Talk:German dialects

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I very much doubt the truth of this passage, esp. of the first sentence: "In the United States, the teaching of the German language to latter-age students has given rise to a pidgin variant which combines the German language with the grammar and spelling rules of the English language. It is often understandable by either party. The speakers of this language often refer to it as Amerikanisch or Amerikanischdeutsch, although it is known in English as American German. Part of this is the so-called Texas German"

Texas German, to the best of my knowledge, is a German dialect that developped in the Texas German communities as a kind of amalgam of the original settlers' dialects. Through generations of bilingualism and increasing use of the English language, this variety may have deteriorated (so to speak) and become the kind of pidgin described in the passage above. I cannot imagine that there is seriously any variety of German that was created by teaching German to elderly Americans.--Unoffensive text or character 15:30, 24 July 2006 (UTC)

I don't think the passage means elderly Americans, but rather only college students who try to converse amongst themselves with improper German syntax. At least that's what I gleaned from reading that. Nagelfar (talk) 08:46, 6 July 2008 (UTC)

Merger of small dialect articles[edit]

Amana German, Belgranodeutsch, Namibian Black German, Unserdeutsch and Lagunen-deutsch are all linked to in this article, but none is more than a paragraph or two long, usually enough to say what kind of German dialect it is and where it is spoken. None of them seems to be growing rapidly, and there's plenty of room in this article for them. I would like to suggest that they all be merged as sections of this article. Any comments? --Stemonitis 14:20, 11 August 2006 (UTC)

Make it so. There is no point in having separate articles for each and every colonial variety of German.Unoffensive text or character 16:35, 11 August 2006 (UTC)

  • Oppose, at least in the case of Unserdeutsch, and probably also in the case of Namibian Black German. Creoles are not dialects. --Ptcamn 02:06, 12 August 2006 (UTC)
  • Comment: nor is a pidgin a creole. How about the alternative of merging the creoles to German-based creole languages, which is currently a pitiful stub? I'm not sure what to do with the pidgins yet, nor is it clear to me exactly what Belgranodeutsch is (pidgin? creole? dialect?); "mixture" is pretty vague. --Stemonitis 09:10, 12 August 2006 (UTC)
  • Oppose individual dialects tend to have a wealth of documented information available, these simply haven't been incorporated with much depth yet.


The legend of the second map (Distribution of native speakers of West Germanic languages) should be amended. What it says about Alsatian dialects is only a half-truth: Though Alsatian is rarely to be heard in public nowadays, over half of the population are still able to speak it and in the rural parts of Bas Rhin (Niederelsass), it is still spoken by all generation, except the youngest one. Thus, while it is true that it is being replaced by French, the dialect is far from being dead yet. The legend should, in my opinion, read: Alsatian and Lorrainian dialects are no longer universally spoken or understood, being gradually replaced by French.

The "Region where Dutch has no official status..." is considerably smaller than shown on the map. What is said about Alsatian is true about Dutch in northern France: There, the language is on the verge of extinction.Unoffensive text or character 15:00, 26 September 2006 (UTC)

As soon as you provide some references (though I believe what you say it's still original research) I'll amend it right away.
Rex 15:31, 26 September 2006 (UTC)

Rex Germanus: Please have a look here (on the Elsass): (Just in case you cannot read the legend, it says "Proportion of persons over 18 years of age who declare themselves to be speakers of dialect in the corresponding district). And this is on Dutch in France: (esp. chapter 2.7), though I admit it rather seems to support your view on the extent of the Dutch-speaking area.Unoffensive text or character 09:07, 29 September 2006 (UTC)

I've found something a bit more substantial on the Dutch area in Northern France yet: text or character 09:30, 29 September 2006 (UTC)

I've updated the image, it should appear soon.
Rex 11:23, 29 September 2006 (UTC)

map colours[edit]

it is to be assumed that the colours should reflect how closely or distant dialects are related to each other. thus, the dutch dialects, being closest related to the low german ones, should have a shade of yellow. as it looks now, the dutch dialects, with their dark shades of blue, seem to be the most distant related ones of all. this is not the case. one might want to compare the map with the one on german wikipedia where the colours reflect the relationship correctly. Sundar1 15:55, 25 February 2007 (UTC)

That obviously is not to be assumed.Rex 16:41, 25 February 2007 (UTC)
yes, mr. rex, of course it is to be assumed, else why are other dialects kept in similar shades if not for that very reason? it's quite obvious that it is exactly the intention of this map to make the dutch dialects look as distant as possible from the low german ones. just for the record. this map is clearly of your own making and thus has no acceptable source. it's quite obvious what crusade you're on and i do not intend to spoil your fun. in fact, i enjoy watching your little battles. it's also a good reminder that one is to use wikipedia with a good deal of care and double checking. Sundar1 16:42, 7 March 2007 (UTC)
So why do you not go ahead and change it? Unoffensive text or character 07:38, 9 March 2007 (UTC)

