Talk:Swiss Standard German

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Spoken Swiss Standard German[edit]

The normal spoken language in the German-speaking part of Switzerland are the local dialects. Swiss Standard German is only spoken in very few specific situations, for instance in schools and universities (though during the breaks, the professors will speak dialect with their students); in news broadcast of the public broadcast services; in the parliaments of certain German-speaking kantons; in the national parliament (unless another official language of Switzerland is used); in loudspeaker announcements in public places such as railway stations etc. The situations when Swiss Standard German is spoken are characteristically formal and public, and they are situations where written communication is also important.

In informal situations, Swiss Standard German is only used with people who don't understand the dialects. Among each other, the German speaking Swiss use their respective Swiss German dialects, irrespective of social class, education or topic.

Unlike in other regions where High German varieties are spoken, there is no continuum between Swiss Standard German and the Swiss German dialects. The speakers speak either Swiss Standard German or Swiss German dialect, and they are conscious about this choice. news broadcast of the public broadcast services;..., but not in the weather forecast which immediatly follows the news. The weather forecast is given in Swiss German, sometimes by a weather person whose dialect is so thick that it is not understandable by a listener who is not a dialect speaker. More often than not, the forecasters are farily understandable. The men, especially older men, are more difficult to understand than the women, must be a macho man thing.
... in loudspeaker announcements in public places such as railway stations etc. Not always, many times the announcements are given in SG, especially on the VBZ (Zürich public transport network). I've had to ask bystandards for translation into Standard German many times. Understandlby, those are stressful situations for the announcers, many times in emergency situations such as accidents or power failures. --TGC55 (talk) 15:13, 5 March 2010 (UTC)

Written Swiss Standard German / Umlaut[edit]

The Swiss Keyboard (sg for swiss german, sf for swiss french) does not provide the capitalized Umlauts (ÄÖÜ), but the letters can be quite easily created by using CAPS LOCK before pressing the key.

Example sg-keyboard:
- using "ü" = "ü"
- using "ü" while CAPS LOCK is ON = "Ü"
- using "ü" together with shift = "è"
The problem is not the todays computer world, but the typewriter time. On a typewriter, one could not create ÄÖÜ. --Jackobli (talk) 23:53, 26 July 2008 (UTC)

Or using ¨ (compose key) then U = Ü TiffaF (talk) 07:23, 8 September 2008 (UTC)

French influence[edit]

Swiss Standard German and Swiss German are strongly affected by the French language. I thnk that's something that should be mentioned. (talk) 00:02, 27 March 2009 (UTC)

Yes, that's true, though I think this is rather not a case of a special development towards French in Switzerland, but rather a special development away from French outside Switzerland. Many of the French loans that are still used in Switzerland were used in Germany as well but got replaced by German words a century ago, for instance words such as Perron, Trottoir, Billet, Kondukteur, Parterre or Velo(ziped) that are still used in Switzerland but were replaced in Germany by Bahnsteig, Bürgersteig, Fahrkarte, Schaffner, Erdgeschoss and Fahrrad. -- machᵗᵃˡᵏ 08:24, 27 March 2009 (UTC)

Written Swiss Standard German[edit]

There's a mistake in this list: NATEL isn't the swiss standard German word for a mobile phone, it's just a brand of Switzerland's biggest phone company Swisscom. NATEL means Nationales Auto TELefon (nationwide car phone), but some people don't know about this and use this word in a wrong way (often older people). A mobile phone's in Swiss Standard German a Handy, too. But in Germany they call it a Mobiltelefon (=mobile phone). But it's your article, I don't correct anything. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:53, 27 May 2010 (UTC)

My article? I don't get you there.
I hear Natel all the time in Zurich. It seems to be pretty common in semi-formal situations such as advertisements. But also Handy. So I agree, it's not a very clear distinction. (talk) 00:21, 5 May 2014 (UTC)

Michael Kühntopf: Schweiz-Lexikon. Sach- und Sprachlexikon zur Schweiz.[edit]

Will you please stop that pointless edit war about Michael Kühntopf: Schweiz-Lexikon. Sach- und Sprachlexikon zur Schweiz? Or explain the reasons. I see that the article on the book's author was deleted after a rather lengthy discussion Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Michael Kühntopf. Of course, that has no consequences whatsoever for the significance of his book in this article. The author of a source is certainly not required to have a Wikipedia entry. Please explain. -- mach 🙈🙉🙊 06:04, 13 September 2011 (UTC)

Bernese Mountain Dog[edit]

Would the linguistic experts here please take a look at the recent change in that article. Thank you. 7&6=thirteen () 16:57, 2 October 2011 (UTC)

Can others understand it without problems?[edit]

Can someone add a note to the intro about whether or not the German-speakers of Belgium, Germany, Austria etc. can understand Swiss Standard German?

I suspect the answer is a very clear yes, but I'm not an authority.

Every region uses slightly different words, so there are words used in Hamburg that are unheard of in Berlin, but it would be an exaggeration to say that this causes problems for communication. Gronky (talk) 11:35, 5 December 2013 (UTC)

It is difficult for people from North Germany (could take months or a year to get a real ear for it), easy for ones from Baden-Wurttenburg. (talk) 00:07, 5 May 2014 (UTC)

You are certainly confusing Swiss Standard German – which is as similar to German Standard German as, say, General American is to Received Pronunciation (quite similar indeed) – with Swiss German – which is as similar to modern New High German as, say, Scots is to English. --mach 🙈🙉🙊 21:15, 7 May 2014 (UTC)


You should read variety (linguistics) and understand what it means. All dialects and all languages are varieties, the term is totally neutral. --JorisvS (talk) 07:55, 11 May 2015 (UTC)

