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Linguaholic

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I was wondering if Germans still learn how to read and write in that heavy Gothic-looking Fraktur alphabet that was common in German-speaking countries until the early 20th century?

I mean are there people who still study and learn it for artistic and historical reasons?

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Yes!

I've only ever seen it used nowadays on some old signboards on shops (or those that sell antiques, for example - to give the place an old-fashioned feel). Trying to read an old text written entirely like this gave me a headache!

But yes, do people still learn how to write it nowadays? Or is it only learned by professional artists / art historians / calligraphers?

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Scribendi: World-Class Editing and Proofreading

The "Fraktur" is not used anymore at School in Germany/Switzerland/Austria etc. The last time I have seen it was actually in a dictionary from 1909 (duden) that I got from a second hand shop. At first sight it looks a little bit difficult to read with those old alphabet letters...however, after some time it is very easy to decipher as the letters are just slighty different from the standard alphabet letters that are used today.

I also asked my parents about this topic and they assured me that they were still using the "Fraktur" alphabet letters in school when they were young. But now in 2013, it is definitely not in use anymore and maybe just occasionally looked at for historical purposes as mentioned above. It does not need to be teached as it is pretty easy to recognize the "fraktur letters" as there are only minor differences compared to the standard alphabet letters used at present.

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The "Fraktur" is not used anymore at School in Germany/Switzerland/Austria etc. The last time I have seen it was actually in a dictionary from 1909 (duden) that I got from a second hand shop. At first sight it looks a little bit difficult to read with those old alphabet letters...however, after some time it is very easy to decipher as the letters are just slighty different from the standard alphabet letters that are used today.

I also asked my parents about this topic and they assured me that they were still using the "Fraktur" alphabet letters in school when they were young. But now in 2013, it is definitely not in use anymore and maybe just occasionally looked at for historical purposes as mentioned above. It does not need to be teached as it is pretty easy to recognize the "fraktur letters" as there are only minor differences compared to the standard alphabet letters used at present.

Thank you for taking the trouble to ask your parents! Calligraphy (mainly Chinese, Urdu, Arabic and Latin Italic) has been a hobby of mine and I was asked by a friend regarding this 'heavy and knotty' script that he saw being used in old German books and woodcuts. He asked if it is still commonly used and I told him what you posted above, that it's no longer current. He was keen to find some kind of manual on how to learn handwriting in this style.

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No, it is not common to learn it anymore. I think it's a shame because it is a really beautiful font and should get more appreciation.

I would slightly disagree with linguaholic though. You might be able to read with the common knowledge of the standard letters but nonetheless you have to get into reading Fraktur in a way you actually read a text and not just decipher it. So there is some need of learning.

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