HOME

TheInfoList




German dialects are the various traditional local varieties of the German language. Though varied by region, those of the southern half of Germany beneath the
Benrath line In German German(s) may refer to: Common uses * of or related to Germany * Germans, Germanic ethnic group, citizens of Germany or people of German ancestry * For citizens of Germany, see also German nationality law * German language T ...
are dominated by the geographical spread of the
High German consonant shift In historical linguistics Historical linguistics, also termed diachronic linguistics, is the scientific study of language change over time. Principal concerns of historical linguistics include: # to describe and account for observed changes ...
, and the
dialect continuum A dialect continuum or dialect chain is a series of language varieties spoken across some geographical area such that neighboring varieties are mutually intelligible In linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific study of langua ...
that connect German to the neighboring varieties of
Low Franconian Low Franconian, Low Frankish, NetherlandicSarah Grey Thomason, Terrence Kaufman: ''Language Contact, Creolization, and Genetic Linguistics'', University of California Press, 1991, p. 321. (Calling it "Low Frankish (or Netherlandish)".)Scott Shay ...

Low Franconian
(
Dutch Dutch commonly refers to: * Something of, from, or related to the Netherlands * Dutch people () * Dutch language () *Dutch language , spoken in Belgium (also referred as ''flemish'') Dutch may also refer to:" Castle * Dutch Castle Places * ...
) and
Frisian Frisian usually refers to: *Frisia, a region on the western coasts of Germany and the Netherlands **Frisians, the medieval and modern ethnic group inhabiting Frisia ***Frisii, the ancient inhabitants of Frisia prior to 600 AD **Frisian languages, a ...
. The varieties of German are conventionally grouped into
Upper German Upper German (German German(s) may refer to: Common uses * of or related to Germany * Germans, Germanic ethnic group, citizens of Germany or people of German ancestry * For citizens of Germany, see also German nationality law * German languag ...

Upper German
,
Central German Central German or Middle German (german: mitteldeutsche Dialekte, mitteldeutsche Mundarten, Mitteldeutsch) is a group of High German The High German dialects (german: hochdeutsche Mundarten), or simply High German (; not to be confused wit ...
and
Low German : : : : : , minority = (70,000) (30,000) (8,000) , familycolor = Indo-European , fam2 = Germanic Germanic may refer to: * Germanic peoples, an ethno-linguistic group identified by their use of the Germanic langua ...
; Upper and Central German form the
High German The High German dialects (german: hochdeutsche Mundarten), or simply High German (; not to be confused with Standard High German which is imprecisely also called ''High German''), comprise the varieties Variety may refer to: Science and te ...
subgroup.
Standard German Standard High German (SHG), less precisely Standard German or High German (not to be confused with High German The High German dialects (german: hochdeutsche Mundarten), or simply High German (; not to be confused with Standard High German ...
is a standardized form of High German, developed in the
early modern period The early modern period of modern history Human history, or world history, is the narrative of Human, humanity's past. It is understood through archaeology, anthropology, genetics, and linguistics, and since the History of writing, adve ...
based on a combination of Central German and Upper German varieties.


Etymology and nomenclature

Traditionally, all of the major dialect-groupings of German dialects are typically named after so-called "
stem duchies A stem duchy (german: Stammesherzogtum, from '' Stamm'', meaning "tribe", in reference to the Germanic tribes of the Franks The Franks ( la, Franci or ) were a group of Germanic peoples The historical Germanic peoples (from lat, Germani ...
" or "tribal duchies" (German: ''Stammesherzogtümer'') by early German linguists, among whom the
Brothers Grimm The Brothers Grimm ( or ), Jacob Jacob (; ; ar, يَعْقُوب '' Yaʿqūb'', gr, Ἰακώβ, ''Iakṓb''), later given the name Israel Israel (; he, יִשְׂרָאֵל; ar, إِسْرَائِيل), officially known as the ...
were especially influential. These tribal duchies came into existence at the end of the
Early Medieval Period The Early Middle Ages or Early Medieval Period, sometimes referred to as the Dark Ages, is typically regarded by historians as lasting from the late 5th or early 6th century to the 10th century. They marked the start of the Middle Ages ...
within the
Holy Roman Empire The Holy Roman Empire ( la, Sacrum Romanum Imperium; german: Heiliges Römisches Reich) was a multi-ethnic complex of territories in Western Western may refer to: Places *Western, Nebraska, a village in the US *Western, New York, a town i ...
and were thought to have been continuations of earlier tribal lands which were subjugated by the Franks and incorporated into their realm at the close of the
Migration Period The Migration Period, also known as the Barbarian Invasions (from the Roman and Greek perspective), is a term sometimes used for the period in the history of Europe The history of Europe concerns itself with the discovery and collection, the ...
. For example, the Germanic tribe of the
Bavarii The Baiuvarii or Bavarians (german: Bajuwaren) were a Germanic people The Germanic peoples were a historical group of people living in Central Europe Central Europe is an area of Europe Europe is a which is also recognised as part ...