Since "the term is totally neutral" anyhow, like you say yourself, why then is it necessary to change it?! –– Besides, all authors in the literature list speak about dialects. I think these are enough references to accept its usage, aren't they?. -- ZH8000 (talk) 08:08, 11 May 2015 (UTC)
"Dialect" is not, "variety" is. I'm changing a non-neutral word given the situation to an always neutral word. --JorisvS (talk) 08:15, 11 May 2015 (UTC)
I see what you wanted to write. Nevertheless, all (given) literature speak about Swiss dialects, so there is no need to change it. (there is no need to be more neutral than the Swiss ;-) -- ZH8000 (talk) 08:24, 11 May 2015 (UTC)
Or do you simply mismatch Swiss Standard German, which is indeed just a variety of Standard German, with [[Swiss German] to which the term in dispute refers to? -- ZH8000 (talk) 08:29, 11 May 2015 (UTC)
Writing what the Swiss write is not necessarily neutral. I have no idea what you're trying to say with second sentence. --JorisvS (talk) 08:35, 11 May 2015 (UTC)
Simple. The list of authors are almost (all?) linguists. Many of them are not from CH. AND Swiss Standard German (indeed a variety of Standard German) is NOT equal to Swiss German (just klick on it!). -- ZH8000 (talk) 09:14, 11 May 2015 (UTC)
I know that Swiss German ≠ Swiss Standaard German, duh. But what's your point (i.e. why do you bring this up)? --JorisvS (talk) 10:13, 11 May 2015 (UTC)
What’s in a word? To me, either dialect or variety is fine. I think, however, that this issue should be discussed on Talk:Alemannic German, not here. Provide proper sources there, and then edit accordingly. --mach 🙈🙉🙊 11:01, 11 May 2015 (UTC)
The whole is really already in the Alemannic German article, see Alemannic German#Status. Because it sometimes considered a cluster of languages, it is best to use the word "variety". And it's why I changed it in the first place. --JorisvS (talk) 13:32, 11 May 2015 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Once again, right from the beginning "für jedermann zum Mitschreiben" (it can't be that hard, can it?!?):

We speak about the following sentence: "Spoken Swiss Standard German must not be confused with Swiss German, an umbrella term for the various different Alemannic dialects that are the default everyday languages in German-speaking Switzerland."

User:JorisvS wants to change dialects into varieties. But this is simply wrong.

Firstly, there is a distinction between 'language' and 'dialects'. That is what is discussed in Alemannic German#Status. BUT this not the issue here!!!

Secondly, there is one German language, namely German. And there is a standardised German ("die deutsche Hochsprache" called "Hochdeutsch", with several varieties) and therefore explicitly excluding any German dialects. Nevertheless, there are several "hochdeutsche" varieties among the German language, since "German is a pluracentric language", such as the Swiss Standard German, or the Austrian German. Nobody speaks here about dialects, but about the "Hochsprache" only. Period.

Thirdly, there are many, many German dialects. In Germany, in Austria, in Luxembourg etc. But also in German Switzerland. The umbrella term for all these dialects in Switzerland is Swiss German. Period.

Fourth, almost all but one dialects spoken in German Switzerland belong to the Alemannic German group, besides other German dialects. Period.

Fifth, therefore any German dialects spoken in German Switzerland can be characterised as and therefore called Alemannic dialects. And it would not only be simply wrong to speak about Alemannic varieties (varieties of what, for heaven's sake???!), but also profoundly misleading. Period. - qed - -- ZH8000 (talk) 14:47, 11 May 2015 (UTC)

