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August 28, 2010

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Alan

German has maintained a far greater diversity of dialects than English. The lexical, phonological and grammatical differences are vast, so that our Geordie and Liverpudlian etc. do not deserve to be ranked on the same scale. The interesting thing too is that dialects do not attract the same stigma on the whole (one caveat: most German profess to hate the Saxon variety spoken around Dresden) but in Bavaria politicians are expected to make speeches in the dialect and Plattdeutsch has its own programmes in the North, rather like BBC Wales.

Virtual Linguist

Thank you for your informed comment, Alan.

ale

According to Wikipedia, Bavarian is a regional language, not a dialect of German. I'm glad there is a renaissance, it's very important to preserve every speech, no matter if language or dialect. A dialect is a real language because it has a grammar, a vocabulary and many subvariations, and its origins and evolution are actually different from the standard language. German was almost totally restricted as a written language; then, in 20th century, it started to spread. Many dialets are disappearing. So I'm glad of this renaissance. Remember, dialect is not ignorance, it's CULTURE!
Sorry for possible mistakes, English is not my native language.

Virtual Linguist

Thank you for your comment, Ale, and yes, I agree with you.

M. vWagnon

Sometimes I think that those that discount languages like Bairisch as not being a real language are afraid of something. Is it ignorance of just what a language really is - a defined means of communication? Just asking. UNESCO has affirmed Bairisch as a language. I think I'll take their determination.

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