Bavarii
(subjugated by the Franks during the 6th century) gave their name to the later stem duchy of Bavaria (817–1180), which itself would lend its name to the traditional Bavarian dialect grouping described in the early 19th century. As their understanding of the
Second Germanic consonant shift In historical linguistics Historical linguistics, also termed diachronic linguistics, is the scientific study of language change Language change is variation over time in a language A language is a structured system of communication ...
progressed, linguists (when applicable) further divided these dialects into groupings based on their degree of participation of this consonant shift, with "Lower" (German: ''nieder-'') signifying little to no participation, "Middle" (German: ''mittel-'') meaning medium to high participation and Upper (German: ''ober-'') conveying high to full participation. Because the 19th century classification nomenclature was based primarily on historical territories rather than linguistic clusters, the traditional system can imply greater similarities between dialects than is linguistically warranted. The best-known example of this phenomenon is found within the Franconian cluster, which is divided into
Low Franconian Low Franconian, Low Frankish, NetherlandicSarah Grey Thomason, Terrence Kaufman: ''Language Contact, Creolization, and Genetic Linguistics'', University of California Press, 1991, p. 321. (Calling it "Low Frankish (or Netherlandish)".)Scott Shay ...

Low Franconian
,
Middle Franconian West Central German (german: Westmitteldeutsch) belongs to the Central German, Central, High German languages, High German dialect family in the German language. Its dialects are thoroughly Franconian languages, Franconian and comprise the parts of ...
and
Upper Franconian Upper Franconia (german: Oberfranken, Bavarian language, Bavarian: ''Obafrankn'') is a ''Regierungsbezirk'' (administrative 'Regierungs''region 'bezirk'' of the States of Germany, state of Bavaria, southern Germany. It forms part of the his ...
even though the Low Franconian (i.e. Dutch) dialects are not most closely related to Middle and Upper Franconian dialects within the larger continuum. In fact, of all German dialects the
Low Rhenish Meuse-Rhenish dialects(Low Franconian in yellow) Meuse-Rhenish (German: ''Rheinmaasländisch'', Dutch: ''Maas-Rijnlands'', and French: ''francique rhéno-mosan'') is the modern term for literature written in the Middle Ages in the greater Meus ...
-dialect (the only Low Franconian dialect spoken in Germany itself) is the most divergent when compared to Standard German, whereas the Middle and Upper Franconian dialects are fairly similar in their overal structure and phonology to the German standard language. As a result, the second half of the 20th century saw a shift in academic customs, with many linguists instead describing dialect clusters based on the geographical area in which they are spoken (i.e.
Meuse-Rhenish Meuse-Rhenish (German: ''Rheinmaasländisch'', Dutch: ''Maas-Rijnlands'', and French: ''francique rhéno-mosan'') is the modern term for literature written in the Middle Ages in the greater Meuse-Rhine area, in a literary language that is eff ...
or
Westphalian Westphalian may refer to: * The culture or people of the Westphalia region of Germany * Westphalian language, one of the major dialect groups of West Low German * Westphalian sovereignty, a concept in international relations * Westphalian (stage), ...
) and their degree of participation with the Second Germanic consonant shift, or, such as in the case of the influential linguists Friedrich Maurer and Theodor Frings, creating a new framework of dialect classification altogether. Nevertheless, in common parlance it is common for speakers of German dialects to use the traditional/older nomenclature when referring to their particular dialect, stating, for example, that they speak Saxon, Bavarian, Allemanic (Swabian), Thuringian or Franconian.


Dialects


In relation to varieties of Standard German

In
linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo ...

linguistics
of German, German
dialect The term dialect (from Latin , , from the Ancient Greek word , 'discourse', from , 'through' and , 'I speak') can refer to either of two distinctly different types of Linguistics, linguistic phenomena: * One usage refers to a variety (linguis ...
s are distinguished from
varieties Variety may refer to: Science and technology Mathematics * Algebraic variety Algebraic varieties are the central objects of study in algebraic geometry Algebraic geometry is a branch of mathematics Mathematics (from Ancient Greek, ...
of
Standard German Standard High German (SHG), less precisely Standard German or High German (not to be confused with High German The High German dialects (german: hochdeutsche Mundarten), or simply High German (; not to be confused with Standard High German ...
. *The German dialects are the traditional local varieties. They are traced back to the different Germanic tribes. Many of them are hardly understandable to someone who knows only Standard German, since they often differ from Standard German in
lexicon A lexicon is the vocabulary A vocabulary is a set of familiar words In linguistics, a word of a spoken language can be defined as the smallest sequence of phonemes that can be uttered in isolation with semantic, objective or pragmatics, pra ...

lexicon
,
phonology Phonology is a branch of linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language, meaning that it is a comprehensive, systematic, objective, and precise study of language. Linguistics encompasses the analysis of every aspect of lan ...

phonology
and
syntax In linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language, meaning that it is a comprehensive, systematic, objective, and precise study of language. Linguistics encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the ...

syntax
. If a narrow definition of
language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the ...

language
based on
mutual intelligibility In linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic b ...
is used, many German dialects are considered to be separate languages (for example, in the view of
Ethnologue ''Ethnologue: Languages of the World'' (stylized as Ethnoloɠue) is an annual reference publication in print and online that provides statistics and other information on the living language A language is a structured system of communicat ...
). *The varieties of Standard German refer to the different local varieties of the
pluricentric language A pluricentric language or polycentric language is a language with several interacting codified standard forms, often corresponding to different countries. Many examples of such languages can be found worldwide among the most-spoken languages, inc ...
Standard German. They differ only slightly in lexicon and phonology. In certain regions, they have replaced the traditional German dialects, especially the
Low German : : : : : , minority = (70,000) (30,000) (8,000) , familycolor = Indo-European , fam2 = Germanic Germanic may refer to: * Germanic peoples, an ethno-linguistic group identified by their use of the Germanic langua ...
of Northern Germany.