A variety (or "speech variety") can either be a separate language or a dialect of some language. The term "(speech) variety" is just used to avoid the issue of language vs. dialect altogether. How hard is that to understand? To compare, the Chinese languages are a very heterogenous group of quite distinct languages with differences larger than those within the Romance family, but they are all regularly called "dialects" of Chinese. The term "variety" is a neutral term in this respect to avoid the issue altogether, e.g. at Varieties of Chinese. The same goes for Varieties of Arabic (although the differences are smaller, they are still substantial). For "German" the issue of language vs. dialect is also quite messy (Low German belongs to a completely different branch of West Germanic languages than High German, and is actually possibly more closely related to English than to High German), which is why I want to try to avoid it in places where it easily avoided without loss of content, as in this article.
As for "one German language", that is only so in terms of dachsprache (although there is arguably now also a second dachsprache, Luxembourgish), in terms of abstandsprache, there are a whole bunch of quite distinct languages (per their mutual intelligibility) that are called "German". --JorisvS (talk) 20:11, 11 May 2015 (UTC)
Well, this might be true and fine, but again, I keep repeating myself: the issue about the unclear distinction between 'language' and 'dialect' is not the issue here.
The sentence in charge – "Spoken Swiss Standard German must not be confused with Swiss German,..." – focuses/pronounces another distinction, namely the one between the "Hochsprache" (or you may it synonymously call it "dachsprache", per definitionem a standardised language) and its "Mundart" aka its daily-spoken, colloquial usage (aka dialects), being spoken in a particular, geographical region (here: German Switzerland). In other words, here, dialect is connotated with the colloquial usage of a language and not with a potentially synonymous term called variety (of a language) and their unclear distinction.
So it's about the distinction between Standard Swiss German and Swiss German, the two, inseparable faces of the same medal, a diglossial language, namely the language called German here in Switzerland.
But "langer Worte, kurzer Sinn", according to WP:NOR, it is not our task to resolve unsolved expert disputes (language vs dialect vs variety), but "only" – and nothing else than this – to represent already established conclusions.
Therefore, e.g. in German dialects you find a brief and easy to understand seperation between the two terms "Hochsprache" (aka dachsprache) and dialect:
"In German linguistics, German dialects are distinguished from varieties of standard German."
  • "The German dialects are the traditional local varieties. ..."
  • "The varieties of standard German refer to the different local varieties of the pluricentric language standard German. ..."
And the sentence – "Spoken Swiss Standard German must not be confused with Swiss German, an umbrella term for the various different Alemannic dialects that are the default everyday languages in German-speaking Switzerland" – uses exactely this meaning of dialect.
Would you however write, ""Spoken Swiss Standard German must not be confused with Swiss German, an umbrella term for the various different Alemannic varieties that are the default everyday languages in German-speaking Switzerland.", the intended meaning would be lost. -- ZH8000 (talk) 21:42, 11 May 2015 (UTC)
And before you start to argue again, please firstly listen to Heule (2006), or read von Matt (2012). Thanks. -- ZH8000 (talk) 22:20, 11 May 2015 (UTC)
It's not a matter of OR, because it is merely how it is said, not what is said. It is, however, a matter of NPOV. As I've already shown you, Alemannic varieties are sometimes considered separate languages, based on their distance from Standard German, and hence it would be POV to specifically call them "dialects". "Variety" also covers colloquial usage (actually any conceivable usage) and "Varietät" is actually used several times in that podcast. Moreover, the podcast also speaks of the non-German-speaking Swiss learning Standard German and immigrants from Germany and then finding out that those people speaking Swiss German "dialect" really speaking a different language. Its content actually supports my argument.
The sentence "Spoken Swiss Standard German must not be confused with Swiss German, an umbrella term for the various different Alemannic dialects that are the default everyday languages in German-speaking Switzerland." contradicts itself: Dialects are mutually intelligible varieties of a single language, whereas languages are mutually unintelligible varieties. Dialects cannot be languages, everyday or otherwise. To fix it should be changed in the following way: "Spoken Swiss Standard German must not be confused with Swiss German, an umbrella term for the various different Alemannic dialectsvarieties spoken in everyday life that are the default everyday languages in German-speaking Switzerland.". Using "variety" does not remove the connotation of it being the colloquial speech, because that is said directly thereafter, besides from the fact that "dialect" in its proper usage does not mean colloquial speech.
It must be noted that several terms can also have a slightly different meaning in German than their equivalent in English. The podcast talks about Swiss people not speaking "Hochdeutsch", but they do speak High German: Alemannic varieties constitute a branch of it. "Hochdeutsch" is there used meaning "Standard German". --JorisvS (talk) 09:18, 12 May 2015 (UTC)
  • I am tired to further take part in this pointless, futile, endless circling of arguments. There will be others who will fix it back, later or sooner.
  • You do seem to be prepared not to compromise in your POV position at every cost. I am not. I consider such an attitude nothing than just childish. Therefore I let you walk on your predefined way.
So my final answers are simple reactions to your not always comprehensible sentences:
  • "It's not a matter of OR, because it is merely how it is said, not what is said". – I do not get what you want to express here.
  • "contradicts itself: Dialects are mutually intelligible varieties of a single language, whereas languages are mutually unintelligible varieties." – first of all, this is just one of several positions in linguistics (WP:POV! e.g.: "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). Secondly, but Swiss dialects are indeed mutually intelligible to each other, and for everybody who speaks Standard Swiss German aka the German spoken in Switzerland. Therefore, we call it dialects.
  • "Dialects cannot be languages, everyday or otherwise." – I do not get what you want to express here.
  • "It must be noted that several terms can also have a slightly different meaning in German than their equivalent in English." – That's a "Gemeinplatz".
  • "The podcast talks about Swiss people not speaking "Hochdeutsch", but they do speak High German: Alemannic varieties constitute a branch of it. "Hochdeutsch" is there used meaning "Standard German" – Yes, we know, that's obvious. And I already told you (see above). – But, so what??? This has nothing to do with the issue "variety vs dialect".
  • "...then finding out that those people speaking Swiss German "dialect" really speaking a different language. Its content actually supports my argument." – Wrong. They explicitely say that some (minorities) claim it.
  • Even your own promoted article variety (linguistics)#Dialects claims that "A variety spoken in a particular region is called a regional dialect".
  • And finally, you seem to keep ingnoring current practices in German linguistics: "In German linguistics, German dialects are distinguished from varieties of standard German." (see my last post)
  • EOF -- ZH8000 (talk) 10:58, 12 May 2015 (UTC)
@ZH8000: I see your point now. Instead of debating about terminology, we could maybe add an explanatory note thusly: “Swiss Standard German is not a German dialect, but a variety of standard German. It must not be confused with Swiss German, an umbrella term for the various Alemannic German dialects (in the sense of ‘traditional regional varieties’) that are the default everyday languages in German-speaking Switzerland.” --mach 🙈🙉🙊 15:19, 12 May 2015 (UTC)
I am fine with this, with a slight correction. "Spoken Swiss Standard German is not a German dialect, but a variety of standard German. It must not be confused with Swiss German, an umbrella term for the various Alemannic German dialects (in the sense of ‘traditional regional varieties’) that are the default everyday languages in German-speaking Switzerland.". Since the original sentence makes a comparision between spoken varieties. -- ZH8000 (talk) 20:09, 12 May 2015 (UTC)
I dropped the word spoken intentionally. I think it is quite misleading in this statement. It makes it sound as if things were different for written Swiss standard German, which they are not. I apologize I sneaked this in implicitly, but now you know about it. ☺ --mach 🙈🙉🙊 21:34, 12 May 2015 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────You're right about your ceveat. Well, I can live with any. -- ZH8000 (talk)