The information is missing the Schwäbisch dialect which can be found between Stuttgart and France. I grew up speaking Schwäbisch in North Dakota (along with my relatives) ... and it is spoken in South Dakota. Tens of thousands of Germans moved from Germany to Russia in the late 1700's and early 1800's. In the late 1800's tens of thousands moved from Russia to North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, and Kansas ... and brought with them German language and culture. (cte) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:08, 11 January 2011 (UTC)

"German speaking parts of Austria"[edit]

An IP adress just changed the passage "Upper German dialects are spoken ... in Austria ..." to "... in the German speaking parts of Austria". I have reverted the edit for the following reasons: Nearly all of Austria is exclusively German speaking. All native speakers of languages like Slovenian, Croatian or Hungarian, which are spoken in very small parts of Burgenland and Kärnten, also speak the local Upper German dialect. Unoffensive text or character 17:02, 24 April 2007 (UTC)

Table of sound changes in the basic structure of cognants & false cognants anyone?[edit]

OK. If anybody knows a great deal about German dialects, used and no longer used, might that someone help me out by possibly adding a exhaustive table of the basic changes in-between the dialects (or make a link which points everyone in the direction of one)? Maybe using one word as an example. I know the very word "Deutsch" ('German', "Teutonic") and dutch "Diets" is as different as Theodisk, Tauteest, Töttels, Dietel, Theil. Do any know which dialects those belong to? For example, what dialects have the "D" to "T" switch (maybe only in spelling if nothing else), which have the -sch/-s/-sk/-est ending suffix as opposed to the -el/-il one, and is there actually a meaning difference between those two suffixes? Also the second D/T sound dropping in the middle of the word is a product of what dialects as well? Starting with something simple like that might bring us to a good table. (Apparently a common form "Thietilo" from the first element of the name dietrich, i.e. "diets", [1] was well attested. Many variant surnames coming from different dialects meaning what in high German (hochdeutsch) would be "deutsch" exist too. [2]) Nagelfar (talk) 08:43, 6 July 2008 (UTC)

Pennsylvania German language[edit]

I was thinking of adding a , or "Pennsylvania Dutch" section, would you all agree to it? I think it could qualify as an overseas german dialect, as it does have at least 150,000 speakers. —Preceding unsigned comment added by C-Kor857 (talkcontribs) 07:07, 13 December 2008 (UTC)

Pennsylvania German is called "Pennsylvania Deitsch", not "Pennsylvania Dutch"! There is already an article about "Pennsylvania Deitsch" on the english Wikipedia [[3]], and there is also a wikipedia in "Pennsylvania Deitsch" with some articles. [4] --Ragoro (talk) 18:54, 3 March 2009 (UTC)

Black German[edit]

Is there an identifiably separate dialect or dialect continuum spoken by Afro-Germans, analogous to AAVE and BBE in English? Not having lived there, I can't speak on it, but it seems that way listening to, as an example, the differences between how rapping contemporaries Afrob and Ferris MC deliver their verses. this raven is icy (talk) 11:36, 23 June 2009 (UTC)

I live in Berlin, and if there is a distinct Afro-German dialect, I've never noticed it or heard tell of it. What one does notice, and what is commented upon in the media, is "Kanak Sprak", the dialect of Turks in Germany (as well as Kurds, Iranians, Arabs, and anyone else liable to get called "Kanake"). +Angr 12:06, 23 June 2009 (UTC)

Haltsnovian language[edit]

Haltsnovian language is orphaned. Should it link here somehow? kwami (talk) 07:36, 4 August 2009 (UTC)

Not without some evidence that such a language ever existed. +Angr 09:38, 4 August 2009 (UTC)
@Kwamikagami and Angr: The article has been recreated at Alzenau dialect, still orphaned. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 19:09, 19 December 2016 (UTC)


Article says "The High German varieties spoken by Ashkenazi Jews (mostly in the former Soviet Union) have several unique features, and are usually considered as a separate language, Yiddish."