Dialects in Germany

The variation among German dialects ranges. In regions with dialects are being in the same dialectal region, pronunciation, syntax and words particular to specific towns even only a few miles apart can create even more variation. In the Black Forest region alone, there was a newspaper request for people to report what word they used for the term "Dragonfly." Sixty words were collected as reported from responders for the term. When spoken in their purest form, Low German, most Upper German, High Franconian dialects and even some Central German dialects are unintelligible to those versed only in Standard German. However, all German dialects belong to the
dialect continuum A dialect continuum or dialect chain is a series of language varieties spoken across some geographical area such that neighboring varieties are mutually intelligible In linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific study of langua ...
of High German and Low German. In the past (roughly until the end of
World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a global war A world war is "a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literatur ...
), there was a
dialect continuum A dialect continuum or dialect chain is a series of language varieties spoken across some geographical area such that neighboring varieties are mutually intelligible In linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific study of langua ...
of all Continental
West Germanic languages The West Germanic languages constitute the largest of the three branches of the Germanic Germanic may refer to: * Germanic peoples, an ethno-linguistic group identified by their use of the Germanic languages ** List of ancient Germanic peoples ...
, as nearly any pair of contiguous dialects were perfectly mutually intelligible. The German dialect continuum is typically divided into
High German The High German dialects (german: hochdeutsche Mundarten), or simply High German (; not to be confused with Standard High German which is imprecisely also called ''High German''), comprise the varieties Variety may refer to: Science and te ...
and
Low German : : : : : , minority = (70,000) (30,000) (8,000) , familycolor = Indo-European , fam2 = Germanic Germanic may refer to: * Germanic peoples, an ethno-linguistic group identified by their use of the Germanic langua ...
. The terms derive from the geographic characteristics of the terrain in which each is found rather than depicting social status.


Dialects in Central Europe

As the result of
ethnic cleansing Ethnic cleansing is the systematic forced removal of ethnic, racial, and religious groups from a given area, with the intent of making a region ethnically homogeneous Homogeneity and heterogeneity are concepts often used in the sciences ...
, particularly in present-day
Poland Poland, officially the Republic of Poland, is a country located in Central Europe. It is divided into 16 Voivodeships of Poland, administrative provinces, covering an area of , and has a largely Temperate climate, temperate seasonal cli ...

Poland
and
Czechia The Czech Republic, also known by its short-form name Czechia and formerly known as Bohemia, is a landlocked country A landlocked country is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It ...

Czechia
in 1945-48, the German language area considerably shrank. Large dialects such as the
East Pomeranian dialect East Pomeranian (''Ostpommersch'') is an East Low German dialect that is either moribund or used to be spoken in what was roughly Province of Pomerania (1815–1945), Pomerania (now Northwestern Poland; previously part of Germany until the end of ...
, most varieties of
Silesian German Silesian (Silesian: ', german: Schlesisch), Silesian German or Lower Silesian is a nearly extinct German dialect German dialects are the various traditional local varieties of the German language. Though varied by region, those of the southe ...
,
Prussian Prussia, , Old Prussian: ''Prūsa'' or ''Prūsija'' was a historically prominent Germans, German state that originated in 1525 with Duchy of Prussia, a duchy centered on the Prussia (region), region of Prussia on the southeast coast of the Balt ...
dialects and Bohemian German dialects disappeared by integration of the refugees in their new homeland west.


Low German

Low German varieties (in Germany usually referred to as "Platt" or "Plattdeutsch") are considered dialects of the German language by some but a separate language by others (then often termed "Low Saxon"). Linguistically Low German (that is,
Ingvaeonic North Sea Germanic, also known as Ingvaeonic , is a postulated grouping of the northern West Germanic languages The West Germanic languages constitute the largest of the three branches of the Germanic Germanic may refer to: * Germanic people ...
("North Sea Germanic") and
Low Franconian Low Franconian, Low Frankish, NetherlandicSarah Grey Thomason, Terrence Kaufman: ''Language Contact, Creolization, and Genetic Linguistics'', University of California Press, 1991, p. 321. (Calling it "Low Frankish (or Netherlandish)".)Scott Shay ...