I am prepared to listen to you and use that, but if your arguments essentially ignore mine, then how can I do anything with them?
  • "It's not a matter of OR, because it is merely how it is said, not what is said" – The essential content of what it tries to say to our readers, the intended meaning, is the same in both versions. That's why it is not a matter of what is said. However, a different word, intended to not imply mutual intelligibility with Standard German, is used, which means how it is said is different.
  • Because it is one position, and a rather common interpretation of it, wording it according to another has the potential to mislead readers. Yet, there is a perfectly good alternative available. As for "Secondly, but Swiss dialects are indeed mutually intelligible to each other, and for everybody who speaks Standard Swiss German aka the German spoken in Switzerland": I could like with wording it as "dialects of Alemannic German" to make the distinction clear between [Alemannic German] dialects vs. Alemannic [German dialects]. As for the latter, they would hardly be intelligible with speakers who speak only Swiss Standard German (something like this was also said in the podcast you presented above).
  • "Dialects cannot be languages, everyday or otherwise.": If we invoke set theory and use the common interpretation (especially by laymen, even if just unconsciously) of the word "dialect", a dialect is a set of idiolects that are mutually intelligible with some other set(s) of idiolects (other dialects), whereas a language is a set of idiolects that are mutually unintelligible with all other sets of idiolects (other languages or dialects of other languages). It comes down to dialects being subsets of languages, which means that the two sets cannot be identical. I must note that the word "language" can also mean 'speech', something like "what people speak", but in this sense "language" is uncountable, which means that there is no plural (i.e. "languages" cannot have this meaning). --JorisvS (talk) 09:03, 16 May 2015 (UTC)
  • "...then finding out that those people speaking Swiss German "dialect" really speaking a different language. Its content actually supports my argument." Really? So why do those "minorities" (them being a minority is obvious and irrelevant, because most Swiss will have been sufficiently exposed to some form(s) of Alemannic German to understand it) claim it? This smells like an argumentum ad populum in reverse. --JorisvS (talk) 09:03, 16 May 2015 (UTC)
  • "In German linguistics": Wikipedia is a general encyclopedia, not a resource of German linguistics. This means that we should avoid the German lingustics lingo wherever possible and replace those terms with ones that can be correctly understood by a worldwide audience. --JorisvS (talk) 09:03, 16 May 2015 (UTC)
Finally, with a slight correction because in the intended meaning "language" is uncountable (as I've noted above), I can live with "Swiss Standard German is not a German dialect, but a variety of standard German. It must not be confused with Swiss German, an umbrella term for the various Alemannic German dialects (in the sense of 'traditional regional varieties') that are the default everyday language s in German-speaking Switzerland." because it does not have the potential to be misunderstood by readers. However, what's the point of using the parentheses? Why not simply "Swiss Standard German is not a German dialect, but a variety of standard German. It must not be confused with Swiss German, an umbrella term for the various Alemannic German traditional regional varieties that are the default everyday language s in German-speaking Switzerland." --JorisvS (talk) 09:03, 16 May 2015 (UTC)
Like ZH8000, I think you put far too much weight on the notion of mutual intelligibility. What makes a language is rather its ausbau status – at least in the case of closely related varieties such as the continental West Germanic ones. As a sidenote: I am very sceptical as to whether all Swiss German are mutually intelligible. At least I personally have serious problems at understanding Walliser German, unless they switch to the watered-down variant of their dialect that they often use when speaking to other German-speaking Swiss.
Sure, Wikipedia is a general encyclopedia. But it should represent the wisdom from the different fields of knowledge, not transform it, lest we come into conflict with WP:NOR.
Moving on to your practical proposal of replacing “Alemannic German dialects (in the sense of 'traditional regional varieties')” with “Alemannic German traditional regional varieties”. I would rather keep the former wording because to my ears, the word variety is rather obscure technical jargon (in its linguistical sense), whereas the word dialect is in common use. I think using the common word and adding an explanatory parenthesis makes the article more accessible. --mach 🙈🙉🙊 10:25, 16 May 2015 (UTC)

unconsidered English "translation"[edit]

@User:Peter238, I do not agree with your back changes of my modifications. Please first check my references, they are the same, just better, more seriously referenced!!! ;-)

Secondly, I totally object the prominent presentation of your bold English alternatives. I do, however, not object their existence, but the cited authors did porpably not take care too much about their more or less "wrong" "translation"; probably some of them are just too less serious (e.g. eurotopics)?

Coud you discuss this, first of all, with me/us please!?

Tanks. -- ZH8000 (talk) 19:46, 13 May 2015 (UTC)

I suppose your only concern is the name Swiss High German. I'm not sure what you mean by 'your' references, all you did with references in that edit was to move 'my' references to other places. If you want to check the sources I used, go to Google Books and look up Russ (1994) and Van der Walt (2006). Titles of these books are in the 'literature' section. Peter238 (talk) 19:51, 13 May 2015 (UTC)
No, I meant the improved citation style. I did not change your references by content, just by style! Check it please. -- ZH8000 (talk) 20:01, 13 May 2015 (UTC)
Oh, sorry then and thanks for the help. I thought you just moved some of the references, and I wanted them to specifically show which English/German name the source is using. Peter238 (talk) 20:10, 13 May 2015 (UTC)
Regarding the prominent presentation - it's the standard practice. See Luxembourgish language, Slovene language and Serbo-Croatian, just to name a few. Peter238 (talk) 19:58, 13 May 2015 (UTC)
I would just (strongly) prefer them listed in the parantheses and not in bold, since they are either at least badly considered translations (High Grman), or very seldomly used, because being lumpish (Standard German of Switzerland). Otherwise you would inherently support the not so considered (too rushed, eventually...does it ring a bell!?! ;-) readers of WP to use them as well. That would be "ei Schuss hinten hinaus". :-o -- ZH8000 (talk) 20:13, 13 May 2015 (UTC)
These are names that are used by scholars in the linguistic literature - the sources are there. Remember that Wikipedia presents the information, not judges it. The formatting, as I already proved, is also standard, and we already have a footnote about the High German thing. Peter238 (talk) 20:25, 13 May 2015 (UTC)
A google search for "Standard German of Switzerland" creates only 9 (nine!) hits. According to WP:NOTE I will delete this alternative from the article, again. (vice versa "Swiss High German" produces more than 500,000 hits).
Besides "Schweizer Hochdeutsch" (version used mainly in Germany!?) produces about 7.290 hits, while "Schweizerhochdeutsch" (Swiss version!?) produces about 37,000 hits, which is also used by Duden. -- ZH8000 (talk) 21:54, 14 May 2015 (UTC)
Whatever, I won't argue. Peter238 (talk) 22:20, 14 May 2015 (UTC)

