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By_degrees__The_different_German_dialects

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					By degrees: The different German dialects

Word Count:
509

Summary:
German is one of the most popular languages in the world. In fact, the
Guinness Book of World Records has listed the German language as one of
the three languages that are learned the most by people.


Keywords:
German, free language learning guide


Article Body:
German is one of the most popular languages in the world. In fact, the
Guinness Book of World Records has listed the German language as one of
the three languages that are learned the most by people. It is also
included in the ten most spoken languages in the world. In the European
Union it is the second most known foreign language.German is also one of
the agreed upon official languages of the EU and is also chosen, along
with English and French, as one of the three working languages used in
the European Commission.

German is also considered as a pluricentric language much like English
and French. With the wide scope of usage for this language, it would be
quite expected to think that a person who knows German would be able to
go to any part of Germany and be expected to communicate effortlessly.
Unfortunately, this is quite far from the truth. In reality, the German
language has many dialects that are spoken in a large part of the country
(and even in other countries).

The German dialects are not mutually intelligible to each other. This
means that people who only know the different German dialects and not the
common German language will not be able to understand each other.

How did the dialects evolve into this? Each dialect has evolved to
contain typical words that are not considered as cognates of the words
used in standard German this makes it quite difficult to understand in
areas where the dialect is not spoken or an area where a different
dialect is used.

There is a so-called dialect continuum in countries where German is
spoken. During normal situations the dialect that is used by a
neighbouring region is understood quite well even if it is also
distinctly different from the dialect that is used in the adjacent
region.

The so called Low German dialects that are used in the Northern part of
Germany are considered mutually intelligible but it still remains not
understood in other parts of the country. Of the other remaining
dialects, the German dialects used in Switzerland, Southern Bavaria,
Austria, and   the West Bank of the Rhine are notoriously known for being
very hard to   understand outside the regions in which these dialects are
used. On the   other hand, the so called Central and Eastern German
dialects are   seen to be more understandable in other parts of the
country.

Low Germanic dialects are those dialects that were not affected by the
High German consonant shift. The Low Germanic dialect is comprised of two
subgroups – Low Franconian and Low German.

The High Germanic dialects are broken down into Central German and Upper
German subgroups. The Central German dialects include Ripuarian, Moselle
Franconian, Hessian, Thuringian, South Franconian, Lorraine Franconian
and Upper Saxon. Upper German dialects include Alemannic, Swabian, East
Franconian, Alsatian and Austro-Bavarian. The Upper German dialects are
also used in certain parts of the Alsace, as well as in southern Germany,
Liechtenstein, Austria, and in certain parts of Switzerland and Italy
where German is spoken.