Low Franconian
(that is,
Istvaeonic Weser-Rhine Germanic is a term introduced by the German linguist Friedrich Maurer for the group of prehistoric West Germanic The West Germanic languages constitute the largest of the three branches of the Germanic Germanic may refer to: * Ge ...
) dialects are grouped together because both did not participate in the
High German consonant shift In historical linguistics Historical linguistics, also termed diachronic linguistics, is the scientific study of language change over time. Principal concerns of historical linguistics include: # to describe and account for observed changes ...
. Low German is further divided into
Dutch Low Saxon Dutch Low Saxon ( or ''Nederlaands Nedersaksisch''; nl, Nederlands Nedersaksisch) are the Low Saxon Low Saxon or Lower Saxon may refer to: Geography *Lower Saxony Lower Saxony (german: Niedersachsen ; nds, Neddersassen; stq, Läichsaksen) ...
,
West Low German West Low German, also known as Low Saxon in a strict sense (German German(s) may refer to: Common uses * of or related to Germany * Germans, Germanic ethnic group, citizens of Germany or people of German ancestry * For citizens of Germany, ...
and
East Low German East Low German (german: ostniederdeutsche Dialekte, ostniederdeutsche Mundarten, Ostniederdeutsch; nds, Oostplattdütsch) is a group of Low German dialects spoken in north-eastern Germany as well as by minorities in northern Poland. Together w ...
.
Middle Low German Middle Low German or Middle Saxon (autonym: ''Sassisch'', i.e. "Saxon", Standard German, Standard High German: ', Dutch language, Modern Dutch: ') is a developmental stage of Low German. It developed from the Old Saxon language in the Middle ...
was the
lingua franca A lingua franca (; ; for plurals see ), also known as a bridge language, common language, trade language, auxiliary language, vehicular language, or link language, is a language or dialect The term dialect (from , , from the word , 'disco ...
of the
Hanseatic League The Hanseatic League (; gml, Hanse, , ; german: label=Modern German New High German (NHG) is the term used for the most recent period in the history of the German language German (: , ) is a mainly spoken in . It is the most widely ...
. It was the predominant language in Northern Germany, and several translations of the Bible were printed in Low German. That predominance changed in the 16th century. In 1534, the
Luther Bible The Luther Bible (german: Lutherbibel) is a German language Bible translation from Hebrew and ancient Greek by Martin Luther. The New Testament was first published in September 1522 and the complete Bible, containing the Old Testament, Old and Ne ...
was printed by
Martin Luther Martin Luther (; ; 10 November 1483 – 18 February 1546) was a German German(s) may refer to: Common uses * of or related to Germany * Germans, Germanic ethnic group, citizens of Germany or people of German ancestry * For citiz ...

Martin Luther
, and that translation is considered to be an important step towards the evolution of the
Early New High German Early New High German (ENHG) is a term for the period in the history of the German language The German language (, ) is a West Germanic language mainly spoken in Central Europe. It is the most widely spoken and official or co-official lang ...
. It aimed to be understandable to an ample audience and was based mainly on
High German The High German dialects (german: hochdeutsche Mundarten), or simply High German (; not to be confused with Standard High German which is imprecisely also called ''High German''), comprise the varieties Variety may refer to: Science and te ...
varieties. Early New High German gained more prestige than Low Saxon and became the language of science and literature. Other factors included the Hanseatic League losing its importance around the same time (as new trade routes to Asia and the Americas were established) and the most powerful German states then being located in Middle and Southern Germany. The 18th and 19th centuries were marked by mass education, with the language of the schools being Standard German. Today, Low Saxon dialects are still widespread, especially among the elderly in the Northern parts of Germany, many of them being able to understand and speak the language, but younger people in Northern Germany are at least able to understand these dialects but not to speak them. The local media take care not to let the Low Saxon language die out, so there are several newspapers that have recurring articles in Low Saxon. The North German Broadcasting (
Norddeutscher Rundfunk Norddeutscher Rundfunk (NDR; ''Northern German Broadcasting'') is a public broadcasting, public radio and television broadcaster, based in Hamburg. In addition to the city-state of Hamburg, NDR broadcasts for the German states of Lower Saxony, M ...
) also offers television programs, such as "Talk op Platt" and radio programs in Low Saxon. On the other hand, Northern Germany is considered to be the region that speaks the purest Standard German, and in everyday life, little influence of dialect is heard. Still, there are notable differences in pronunciation, even among North German speakers such as the lengthening of vowels and differences in accentuation. There are also some North German expressions that are in use even in Standard High German but are seldom heard in Southern Germany, such as "plietsch" for "intelligent".