Warning by [User:Kwamikagami][edit]

Are you purposefully adding bullshit to Swiss Standard German? I attempted to fix the box, but if you will not accept corrections, then the solution is to delete the box. — kwami (talk) 19:19, 18 May 2015 (UTC)

Pardon-me, but your changes are just nonsense. Neither Standard Swiss German, nor any Swiss German dialects, are of High Franconian German ancestry! That's poor nonsense, and at best, it illustrates your ignorance and illiteracy about this simple subject. Even just a brief view on the given maps would have told you so, but not even this minor check did you even try to apply. Not to speak about the text in the related article. Did you ever try to read it??? –
So please step back from your childish tantrum, Thank you.
And obviously it is a national bound variety, what else (why otherwise should it be called Swiss ..LOL)?
And finally, the itef code de-CH is exactely referring to the German spoken in Switzerland: "For example, if the language priority list consists of the range "de-CH" (German as used in Switzerland)"
And please, would you be so kind to discuss such kind of issues on the article's talk page, not on my talk page, like it is the WP standard behavior. -- ZH8000 (talk) 19:46, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
I have to leave now. – Just two points: 1) German is not equal to Standard German, 2) Swiss Standard German is a standardized (frabricated, if you like) language, in that sense not "native", but intended exclusively for this region, of course. Please read first German linguistics before you go on producing nonsense. Thanks. -- ZH8000 (talk)
As I have already pointed out to Kwamikagami, it has been he who introduced the idea that Standard German were High Franconian, see [1]. Without providing any sources.
I am fine, though, with changing “Native to Switzerland” into “Region Switzerland”. I object to “Native speakers None”. That makes it sound as if it were a dead language. As a compromise, I suggest leaving the speakers figure just empty. Can we now please remove those dreadful overlong complaints in the infobox? --mach 🙈🙉🙊 20:13, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
Yes, please. -- ZH8000 (talk) 20:16, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
According to the one RS source in the info box, Glottolog, Standard German is High Franconian. The principal editor of Glottolog is German, and he lists his sources. If you want to debate that, you need sources at least as good. There are other influences in Standard German other than High Franconian, of course, but [deu] is the native language of a population, and its genealogy needs to be treated like that of any other language.
Swiss Standard German is not anyone's native language. Noting that it has no native speakers is therefor correct. I can't help what y'all think it sounds like, but it's how we've treated other languages with no native speakers, such as Modern Standard Arabic, for years. If you have a source for the number of L2 speakers, we can of course give that number as well. — kwami (talk) 22:12, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
Please cite a source when you make a preposterously outrageous claim like ‘Swiss Standard German has no native speakers’. --mach 🙈🙉🙊 07:01, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
Agreed. How do we know that? Especially in case of e.g. upper class speakers. They may speak perfect Standard German that can be unmistakably labelled as Swiss (i.e. with e.g. no /ç/ - /x/ distinction and [ər ~ əʁ ~ əʀ] for /ər/). Peter238 (talk) 08:09, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
But that is nobodys native language. We learn to write german, and pronunciation is limited to not accidentally pronounce things the way we would in swiss german. People who care just imitate standard german from german TV. We don't learn to talk like that from our parents, and we don't ever talk to each other in standard german. If bad pronunciation of german makes me a native "speaker" of swiss standard german, I guess I'm also native in french and english. It's quite weird seeing obviously-not-swiss people talk about what a "preposterously outrageous claim" it is that we don't consider that caricature of a language you only know from comedians on TV our native language. Yes, it is actually that bad, and when it isn't, it's because that person made an effort to not sound so obviously swiss using all the wrong [x]'s and things like that. Swiss standard german is nobodys fucking native language.. (talk) 04:43, 20 August 2015 (UTC)

The fact that Swiss accents sound "funny" (which is purely subjective) means nothing. There also exists Swiss Standard German pronunciation, which is described in Deutsches Aussprachewörterbuch by Krech et al, in the chapter "Die Standardaussprache in der deutschsprachigen Schweiz". Yes, it does include the /ç–x/ distinction (which, AFAIK, is not consistently maintained by many speakers), but it also features things that are outside of the northern norm (such as close-mid realizations [e, ø, o] of the short /ɛ, œ, ɔ/, which are open-mid in the northern standard). Peter238 (talk) 04:55, 20 August 2015 (UTC)

It is a variety of Standard German [citation needed|reason=contradicted by info box] – Why?[edit]

User:Kwamikagami a citation needed notice for the sentence: “It [Swiss Standard German] is a variety of Standard German”, giving the reason “contradicted by info box”. I do not understand that reason. It looks to me like a misunderstanding of what varieties of standard German are.

Varieties of Standard German are not “genealogically” derived from Standard German. Sure, Wikipedia has articles for the different varieties of Standard German on one hand and an article for Standard German on the other hand. But the language infobox is not intended to show the Wikipedia-internal hierarchy of articles, but to approximate the actual relationships between languages (such relationships not being binary, it is necessarily an oversimplification).

