Dealing with German dialects

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Josquin
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Re: Dealing with German dialects

Postby Josquin » Mon Jul 16, 2018 6:54 am

I agree with Iversen that this is still pretty mild dialect, but at least it comes close to what I would call "hardcore" dialect.

However, what Iversen interprets as an /r/, I'd rather describe as a diphthong including an /a/. The vocalization of /r/ is a pretty recent phenomenon in German, and especially in Southern dialects it is still realized as an alveolar trill, so an /r/ would sound pretty different in this dialect.

But otherwise, yeah, very Austrian! I especially liked the word "gö(l)b" for "gelb". Sometimes, you have to think for a second what a word means, but mostly it's all very comprehensible, at least when you're used to Austrian German.

However, I'll never forget the old man I met as a child in Tyrol. I couldn't understand a word he was saying, but I guess the kinds of him are all disappearing.
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Josquin
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Re: Dealing with German dialects

Postby Josquin » Mon Jul 16, 2018 7:26 am

As we're sharing samples of our favourite dialects now, I thought I'd show you these two examples of Suerlänner Platt ("Sauerländer Platt"):

First, the Lord's Prayer in Suerlänner Platt. This is pretty mild dialect although spoken by an elderly man:



And then a woman telling little stories ("Dönekes") in Suerlänner Platt. This is what I'd call "hardcore" dialect, but see for yourselves! ;)

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Re: Dealing with German dialects

Postby Chung » Mon Jul 23, 2018 7:54 pm

If anyone is still interested, I recommend the following items on German dialects (especially if you're already comfortable with using standard German).

1) Useful Notes / German Dialects - this is an interesting summary on German dialects and describes some of the characteristics of the main groups but also where they can be encountered in German movies and TV (in as much as it's possible - see my note earlier that an actor/character using full dialect without subtitles is rare because it would make things incomprehensible to a goodly amount of the audience).

2) Grüezi, Moin, Servus!: Wie wir wo sprechen - this is a fun paperback that doesn't require a background in linguistics to take in. It covers about a 100 common concepts/objects and describes the ways that they're "translated" in the Germanosphere. Each "translation" comes with an isogloss map showing where a certain form is used or is typical. For example it has a picture of a cook flipping a pan with a pancake and describes it as "thin layer of batter made of flour, eggs, milk and salt that's fried on a pan" (either Pfannkuchen or Eierkuchen "crêpe, pancake" are acceptable as standard in Germany). It then shows how it's translated in the German-speaking world complete with an isogloss map showing among other "translations" that it's known as Palatschinke in eastern Austria including Vienna while in much of the former East Germany including Berlin it's called Eierkuchen since Pfannkuchen there refer to a certain kind of jelly donut known as Berliner or Krapfen to most other Germans, not a pancake. I didn't buy this book, but did browse through a good part of it while killing time at an outlet of Thalia.

3) dtv-Atlas: Deutsche Sprache - this is a little like a more technical and beefed-up version of "Grüezi, Moin, Servus!: Wie wir wo sprechen" above, and goes into a level of detail that's useful to a linguist or anyone interested in the evolution of German from antiquity when there was just a Proto-Germanic daughter of Proto-Indo-European. The second half of the book deals with dialectal characteristics complete with isogloss maps not just of certain lexical items, but also of several phonological and morphological features of German dialects (e.g. it has a map showing the dialectal correspondances of intervocalic -d- of standard German as found in Bruder "brother"). I got a second-hand copy of this a few days ago, and am already enjoying it while reading it on my daily commute, despite its technical writing style sometimes taxing my abilities in German (it helps though that I'm familiar with some aspects of the history of German).

Both books are fairly cheap (about €10), and it's possible to find a "dtv-Atlas: Deutsche Sprache" used on Amazon Marketplace for just a few dollars, pounds or Euros.

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If an outsider were serious about learning something about a German dialect independently, there is some serious reference material available (e.g. Wörterbuch deutscher Dialekte: Eine Sammlung von Mundartwörtern aus 10 Dialektgebieten, Plattdeutsche Grammatik: Formen und Funktionen, Das Radio Tirol-Wörterbuch der Tiroler Mundarten) and even a few respectable-looking textbooks (e.g. Schweizerdeutsch in 30 Tagen, Platt - dat Lehrbook: Ein Sprachkurs für Erwachsene) in addition to somewhat light-hearted phrasebooks (e.g. Langenscheidt Schwäbisch für Anfänger - Der humorvolle Sprachführer für Schwäbisch-Fans, Langenscheidt Lilliput Berlinerisch). If you run a search on Amazon.de or similar using one of the names of the dialects (e.g. "Hessisch", "Sächsisch", "Badisch", "Platt", "Tirolerisch"), you'll find a few goodies, although most seem to be books rather than audio, and so you might need to look on YouTube for audio.

Dialektatlas on Deutsche Welle also describes the dialects of Germany with a few audio samples if you're just curious about dialects.
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Re: Dealing with German dialects

Postby William Camden » Tue Jul 24, 2018 12:10 pm

Iversen wrote:I have own some of the Kauderwelsch booklets that relate to German dialects and others that treat fullblown foreign languages. My main objection to the dialect booklets is that they rely on curiosities and folklore to a larger extent than the books that describe foreign languages. The latter actually resemble the Assimil booklets in French to such a degree that I suspect there is some kind of connection between the two series.

Also Langenscheidt Lilliput dictionaries exist for some German dialects, Bairisch, Kölsch etc. I have rarely encountered dialect in Germany but I have encountered it in Austria.
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