High German

High German The High German dialects (german: hochdeutsche Mundarten), or simply High German (; not to be confused with Standard High German which is imprecisely also called ''High German''), comprise the varieties Variety may refer to: Science and te ...
is divided into
Central German Central German or Middle German (german: mitteldeutsche Dialekte, mitteldeutsche Mundarten, Mitteldeutsch) is a group of High German The High German dialects (german: hochdeutsche Mundarten), or simply High German (; not to be confused wit ...
,
High Franconian High Franconian or Upper Franconian (german: Oberfränkisch) is a part of High German The High German dialects (german: hochdeutsche Mundarten), or simply High German (; not to be confused with Standard High German which is imprecisely als ...
and
Upper German Upper German (German German(s) may refer to: Common uses * of or related to Germany * Germans, Germanic ethnic group, citizens of Germany or people of German ancestry * For citizens of Germany, see also German nationality law * German languag ...
. Central German dialects include Ripuarian,
Moselle Franconian __NOTOC__ Moselle Franconian (german: Moselfränkisch, lb, Muselfränkesch) is a West Central German language, part of the Central Franconian dialects, Central Franconian language area, that includes Luxembourgish. It is spoken in the souther ...
, Central Hessian, East Hessian, North Hessian,
Rhine Franconian __NOTOC__ Rhenish Franconian or Rhine Franconian (German: ) is a dialect chain The term dialect (from Latin , , from the Ancient Greek word , , "discourse", from , , "through" and , , "I speak") is used in two distinct ways to refer to two dif ...
,
Lorraine Franconian Lorraine Franconian (Lorraine Franconian: ''Plàtt'' or ''lottrìnger Plàtt''; french: francique lorrain or ''platt lorrain''; german: Lothringisch) is an ambiguous designation for dialect The term dialect (from Latin , , from the Ancient ...
,
Thuringian Thuringian is an East Central German East Central German (german: Ostmitteldeutsch) is the eastern, non-Franconian languages, Franconian Central German language, part of High German languages, High German. Present-day Standard German as a High ...
, Silesian,
High Prussian High Prussian (german: Hochpreußisch) is a group of East Central German dialects in former East Prussia, in present-day Warmian-Masurian Voivodeship, Poland. High Prussian developed in the 13th–15th centuries, brought in by German settlers ma ...
,
Lusatian dialects The Lusatian dialects (German German(s) may refer to: Common uses * of or related to Germany * Germans, Germanic ethnic group, citizens of Germany or people of German ancestry * For citizens of Germany, see also German nationality law * Ge ...
,
Upper Saxon Upper Saxon (german: Obersächsisch, ; ) is an East Central German dialect spoken in much of the modern States of Germany, German state of Saxony and in adjacent parts of southeastern Saxony-Anhalt and eastern Thuringia. As of the early 21st cen ...
,
North Upper Saxon North Upper Saxon (german: Nordobersächsisch ) is a Central German Central German or Middle German (german: mitteldeutsche Dialekte, mitteldeutsche Mundarten, Mitteldeutsch) is a group of High German The High German dialects (german: ho ...
and New Marchian. They are spoken in the southeastern Netherlands, eastern Belgium, Luxembourg, parts of northeastern France and in Germany approximately between the River
Main Main may refer to: Geography *Main River (disambiguation)Main River, more commonly simply ''Main'', is a river in Germany. Main River may also refer to: *Main River (Chukotka), a river in Far Eastern Siberia *Main River (Newfoundland), a river ...
and the southern edge of the Lowlands. High Franconian dialects are transitional dialects in between the two greater
High German The High German dialects (german: hochdeutsche Mundarten), or simply High German (; not to be confused with Standard High German which is imprecisely also called ''High German''), comprise the varieties Variety may refer to: Science and te ...
groups. High Franconian dialects include
East Franconian East Franconian (german: Ostfränkisch) or Mainfränkisch, usually referred to as Franconian (') in German, is a dialect which is spoken in Franconia Franconia (german: Franken, ; Franconian dialect: ''Franggn'' ; bar, Frankn) is a region of ...
and
South Franconian South Franconian (german: Südfränkisch) or South Rhine Franconian (german: Südrheinfränkisch) is an Upper German Upper German (German German(s) may refer to: Common uses * of or related to Germany * Germans, Germanic ethnic group, citiz ...
. Upper German dialects include Alsatian, Swabian, Low Alemannic,
Central Alemannic Central is an adjective usually referring to being in the center (disambiguation), center of some place or (mathematical) object. Central may also refer to: Directions and generalised locations * Central Africa, a region in the centre of Africa ...
,
High Alemannic High Alemannic is a dialect The term dialect (from Latin , , from the Ancient Greek word , 'discourse', from , 'through' and , 'I speak') can refer to either of two distinctly different types of Linguistics, linguistic phenomena: * One usa ...
,
Highest Alemannic Highest Alemannic is a branch of Alemannic German Alemannic, or rarely Alemannish (''Alemannisch'', ), is a group of High German dialects. The name derives from the ancient Germanic tribal confederation known as the Alemanni. Distribution Al ...
,
Southern Bavarian Southern Bavarian or South Bavarian, is a cluster of Upper German Upper German (German German(s) may refer to: Common uses * of or related to Germany * Germans, Germanic ethnic group, citizens of Germany or people of German ancestry * For ci ...
,
Central Bavarian Central Bavarian form a subgroup of Bavarian dialects in large parts of Austria Austria (, ; german: Österreich ), officially the Republic of Austria (german: Republik Österreich, links=no, ), is a landlocked A landlocked count ...
and
Northern Bavarian Northern Bavarian is a dialect The term dialect (from Latin , , from the Ancient Greek word , 'discourse', from , 'through' and , 'I speak') can refer to either of two distinctly different types of Linguistics, linguistic phenomena: * One u ...
and are spoken in parts of northeastern France, southern Germany, Liechtenstein, Austria, and in the German-speaking parts of Switzerland and Italy.
Standard High German Standard High German (SHG), less precisely Standard German or High German (not to be confused with High German The High German dialects (german: hochdeutsche Mundarten), or simply High German (; not to be confused with Standard High German ...
is based on Central and Upper German. The Moselle Franconian varieties spoken in
Luxembourg Luxembourg ( ; lb, Lëtzebuerg ; french: link=no, Luxembourg; german: link=no, Luxemburg), officially the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, ; french: link=no, Grand-Duché de Luxembourg ; german: link=no, Großherzogtum Luxemburg is a landlocked ...

