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The German Language


German is one of the European languages of longer tradition and rougher history. Clear and ordered, the German language reflects the spirit of a nation of clear ideas and admirable organization in all the fields of life. It is comprehensible why it is the language of some of the greatest thinkers of century XIX and of gorgeous literary works that last in the cultural heap of the humanity. Nowadays, German is native language of 98 million people in the world, who not only live in the countries where it is official language (such as Germany and Austria). 

It is also a language of increasing commercial importance, since Germany locates itself between the first places of economic relevance in the world. It is, in short, a language that is due to know  for reasons of pure work as by pleasing or by culture. 

The German language dialects

The written German is very uniform across Germany and Austria. The spoken German however,  presents many dialects which belong to either the High German or to the Low German dialectal groups (note that 'Low German' is not a negative term but just the name of a dialectal group).

As this division of dialects is rather complicated to describe, we have designed a frame which we hope will help you to better understand it
(See below).

High German and Low German dialectal groups are different mainly in their system of sounds, particularly with respect to the consonants. However, it does not exist a generally accepted standard of German pronunciation (although some norms of pronunciation published in 1957 as Deutsche Hochsprache were accepted).

Even the pronunciation of highly educated Germans is affected by their native dialects. Some German-speaking groups, such as the Swabians, Saxons, Austrians, and Swiss, can be distinguished readily by their characteristic types of pronunciation.

Some dialects can be even ininteligibles for the others. Such is the case of the German spoken in Switzerland as much writing as spoken.


Upper German
Spoken in Southern regions of Baden-Württemberg and Alsace, southwestern corner of Bavaria, German-language areas of Switzerland, including the major cities of Basel, Zürich, and Bern
Spoken in Southeastern section of Germany east of the Lech River and south of Nürnberg, including Munich, and in Austria, including the cities of Innsbruck, Vienna, and Graz
South Franconian
Used between Karlsruhe and Heilbronn
East Franconian
Used in the vicinity of Nürnberg, Würzburg, Bamberg, and Fulda
Surviving today only in certain geographical names of Lombardy
Middle German
Rhine Franconian
Spoken in most of the Palatinate and Hessen, which contain the cities of Mainz, Heidelberg, Frankfurt am Main, and Marburg an der Lahn
Mosel Franconian
Used on both sides of the Mosel River and centering in the city of Trier
Used between Aachen and Cologne
Heard in the environs of Weimar, Jena, and Erfurt
Upper Saxon
Spoken in Saxony (Sachsen), including the cities of Dresden and Leipzig
Used in Lower and Upper Silesia, northwest and southeast of Wroc³aw (formerly called Breslau, now in Poland).
Low Franconian
Spoken only in the west, in a narrow fringe along the border between the Netherlands and Germany
Low Saxon
Used in the northern lowlands as far east and northeast as the Elbe River, including the cities of Münster, Kassal, Bremen, Hannover, Hamburg, and Magdeburg.





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