In a more graphical way: Not this:

German → Standard German → Swiss Standard German

But this:

German → (Standard German = Swiss Standard German OR German Standard German OR Austrian Standard German)

--mach 🙈🙉🙊 21:59, 18 May 2015 (UTC)

Then it is incorrect to say that Swiss etc. Standard German is a "variety" of Standard German. We could say that it's a standardized variety of German. From my understanding, though, Swiss Standard German, Austrian Standard German, and German Standard German are all based on the same source. If they are based on different dialects of German, then we should say that explicitly, and give what those dialects are in the info boxes. — kwami (talk) 22:17, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
I apologize for my outburst, but when I tried to open the article on my tablet it come out almost unreadable due to {{fix}} tags, which are a result of, I must say, a rather lame editing dispute.
The key of the problem lies in the fact that {{Infobox language}} is ill-suited for standard languages, which are (or can be) pretty artificial constructs, can be argued not to have "native" speakers at all, and do not always follow genealogical classification. Either the infobox template should be tweaked to accommodate standard languages in a less intrusive manner, or we should reach a consensus on the standard how to treat standard languages in the existing infobox format. No such user (talk) 12:04, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
I had the same in mind as No such user. I especially support the point that (some/most?) standardized languages cannot follow genealogical classifications, since genealogy usually follows the umgangssprache (colloquial language)! Of course some colloquial language(s) usually contributes to a standardized language during its etablishment (here: until two centuries ago), as did the Franconian German between 1650 and 1750/1800 (but first of all only as a written language (besides, by marchants, who else!)). Nevertheless, you cannot say that Standard German is a descendant of Franconian German, especially not nowadays. And as mach already several times expressed, the overly simplified, linear, hierarchical approach to language genealogy is anyhow very questionable, especially when such a linear approach is not taking into account at least the geographical, social, and historical development. I must clearly state that I have profound resentments regarding the current {{Infobox language}}.
Besides, it is also wrong to claim that the German language is a descendant of High German (Indo-European --> Germanic -->West Germanic --> High German --> German --> xxx) as it is currently expressed in several German language infoboxes (e.g.: German language, Standard German, Swiss Standard German, Austrian German, Teutonic Standard German etc.). If at all, it is rather vice versa: High German is part of the German language. In my opionion, German is (only) a descendant/part of the West-Germanic languages family/group, since the term German refers to any kind of its appearences, whether its many High German or Low German dialacts, its sociolects, its several standard variations, etc and so forth, and its appearences over time during history (from early late ancient times (since the emergence of Althochdeutsch and Altniederdeutsch) until nowadays). So, therefore, German is/can not be a descendent of High German, but rather vice versa, High German is one of its manyfold (historic) faces!? – Isn't a language's general term, such as German, not rather a envelop term for all of its aspects, including its historical one, than just its current situation!? Am I wrong about this? And if so, why? – But I think, some rather less educated, and/or hectically acting (i.e. less serious --> leads to obviously less quality) editors inexpertly mixed up regional, historical, and genealogical aspects resulting in quite a mess that we have now!? – And if I am right, how could this fundamentally wrong representation/concept (WP:OR) survive as long as for almost 7 years, here on English WP???!!! :-o
Since I am an amateur at best (but a serious one, I hope), some real (not just simply self-proclaimed ones!) experts among you (I hope there is one or even two around, at least!?) may be able to clarify this–I think–not so irrelevant issue!? Of course by given and well renown established citings, I expect! (just to prevent the violation of some major WP policies such as WP:NOR, WP:VER, WP:NPOV etc.
Besides, High German is not a language family, isn't it?!? -- ZH8000 (talk) 18:55, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
I don't understand what your last comment is about.
I agree that the info box doesn't fit standard languages very well. Not just the genealogy, but also whether there are native speakers. That was one reason I removed the info boxes from these articles, something the editor who had added them agreed with once he heard my reasons. The language info box was intended for languages and dialects, not for written standards, jargon, class registers, presence in a particular country (when that doesn't correspond to a dialect) and the like. There isn't much useful info in the box here, just native name, pronunciation, and IEFT code, which has OR & SYNTH problems. Personally, I think it would be less problematic to have that info in the text, and leave the box out. — kwami (talk) 19:23, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
👍 – couldn’t agree more. So-called “genetic” relationships such as the following are all questionable:
  • Germanic → West Germanic (there is no consensus about the subdivision of Germanic),
  • West Germanic → High German (there is no consensus that the Low German-High German subdivision is more significant than other possible subdivisions of German dialects),
  • High German → German (you might as well put it the other way round since German language is the more general notion),
  • High German → Standard German (there are important features of Standard German that come from Low German, especially in the pronunciation),
  • High Franconian → Standard German (falls short of 150 years of scientific discussions on the origin of Standard German).
--mach 🙈🙉🙊 19:15, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
You appear to be objecting to a genealogical classification of languages. Yet that is what the vast majority of sources do, and we follow sources rather than WP:TRUTH. — kwami (talk) 19:26, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
I believe your point-of-view has a heavy internet bias. The vast majority of relevant WP:SOURCES I know of reject simple tree-structure taxonomies. Sources such as glottolog border on WP:FRINGE with regard to their extreme reliance on simple tree-structure taxonomies. Nota bene: The sources glottolog claims to rely upon reject simple tree-structure taxonomies, cf. Stiles (2013, p. 12):

Overstrict adherence to the “family tree” model, and a monolithic approach that can only acknowledge clean divisions of an original unity – and insists that intermediate proto-languages also have to be uniform – is unrealistic and does not do justice to the data. Many of the supposed problems disappear if one does not insist on homogeneity and pays attention to relative chronology (compare also the remarks of Antonsen 1965: 19-20).

