About 105 million people in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Liechtenstein and Luxembourg speak German as their first language. In Europe, German is also spoken in parts of Belgium, eastern France and in South Tyrol (Italy).
German is spoken above all within the European Union and in other countries of eastern and central Europe. But German is a popular foreign language elsewhere too: it is taught in about 144 countries, including North Korea. After English, Chinese and French, Spanish and German are regular rivals for the fourth most commonly studied foreign language in the world.