Yiddish_language#The_20th_century lists recent estimates of numbers of Yiddish speakers as Israel: 215,000 ... USA: 178,945 ... Russia: 29,998. Adding in figures from other former USSR countries gives a figure for current total number of speakers in countries formerly part of the Soviet Union on the order of 40,000 - 50,000.
If we are talking about current Yiddish speakers, then the statement that they are located "mostly in the former Soviet Union" seems to be inaccurate.
If we are discussing the origins of Yiddish (circa 14th and 15th centuries), this of course long predates the existence of the Soviet Union, and we may want to rephrase this. -- (talk) 18:55, 15 October 2009 (UTC)

Low German is not a dialect of German[edit]

Despite the name, Low German is not a dialect of German, but rather a separate language. It is actually probably closer to Dutch than German. (talk) 18:53, 29 August 2013 (UTC)

This depends on the definition of the Word "German". Until the 19th century, the Dutch called their language Duits, "German", too. And thus, Lower German is as German as upper German. -- Orthographicus (talk) 08:43, 21 July 2015 (UTC)
This discussion demonstrates the degree of difficulty resident within this article's abject lack of clear purpose and strict nomenclature. Its title German Dialects, as implemented, could mean (1) varieties of the Germanic languages; (2) varieties of languages spoken [at some time] by people calling themselves German, within Germany/Germania, or beyond; (3) written or spoken varieties of Standard German, Hochdeutsch; and so forth, ad nauseum. Each of these reference-points is used within differing parts of the article; and, at times, they're mixed!
This article is all over the place! Towards the top, it includes Dutch and Plattdeutsch as German dialects. In the table toward the bottom, it includes Yiddish. Not a one of these is "German" as the title would announce! They are Germanic languages, not German dialects! And, in the middle, it mentions dialects of standard German.
If you are going to include Yiddish as an "overseas dialect" of German, you must also include English, Swedish, Norwegian (Bokmål and Nynorsk), Icelandic, Faeroese, Tok Pisin, etc! (And, logically, you must treat Danish as being not "overseas"!)
This article's treatment of Yiddish is particularly troublesome. Yiddish is, like Dutch (and, in parallel, despite any assumed level of mutual intelligibility!), a language separate and independent from German: grammatically, syntactically, phonologically, culturally, geographically, historically, vocabulary-ly. Its false label as a degenerate Hochdeutsch dialect was propagandized by the Nazis and their Antisemitic stooges. And just why—if it truly is a German dialect (as the article uses the phrase)—is there mention of Yiddish being spoken in Czarist Russia, etc., and developed, but not spoken within Germany? [Yes, until the 1940's it was spoken well within Germany (particularly in Imperial Westpreußen; in Pommern, Posen, Silesia and in East Prussia, etc. {Besonders in Gegenden die nach den Weltkriegen an Polen übergeben worden sind}), and never only in Eastern Europe!]
This entire article needs major clarification, vast correction and a Teutonically thorough clean-up! Tok bilong buk, em i gat bigpela hevi! -- Polemyx (talk) 06:55, 10 December 2015 (UTC)
Thanks for pointing out the problematic treatment of Yiddish. You are of course perfectly right that Yiddish is not German. The culprit was not this article, though, but the Template:German L1 speakers outside Europe (that is how this information could sneak in undetected). I have removed it from the template [5], but it may take a couple of hours until the change is transcluded into this article.
The article mentions Dutch, but it does not claim that Dutch is a German dialect.
The status of Low German as a dialect of German or as a separate language is discussed in the article. There is a lack of sources, but I think that is no reason for removing the information since sources can be found in related articles such as Low German#Is Low German a dialect of German or a separate language? or de:Niederdeutsche Sprache#Stellung des Niederdeutschen. --mach 🙈🙉🙊 07:59, 10 December 2015 (UTC)

This article has no references[edit]

As written, the article has no references to substantiate the claims and statements made by the author(s), the most egregious of which are not factual, but are purely personal points of view. I have inserted "Citation needed" tags at points where one or more references must be inserted, especially at the points where an unsubstantiated personal point of view (PPOV) is expressed or stated as being a fact. I've also included my reason for adding each of the "unreferenced" tags.

In addition to lacking references (which in itself is administrative grounds for removal of the article), the scholarship of the article needs to be greatly improved if the article is to be retained in this Wikipedia. The low level of scholarship is especially noticeable in the "Overseas dialects" section. There the author(s) dwell at length on German immigrants in Texas (who comprise less than 10% of the total German immigrant population in the United States, the states of North and South Dakota having been the destination of well over 60% of all the German immigrants who came to America in the mid-1800's), but also entirely overlooked the Mennonite Low German immigration into the United States and the Canadian provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan, a German group who regularly speak the Plautdietsch dialect. Because of the large number of German-related articles that are in this Wikipedia, including articles that address the above two subjects, the author(s) failure is egregious.