--mach 🙈🙉🙊 12:40, 20 May 2015 (UTC)

Are there any sources for the (rather preposterous) claim that Swiss Standard German has no native speakers?[edit]

@User:Kwamikagami: Please provide sources for your claim that Swiss Standard German has no native speakers. Otherwise, that claim is WP:OR and must be removed from Wikipedia. Please note that WP:OTHERSTUFF does not count as a source in any way.

And please stop edit-warring over such a silly question. --mach 🙈🙉🙊 19:03, 19 May 2015 (UTC)

@User:Kwamikagami: Please do not ever delete my talk contributions. If you want to keep the discussions in one place, you can add a link to that place. --mach 🙈🙉🙊 19:16, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
Indeed, deleting other's comments is a violation of WP:TALKO. -- ZH8000 (talk) 19:24, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
And copy-pasting a discussion on four talk pages is disruptive. — kwami (talk) 19:33, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
He has answered in Talk:Austrian German#Are there any sources for the (rather preposterous) claim that Austrian German has no native speakers?. --mach 🙈🙉🙊 19:28, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
Which one of you made the rather preposterous claim, anyway? I was following your lead, assuming you knew what you were talking about. — kwami (talk) 19:33, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
I certainly never said or wrote anywhere that Standard German or any variety thereof has no native speakers, and I have not seen anybody else making that claim. You were the one who put that information into the articles (though you have withdrewn it now). I am sorry if you misinterpreted my utterances in that way. BTW, I thought you wanted to keep the discussion in one place. --mach 🙈🙉🙊 19:40, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
Then it was one of the other editors involved is this dispute. As I said, I'm not going to bother reviewing the page histories to see who it was, as it hardly matters. I put the info in the box after being reverted with this claim in the edit summary. — kwami (talk) 21:18, 19 May 2015 (UTC)

Swiss Standard German isn't a variety of Standard German[edit]

User:ZH8000 is now engaged in an edit-war over SSG not being a variety of SG, though only in the info box and not in the text. Really, this is all getting quite ridiculous. Rather than revert them, I've tagged the article. ZH8000, please supply a ref that SSG is not a variety of SG before removing the tags. — kwami (talk) 21:21, 19 May 2015 (UTC)

No, I don't say this. Of course SSG is a variety of Standard German ... how could I say something else?! But see here: Talk:German_language#infobox_language.2FInfobox_language_family_has_a_profound_conceptual_error.3F. -- ZH8000 (talk) 22:38, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
You started an edit-war in the info box over the claim that SSG is a variety of SG. Since you now agree that is correct, I will put it back.
As for the discussion you link to, you appear to be saying that German is not German, but you'll allow us a single exception to say that it is. — kwami (talk) 05:12, 20 May 2015 (UTC)

Sources for the claim that there are no estimates about number of native speakers?[edit]

@User:Kwamikagami: Please stop edit-warring about adding information to the article that you have not backed with WP:SOURCES. You are claiming that there are no estimates available about the number of native Swiss Standard German speakers. Where are your WP:SOURCES for that claim? If you cannot provide any sources, please stop trying to add it to the article.

If you are adding this non-information to the articles because you have added it to many other articles as well, then frankly, I don't care. WP:OTHERSTUFF cannot possibly replace WP:SOURCES. --mach 🙈🙉🙊 23:37, 29 September 2015 (UTC)