Luxembourg
have been officially standardized and institutionalized and so are usually considered a separate language, known as
Luxembourgish Luxembourgish ( ; also ''Luxemburgish'', ''Luxembourgian'', ''Letzebu(e)rgesch''; Luxembourgish: ) is a West Germanic language West or Occident is one of the four cardinal directions or points of the compass The points of the compass ...
. Halcnovian,
Wymysorys Wymysorys (, or ), also known as Vilamovian or Wilamowicean, is a West Germanic language spoken by the ethnic Vilamovians, Vilamovian minority in the small town of Wilamowice, Poland ( in Wymysorys, ), on the border between Silesia and Lesser Po ...
, Sathmarisch and
Transylvanian Saxon #REDIRECT Transylvanian Saxons #REDIRECT Transylvanian Saxons The Transylvanian Saxons (german: Siebenbürger Sachsen; Transylvanian Saxon: ''Siweberjer Såksen''; ro, Sași ardeleni, sași transilvăneni/transilvani; hu, Erdélyi szászok) ar ...
are High German dialects of Poland and
Romania Romania ( ; ro, România ) is a country at the crossroads of Central Central is an adjective usually referring to being in the center (disambiguation), center of some place or (mathematical) object. Central may also refer to: Directions ...

Romania
. The High German varieties spoken by
Ashkenazi Jew Ashkenazi Jews ( are a Jews, Jewish Jewish diaspora, diaspora population who Coalescent theory, coalesced in the Holy Roman Empire around the end of the first millennium. The traditional diaspora language of Ashkenazi Jews is Yiddish (a Germ ...
s (mostly in Czarist Russia, then the former
Soviet Union The Soviet Union,. officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. (USSR),. was a that spanned during its existence from 1922 to 1991. It was nominally a of multiple national ; in practice and were highly until its final years. The ...
and Poland) have several unique features and are usually considered as a separate language. Known as
Yiddish Yiddish (, or , ''yidish'' or ''idish'', , ; , ''Yidish-Taytsh'', ) is a West Germanic The West Germanic languages constitute the largest of the three branches of the Germanic languages, Germanic family of languages (the others being the ...

Yiddish
, it is the only Germanic language that does not (only) use the
Latin script Latin script, also known as Roman script, is an alphabetic An alphabet is a standardized set of basic written symbols A symbol is a mark, sign, or word In linguistics, a word of a spoken language can be defined as the smallest sequ ...

Latin script
as its standard script. Since it developed in the Danube area, there are some similarities with the Central and Upper German dialects of that region. File:Ik-ich-Isogloss - Uerdinger Lien.svg, Map showing the
Uerdingen line The Uerdingen Line (german: Ürdinger Linie, Uerdinger Linie; named after Uerdingen Uerdingen () is a district of the city of Krefeld, Germany, with a population of 17,888 (2019). Originally a separate city in its own right, Uerdingen merged wi ...
, which divides Low German from High German. File:Benrather und Speyerer Linie.png, The Speyer line, dividing the
Central German Central German or Middle German (german: mitteldeutsche Dialekte, mitteldeutsche Mundarten, Mitteldeutsch) is a group of High German The High German dialects (german: hochdeutsche Mundarten), or simply High German (; not to be confused wit ...
dialects from the
High Franconian High Franconian or Upper Franconian (german: Oberfränkisch) is a part of High German The High German dialects (german: hochdeutsche Mundarten), or simply High German (; not to be confused with Standard High German which is imprecisely als ...
dialects. File:Uerdinger und Karlsruher Linie.png, The Uerdingen and the Karlsruhe line. The Karlsruhe line divides the
High Franconian High Franconian or Upper Franconian (german: Oberfränkisch) is a part of High German The High German dialects (german: hochdeutsche Mundarten), or simply High German (; not to be confused with Standard High German which is imprecisely als ...
dialects from the
Upper German Upper German (German German(s) may refer to: Common uses * of or related to Germany * Germans, Germanic ethnic group, citizens of Germany or people of German ancestry * For citizens of Germany, see also German nationality law * German languag ...

Upper German
dialects.


Overseas dialects

The dialects of German that are or were spoken primarily in colonies or communities founded by German-speakers resemble the dialects of the regions of the founders. For example,
Pennsylvania German The Pennsylvania Dutch (), translated from German to English as Pennsylvania Germans, are a cultural group formed by German immigrants settling in the state of Pennsylvania Pennsylvania ( , elsewhere ; pdc, Pennsilfaani), officially t ...
and
Volga German The Volga Germans (german: Wolgadeutsche or ''Russlanddeutsche'' (a more generic term for all Russian Germans Russian refers to anything related to Russia Russia ( rus, link=no, Россия, Rossiya, ), or the Russian Federation, is a ...

Volga German
resemble dialects of the
Baden-Württemberg Baden-Württemberg (; ) is a state (''Land'') in southwest Germany Southern Germany () as a region has no exact boundary but is generally taken to include the areas in which Upper German dialects are spoken. This corresponds roughly to the h ...
,
Hutterite German Hutterite German (German language, German: ''Hutterisch'') is an Upper German dialect of the Bavarian language, Bavarian variety of the German language, which is spoken by Hutterite communities in Canada and the United States. Hutterite is also c ...
resembles dialects of
Carinthia Carinthia (german: Kärnten ; sl, Koroška ) is the southernmost Austrian state or ''Land''. Situated within the Eastern Alps Eastern Alps is the name given to the eastern half of the Alps The Alps ; german: Alpen ; it, Alpi ; r ...
and Venezuelan '' Alemán Coloniero'' is a Low Alemannic variant.