I suggest the author(s) read both the article "Deutsche Dialekte" and the article's "Talk" pages in the German Wikipedia (, and especially the archived earlier pages where a mutual intelligibility encounter between Amish Plattdeitsch speakers and a Standard German speaker is described,to get an idea of how a scholarly article in Wikipedia is and should be written. K. Kellogg-Smith (talk) 04:57, 11 February 2014 (UTC)

Requested move 12 May 2015[edit]

The following is a closed discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. Editors desiring to contest the closing decision should consider a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: not moved. Calidum T|C 01:54, 30 May 2015 (UTC)

German dialectsVarieties of German – The German "dialects" are a very diverse group, with Low German not more closely related to High German than to other West Germanic branches. In terms of abstand, these are several groups of languages. Like the varieties of Chinese and varieties of Arabic, these are often imprecisely called "dialects", but that does not mean we should follow suit. Instead, this article's title should use the same structure as those articles. JorisvS (talk) 09:42, 12 May 2015 (UTC)

  • Strong oppose the proposed title has no indication it is about language, and not varieties of German people, etc; indeed the Chinese article listed has the same problem and should be renamed. -- (talk) 05:04, 13 May 2015 (UTC)'
    Comment: Nor do Varieties of Chinese and varieties of Arabic. And how could "Varieties of German" be about German people? --JorisvS (talk) 07:09, 13 May 2015 (UTC)
  • As I said, the Chinese article needs to be renamed. "Arabic" is only about language, so can't mistaken to be about Arabs. Varieties of German peoples... such as a list of various types of Germans (Prussians, Bavarians, Austrians, Swiss Germans, etc) -- (talk) 03:45, 14 May 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose for the same reasons. A language variant is a dialect not a variety. --Bermicourt (talk) 06:17, 13 May 2015 (UTC)
    Comment: What do you mean "language variant"? Dialect? Have you been reading what I said: The "dialects" are very different from one another, with Low German as different from High German as the other West Germanic branches! --JorisvS (talk) 07:09, 13 May 2015 (UTC)
  • Strong oppose ... see "our" discussion Talk:Swiss Standard German#"Variety" and main argument is regarding your POV that dialects must be mutually intelligible: "Some have attempted to distinguish dialects from languages by saying that dialects of the same language are understandable to each other. The untenable nature of blunt application of this criterion ..." in Dialectology#Mutual intelligibility, and "However, this definition becomes problematic in the case of dialect continua, in which it may be the case that dialect B is mutually intelligible with both dialect A and dialect C but dialects A and C are not mutually intelligible with each other." in Dialect#Dialect or language. -- ~~
    The main argument is that "dialect" is not neutral and that there is a more neutral, commonly used term around. --JorisvS (talk) 17:35, 13 May 2015 (UTC)
    We had this almost endless dicsussion already, just recently, didn't we?!!!! :-| -- ZH8000 (talk) 19:35, 13 May 2015 (UTC)
    If only you were able to argue why it would not be, then it would not have been so long a discussion. --JorisvS (talk) 09:10, 16 May 2015 (UTC)
  • Comment The proposal seems based on an idea that the difficulty of how to define a dialect can be solved. I think the term dialect is the common term and a term Wikipedia must cover. Many topics which Wikipedia covers have an imperfect definition but this does not make the articles bad.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 10:54, 13 May 2015 (UTC)
    My proposal? Not at all. Of course should Wikipedia cover the concept "dialect" and all the difficulties therein, but there is a better, commonly used (also with respect to German) term around for this article's title that is actually neutral. "Dialect" is not neutral, not in a situation like Chinese (where the varieties are also often referred to as "dialects"), nor in the rather similar German situation. --JorisvS (talk) 17:35, 13 May 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose: There is an ample consensus in German linguistics that the German dialects are called dialects in the sense of (traditional) regional varieties. I see no reason why Wikipedia should deviate from the accepted terminology in this field of knowledge. Also, this article clearly states that it is only about German dialects (in the sens of regional varieties), and not about other varieties of German. --mach 🙈🙉🙊 12:46, 13 May 2015 (UTC)
    Because it is not a neutral term, read WP:NPOV. And "variety" is used in describing the German linguistic situation. --JorisvS (talk) 17:35, 13 May 2015 (UTC)
    In the sense of ‘regional variety’, dialect is a neutral term. --mach 🙈🙉🙊 12:34, 14 May 2015 (UTC)
    That meaning would be, except that there is another meaning of the word that is rather commonly used, especially by laymen, even if only unconsciously. --JorisvS (talk) 09:10, 16 May 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose the current title is fine and normal. A language is divided into dialects. Khestwol (talk) 19:07, 21 May 2015 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page or in a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

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