German-speaking countries

German is official language in these countries:

Germany (EU)
There are some dialects of the German language in different parts of the country, but most a very close to the standard mainstream High German.

Austria (EU)
The German spoken in Austria is very close to High German of Germany. The main difference is a slightly different pronunciation.

Switzerland has 4 language regions: A Swiss German part, a French part, an Italian part and a very small Romansh part. The Swiss German part if by far the biggest. Swiss German is a variation of the standard high German. However the standard high German is widely used in education and companies. So most swiss people do speak both, Swiss German and High German.

Swiss German is the main language.

Luxembourg (EU)
Luxembourg has 3 official languages: German, French and Luxembourgish and the inhabitants usually speak all three languages.

Italy (EU)
German is spoken in South Tyrol, which is a German speaking part of Italy and where German is recogniced as an official language.

Belgium (EU)
Like Switzerland, Belgium is also divided into several language regions. One of them is the German speaking part of Belgium.

German is also widely spoken in other countries:

The country has about 5 Million German immigrants today.

Canada has about 450 000 German immigrants.

There are about 1,4 Million German immigrants. There is even a city called "Blumenau", which was founded by 18 Germans in 1850 and is attracting German companies today.

Poland (EU)
Poland has also a German-speaking region called "Schlesien".
In the other parts of Poland, learning German is extremely common and many people even learn it as their first foreign language.

Romania (EU)
 has a part called  "Siebenb├╝rgen" or better known as "Transilvania", which has a big German speaking community of about 10.000 people.

Spain (EU)
does also have a few German speaking communities. By far the biggest is on the island "Mallorca".

2nd Internet language

By the number of websites in a language, German is the second.
That means, if you know German, you have access to a lot more high quality sources.