Amana German

Amana German is a dialect of
West Central German West Central German (german: Westmitteldeutsch) belongs to the Central Central is an adjective usually referring to being in the center (disambiguation), center of some place or (mathematical) object. Central may also refer to: Directions and ...
. It is spoken in the
Amana Colonies The Amana Colonies are seven villages on located in Iowa County in east-central Iowa Iowa () is a U.S. state, state in the Midwestern United States, Midwestern region of the United States, bordered by the Mississippi River to the east and ...

Amana Colonies
in
Iowa Iowa () is a U.S. state, state in the Midwestern United States, Midwestern region of the United States, bordered by the Mississippi River to the east and the Missouri River and Big Sioux River to the west. It is bordered by six states: Wiscon ...

Iowa
, which were founded by
Inspirationalists The Community of True Inspiration, also known as the True Inspiration Congregations, Inspirationalists, and the Amana Church Society) is a Radical Pietism, Radical Pietist group of Christians descending from settlers of German, Swiss, and Austrian d ...
of German origin. Amana is derived from
Hessian A Hessian is an inhabitant of the German state of Hesse. Hessian may also refer to: Named from the toponym *Hessian (soldier), eighteenth-century German regiments in service with the British Empire **Hessian (boot), a style of boot **Hessian fa ...
, another West Central German dialect. Amana German is called ''Kolonie-Deutsch'' in Standard German.


Brazilian German

In Brazil, the largest concentrations of German speakers,
German Brazilians German Brazilians (German language, German: ''Deutschbrasilianer'', Hunsrik: ''Deitschbrasiliooner'', pt, teuto-brasileiros) refers to Brazilians of full or partial Germans, German ancestry. German Brazilians live mostly in the country's South R ...
, are in
Rio Grande do Sul Rio Grande do Sul (, , ; "Great River of the South") is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The St ...
, where
Riograndenser Hunsrückisch Hunsrik (natively and Portuguese ''Hunsrik'' or ''Hunsrückisch'',), also called ''Riograndenser Hunsrückisch'', is a Moselle Franconian language derived primarily from the Hunsrückisch dialect of West Central German. The language has some ...

Riograndenser Hunsrückisch
, and Brazilian Pomeranian were developed, especially in the areas of
Santa Catarina Santa Catarina may refer to: Places Brazil *Santa Catarina (state), one of Brazil's federal states *Santa Catarina (island), located in Santa Catarina state Cape Verde *Santa Catarina, Cape Verde, a municipality Curaçao *Santa Catarina, Curaç ...
, Paraná, Rondônia, and
Espírito Santo Espírito Santo (, , ; meaning "Holy Spirit In Abrahamic religions, the Holy Spirit is an aspect or agent of God in Abrahamic religions, God, by means of which God communicates with people or acts on them. In Judaism, it refers to the di ...
, as well as in Petrópolis (
Rio de Janeiro Rio de Janeiro (; ), or simply Rio, is the List of largest cities in Brazil, second-most populous city in Brazil and the Largest cities in the Americas, sixth-most populous in the Americas. Rio de Janeiro is the capital of the Rio de Janeiro (s ...

Rio de Janeiro
).


Chilean German

Lagunen-Deutsch is a variety of
High German The High German dialects (german: hochdeutsche Mundarten), or simply High German (; not to be confused with Standard High German which is imprecisely also called ''High German''), comprise the varieties Variety may refer to: Science and te ...
spoken in Chile. Most speakers of Lagunen-Deutsch live around
Lake Llanquihue Lake Llanquihue is the second-largest lake A lake is an area filled with water, localized in a basin, surrounded by land Land is the solid surface of Earth that is not permanently submerged in water. Most but not all land is situat ...
. Lagunen-Deutsch has integrated elements of the Spanish. This includes the integration of false cognates with the Spanish language, transferring the Spanish meanings into Lagunen-Deutsch. The geographical origin of most or all speakers of Lagunen-Deutsch is Chile, to where the ancestors of the speakers immigrated from Europe in the 19th and 20th centuries. The impact of nineteenth century German immigration to southern Chile was such that
Valdivia Valdivia (; Mapuche The Mapuche ( (Spanish: )) are a group of Indigenous Indigenous may refer to: *Indigenous peoples Indigenous peoples, also referred to as First people, Aboriginal people, Native people, or autochthonous people, are cu ...

Valdivia
was for a while a Spanish-German bilingual city with ''"German signboards and placards alongside the Spanish"''. The prestige the German language had made it acquire qualities of a
superstratum In linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (Signed language, sign language) and writing. Most langua ...
in southern Chile.


Venezuelan German

The Colonia Tovar dialect, or Alemán Coloniero, is a dialect spoken in
Colonia Tovar Colonia Tovar ( en, Tovar Colony) is a town of Venezuela, capital of the Tovar Municipality, Aragua, municipality Tovar in Aragua state. It is located about west of Caracas. Founded on April 8, 1843, by a group of 390 immigrants from the then i ...

