only until the 500s AD that the German language, also known as High German, was officially known as German.

German Language Grammar and Syntax

In German, there are four cases for nouns, pronouns and adjectives (nominative, accusative, genitive and dative) along with three genders (masculine, feminine and neutral) and two sorts of verbs (strong and weak). Across all dialects of German, the language is written itself. However, it is not spoken similarly between dialects. High German and Low German are the two main dialect groups. High German (Hochdeutsch), which is the official language of the South Highlands in Germany, is the official written language.

Various Dialects of German

There are two main sorts of dialects in German where most other dialects fall into. The first is High German (Hochdeutsch) and the second is Low German (Plattsdeutsch or Niederdeutsch). High German was spoken until the 12th century in the Highlands of South Germany. During the Middle High German times, which were after the 12th century, different dialects of German known as Alemannic and Bavarian started to gain popularity. Middle High German was used heavily for literature, mainly in the 1200s with the writing of Nibelungenlied, which is considered a great piece of literature. The High German of today comes primarily from Middle High German dialects that were spoken in Southern and central Highlands of Germany along with in Austria and Switzerland. High German is used in al official business, such as government, administration, higher education, literature and media. Standard High German is very similar to the Middle German language dialect used most commonly by Martin Luther in the 1500s as he translated the Bible. Upper German includes other dialects such as Austro-Bavarian, Alemannic (Swiss German) and High Franconian.

On the other hand, Low German is spoken in the Lowlands of Germany. It stems from Old Saxon and Middle Low Germany, spoken by people in the Hanseatic League. Many Scandinavian languages use loan words from Low German but as these languages declined, so did Low German. Low German dialects are still spoken privately in homes but nothing official is done in Low German.

Another German dialect is Alemannic. It was developed in the southwest of Germany and has different sound and grammar system from the standard German. Alemannic is spoken in Switzerland, Austria, Swabia and Liechtenstein along with the Alsace region of France. Another dialect of German is Yiddish, spoken by the Jews whose ancestors come from Germany.