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German Dialects
There are many Germans who think there is only one German language and when they hear the language spoken in Bavaria it amazes them as they didn’t think that their language exists in this form. Almost a quarter of Germans are entranced when listening to this softer-sounding German dialect. However, when they hear Rhineland Palatinate or the Saxonian German dialect they might be more likely to cringe. As it turns out German dialects aren’t important in the classroom and only standard German is taught. The distinction between German dialects is particularly important for budding English German translators.
For a lot of Germans, their dialect is the 1st language they grow up with and use when trying the language for the first time. The further south one goes to Germany, there are more colourful German dialects but they are also found in the north.
German does have a standardised version in its written form but how it’s pronounced orally depends on the German region. When listening to a radio or even TV programmes in local areas the presenters often speak with the dialect of that area, even though they will use standard German when writing. At the end of the 1800s there was an attempt to use standard German only but despite that different German dialects and accents have survived and are ever changing. Linguists believe that there are still about 250 distinctive German dialects and every German dialect is tied to a specific region.
In Saarland, for instance, there are basically 2 dialects, the Moselle Franconian found in the northwest of the area and Rhine Franconian in the south-east. These 2 dialects haven’t evolved because of their geographical position in relation to each other but this has more to do with pronouncing the word ‘das.’ Saarländers, refer to this linguistic division as the Das-Dat-Grenze. The southern area pronounces the word in a similar way to the standard German which is dat, while in the north of Saarland the preference for pronunciation is das.
When an English German Translation is needed to convert text into German the German translator has to know which dialect to use in the translation to ensure no offence is given. Standard German may be the norm but existing alongside it is a whole plethora of dialects that some Germans may prefer to use in all forms of communication.