Do we have any source for the number of native speakers? According to you, we do not. If you've been misrepresenting yourself, then please provide the info. Otherwise, since we do not have that info it is our responsibility to state that we do not have it. Speaker population is one of the main reasons that people visit our language articles. If you do not like the way our lack of info is presented, we can discuss that, but please don't hide our ignorance. — kwami (talk) 00:04, 30 September 2015 (UTC)
Consider this: Is it acceptable to add a sentence like the following to the article body without providing any WP:SOURCES?: "There are no estimates about the number of Swiss Standard German native speakers." Clearly, this is only acceptable if there are WP:SOURCES. If you fail to provide any WP:SOURCES for that information, it should be removed again. Adding an information to a sidebar instead of the article body does not magically exempt that information from WP:SOURCES.
It would be more acceptable if you wrote instead: "This article does not yet provide any estimates about the number of Swiss Standard German native speakers." But there is countless information that this article does not yet provide. Why single out this one? Sure, you are claiming that "Speaker population is one of the main reasons that people visit our language articles". However, I really doubt that. What is your basis for that claim? --mach 🙈🙉🙊 07:30, 30 September 2015 (UTC)
Again, clarifying the wording of the info box would be fine. Censoring information is not.
See the comment below. The four essential elements to any language article are name, location, classification, and population. If we don't know the classification, we say it's "unclassified" even though someone somewhere may have classified it. — kwami (talk) 17:57, 30 September 2015 (UTC)
Whoa, that is indeed a blatant violation against WP:SOURCES. An unclassified language is not the same as a language where we no Wikipedia editor has yet cared about finding the classification. This really shows how excessively rigid infoboxing can lead to violations against the core principles of Wikipedia. I am shocked. --mach 🙈🙉🙊 18:53, 30 September 2015 (UTC)
It might be worth mentioning that Wikipedia does have and use templates of the "this article is missing info"/"needs to be expanded" kind, which are generally applied on a common-sense basis, i.e. without needing to provide proof that the missing information is generally considered very important. I tend to think number-of-speakers is important, though that might just be me. I do think it would be best if we found a simple way to make it clear that Wikipedia is lacking the datum, and not necessarily that it's unknown. LjL (talk) 12:03, 30 September 2015 (UTC)
We could certainly change the wording of the info box template to be clearer in that regard. — kwami (talk) 17:57, 30 September 2015 (UTC)
As long as the infobox is not changed, the information you are adding violate WP:SOURCES. A violation against WP:SOURCES has nothing to do with censorship. --mach 🙈🙉🙊 18:46, 30 September 2015 (UTC)
I have now changed the infobox (see [2]). Of course, when you revert the changes to the infobox, the information you added to the articles will again violate against WP:SOURCES and needs to be removed again. --mach 🙈🙉🙊 19:06, 30 September 2015 (UTC)
I don't think this stick-to-the-rules (Wikipedia doesn't have "rules" per se) and revert-immediately attitude is a constructive way to tackle this debate. There is a talk page discussion in progress right here. You could talk instead of reverting without as much as an edit summary. LjL (talk) 20:15, 30 September 2015 (UTC)
I am sorry I have acted aggressively. The reason is my past experience with Kwamikagami. It felt to me as if he would not listen unless I really raised my voice. It felt to me as if he would not care for my explanations but just revert first and ask later – if at all. It felt to me as if he had a tendency of enforcing his own POV on the basis numerous other articles where he had already established his POV.
There is WP:Ignore all rules. But there is also WP:Core content policies. One of the core content policies is WP:Verifiability (WP:SOURCES is a part of it). The proof of burden for adding material to the article is with the editor who is adding the material. Kwamikagami has tried to reverse the proof of burden and has accused me of censorship. He has also broken the WP:Three-revert rule. However, as my change to the Template:Infobox language makes his addition to the article more acceptable, I will not report him.
I know User:Kwamikagami is a prolific contributor who is making numerous improvements. We have a common interest in linguistics so we should really cooperate. I am sorry we got off on the wrong foot. I will try and be polite next time I do not agree with an edit of his. --mach 🙈🙉🙊 21:40, 30 September 2015 (UTC)
I can only backup mach's impression. I have the same meaning and experience about User:Kwamikagami. Especially the remarks "It felt to me as if he would not care for my explanations but just revert first and ask later – if at all. It felt to me as if he had a tendency of enforcing his own POV on the basis numerous other articles where he had already established his POV." I can fully subscribe. -- ZH8000 (talk) 21:46, 30 September 2015 (UTC)
And yet you continue to edit-war. Again, if the wording needs to be changed, fine, but deleting information is not. Also, read WP:BOLD: challenged changes should not simply be restored. — kwami (talk) 23:23, 30 September 2015 (UTC)
You mean deleting lack of information? '?' isn't really information... it isn't even information about some piece of he information being unknown, it's nothing more than meta-information about Wikipedia itself not knowing that piece of information. So don't make it sound like they're removing the statement that the Earth is round! I suggest all parties involved take a big breath because this is both a really tiny issue, and one where I can easily see the reasoning behind both sides. LjL (talk) 11:25, 1 October 2015 (UTC)
@kwami: Your new attempt of enforcing your own POV by including the information “[deleted]” into the article is not helpful to users. It is not even Wikipedia meta-information. It only refers to the fact that your POV was removed. Pure confusion. I am removing it again.
As for your accusation of edit-warring: You have been the one who has infringed against the WP:Three-revert rule over this issue. Nobody else. --mach 🙈🙉🙊 11:57, 1 October 2015 (UTC)
Yes, please don't put anything silly like "[deleted]" there, that's definitely just a gratuitous way to taint the article with this dispute. Not cool. LjL (talk) 14:06, 1 October 2015 (UTC)
@User:ZH8000: I think we can leave speakers=? as long as this shows up as “Native speakers (this article does not contain any information regarding the number of speakers)” in the article. --mach 🙈🙉🙊 12:02, 1 October 2015 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────@kwami: The wording “Native speakers (no data)” is a verifiable claim that has been challenged, so you need to WP:PROVEIT before you add it to the article. “The burden to demonstrate verifiability lies with the editor who adds or restores material, and is satisfied by providing a citation to a reliable source that directly supports the contribution” (WP:VER).

I know we are still discussing at Template talk:Infobox language#Wording when we have no population data – and for the first time, it looks to me as if we are close to finding a solution – but I do not accept any unverified (or unverifiable) information in this article. The quality of this article should not suffer from our discussion of the template. When the template issue is resolved, we can add the infobox line again. --mach 🙈🙉🙊 21:16, 22 November 2015 (UTC)

And you should not sabotage the article while that discussion is working out the best wording. If you have a source with a population figure, then provide it. If not, we have no data. If we have no data, then it is dishonest of you to pretend that we do have data.
As for verifiability, it's you who is claiming we have data, so it's up to you to demonstrate it. There obviously is no data currently, and disputing that is merely being obtuse. — kwami (talk) 00:34, 23 November 2015 (UTC)
Sorry, I must be missing something. How is not claiming anything about population data pretending we do have data? LjL (talk) 01:51, 23 November 2015 (UTC)
The article used to say “Native speakers (this article does not contain any information regarding the number of speakers)” (in the infobox). Then, kwami changed this to “Native speakers (no data)” [3] (without consensus). Then, I have removed this claim from the infobox [4] because there is no WP:VER for it. This might seem like a small issue, but kwami should know that the verifiability of this particular claim is being seriously challenged – see the preceding discussion (which lead to kwami being blocked). Then, kwami reverted my change [5], but I restored it because there are no sources [6].
I am not sabotaging anything. As long as the wording of the infobox is “Native speakers (no data)”, it must not be displayed in this article unless there is verification. The WP:BURDEN of proof to provide such verification is entirely on kwami’s side (by the policy WP:VER). --mach 🙈🙉🙊 05:43, 23 November 2015 (UTC)
Sounds like English might benefit like a word meaning "we don't know but someone else might". LjL (talk) 14:12, 23 November 2015 (UTC)