07 Dec Everything you need to know about German dialects
Are you looking forward to learn German? Well, which German would you like to learn: high or low?
Don’t be baffled, as when you take up a German Language Classes in Delhi, you will be taught standard German. When we talk about the German dialect, it differs as you move across Europe. We all know that German is a pluricentric language; i.e. each country has its own version of speaking it. Though Germans speak standard German while communicating with people, they often turn to their respective dialects when they truly wish to express themselves. Therefore, standard German is from the mind, while the dialect is from the heart.
What are German dialects?
According to Wikipedia, a dialect is a linguistic phenomenon that is dominated by a geographical spread. In the case of the German dialect, the shift was that of the High German consonant that took place between the third and the fifth century. Since then, countries like Germany, Austria, Luxembourg, Switzerland etc have their own version s of speaking German. For Germans, a dialect is their first language. Linguists believe that there are 250 German dialects according to the German dialects map, and are distinct in their own way. Dialects differ with their usage of pronouns. A change in the accusative pronouns to dative pronouns is a change in dialects. So learn pronouns to bring out the German in you.
Types of German dialects
Broadly speaking, there are two types of German dialects, under which all the dialects are categorized.
High German refers to the Highland German, pointing to the Alpine areas and Central Uplands of Central and Southern Germany. It is also spoken in Austria, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, and parts of France, the Czech Republic and Poland.
In contrast to High German, the Low German is spoken in the lower parts of the country, i.e. in the low lands as well as the flat coasts in the North German plain. With approximately 6 million native speakers, Low German is spoken to a lesser extent in contrast to its counterpart. The dialects under Low German are usually spoken in the northwestern parts of Germany, primarily in the Netherlands.
Is there a standard pronunciation?
You must be confused as to what pronunciation you should follow while speaking German. But worry not, as there is no such standard pronunciation that the Germans follow. Though there is a standard written form of German, the pronunciation varies as you move across borders.
Since these German dialects vary according to the geographic location, they cause misunderstandings. For example:
In the west side of Bavaria, heben means to hold, whereas when we talk about standard German, heben means to lift. So if you are lifting something instead of holding it, you’re definitely in for some comedy.
While German dialects help you speak your heart out, they can be a cause for irritation and misunderstanding to others. So when you learn German, learn its standard version to avoid misunderstanding. German is a language full of surprises. To unravel those, pick from the best German Language Institutes in Delhi and learn to speak German like a pro.