Colonia Tovar
,
Venezuela Venezuela (; ), officially the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela ( es, link=no, República Bolivariana de Venezuela), is a country on the northern coast of South America, consisting of a continent A continent is any of several large l ...

Venezuela
, that belongs to the Low Alemannic branch of German. The dialect, like other
Alemannic dialects Alemannic, or rarely Alemannish (''Alemannisch'', ), is a group of High German dialect The High German languages or High German dialects (german: hochdeutsche Mundarten) comprise the varieties of German spoken south of the Benrath and Ue ...
, is not mutually intelligible with
Standard German Standard High German (SHG), less precisely Standard German or High German (not to be confused with High German The High German dialects (german: hochdeutsche Mundarten), or simply High German (; not to be confused with Standard High German ...
. It is spoken by descendants of Germans from the
Black Forest The Black Forest (german: italic=no, Schwarzwald ) is a large forest A forest is an area of land dominated by tree In botany, a tree is a perennial plant with an elongated Plant stem, stem, or trunk (botany), trunk, supporting ...

Black Forest
region of southern
Baden __notoc__ Baden (; ) is a historical territory in South Germany Southern Germany () as a region has no exact boundary but is generally taken to include the areas in which Upper German dialects are spoken. This corresponds roughly to the h ...

Baden
, who emigrated to Venezuela in 1843. The dialect has also acquired some Spanish
loanword A loanword (also loan word or loan-word) is a word In linguistics, a word of a spoken language can be defined as the smallest sequence of phonemes that can be uttered in isolation with semantic, objective or pragmatics, practical meaning ...
s.


Standard American German

Currently 1.1 million American citizens speak German, with the most being in the
Dakotas The Dakotas is a collective term for the U.S. state In the United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, primari ...

Dakotas
. German was at one time the lingua franca in many American regions, with high density in the Midwest, but
St. Louis St. Louis () is the second-largest city in Missouri Missouri is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State ( ...

St. Louis
,
Milwaukee Milwaukee ( ) is the largest city in the U.S. state In the United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is a country Contiguous United States, primarily located in ...

Milwaukee
,
New Orleans New Orleans (,New Orleans
, New York City and a great many others cities had a very high German-speaking population. By 1900, over 554 Standard German-language newspapers were in circulation. The rise in American ethnic nativist pride, especially during
World War I World War I, often abbreviated as WWI or WW1, also known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war A world war is "a war engaged in by all or most of the principal nations of the world". The term is usually reserved for ...

World War I
, led to a zealous push for the
Americanization Americanization is the influence American culture and business has on other countries outside the United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is a country Contiguous U ...
of
hyphenated Americans In the United States, the term hyphenated American refers to the use of a hyphen (in some styles of writing) between the name of an ethnicity and the word "American" in compound nouns, e.g., as in "Irish-American". It was an epithet used from 1890 ...
to reclaim the
White Anglo-Saxon Protestant In the United States, White Anglo-Saxon Protestants or WASPs are the white White is the lightest color and is achromatic (having no hue). It is the color of snow, chalk, and milk, and is the opposite of black. White objects fully diffuse ...
hegemonic influence once again, as the surges of immigration had forever changed the dynamic nation. All things and individuals with ties to Germany were thus subjected to public harassment, distrust, or even death, such as in the lynching of
Robert Prager Robert Paul Prager (February 28, 1888 – April 5, 1918) was a German immigrant who was Lynching in the United States, lynched in the United States during World War I as a result of anti-German sentiment. He had worked as a baker in southern Ill ...
, a German seeking to become naturalized in St. Louis.


See also

*
History of the German language History (from Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approxima ...
*
German as a minority language This article details the geographical distribution of speakers of the German language, regardless of the legislative status within the countries where it is spoken. In addition to the German language, German-speaking area (german: Deutscher Sprac ...
*
Ethnic Germans Germans (, ) are the natives or inhabitants of Germany ) , image_map = , map_caption = , map_width = 250px , capital = Berlin Berlin (; ) is the and by both area and population. Its 3,769,495 inhabitants, as of 31 December ...
* Petuh, German vocabulary on a Danish base * Wisconsin German


References


Further reading

* Friedrich Maurer (1942), ''Nordgermanen und Alemannen: Studien zur germanischen und frühdeutschen Sprachgeschichte, Stammes- und Volkskunde'', Bern: Francke Verlag. * "German Dialects, Teenagers' Argot: Purists May Disapprove, but Multi-ethnic Dialects Are Spreading", ''The Economist'', no. 8771 (11 Feb 2012), p. 56. ''N.B''.: Unsigned article, concerning the German urban dialect called "Kiezdeutsh". *


External links


Datenbank fuer Gesprochenes Deutsch (DGD2)
– a database with several dialect corpora covering German and overseas (North American, Australian) varieties of German

* ttps://web.archive.org/web/20080405043245/http://userweb.port.ac.uk/~joyce1/dialects/ German Dialects – Links Paul Joyce, University of Portsmouth (extensive collection of links on each dialect)
Atlas zur deutschen Alltagssprache
(University of Augsburg, German) with recent research and maps on everyday language in the German-speaking countries {{Language varieties Dialects by language