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Thread: German language

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    German language

    Would it be accurate to say,that any citizen of Germany could speak Hochdeutsch,because it is 'standard'-but that many Hochdeutsch speakers would find it difficult or impossible to understand Plattdeutsch?

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    Satyavrata Maciamo's Avatar
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    Not everybody can speak Hochdeutsch fluently in Germany. Some elderly people are more comfortable with the local dialect. In families dialects are still preferred in many areas. Plattdeutsch is not a single variety of German but various dialects of the North. Those in the North-West are closer to Dutch or Frisian. There are also many difficult or uninteligible dialects in the south, and even more in Switzerland. Speaking standard Hochdeutsch does not help understanding Wurttemberg dialects more than knowing Dutch.
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    Hmm...I would have guessed that everyone could understand Hochdeutsch,as it has 'official' status.Wouldn't it be the language that is broadcast on newscasts and regular TV shows,or is a lot of that also done in local dialects?

    How much mutual intelligibility would there be between Dutch and places like Niedersachsen?

    Also,would it be true to say that North German dialects were more important in the historical era than at the present,like in the time of the Hanseatic League,because of the wealth and power of the traders?

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    German dialects are so many and can be traced through middle Europe like a map.
    As Maciamo has mentioned, the North-West is closer to Dutch or Frisian - it is also interesting to note that there are words in the platt vocabulary that are the same in Danish.
    If you speak German and are intersted in dialects and such, I can highly recommend listening to Johannes Waders LP, Hannes Wader: Plattdeutsche Lieder. An excellent work!
    Put everything back where you found it!

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    I'll look for it on ebay.
    Thanks for the tip.

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    You are VERY welcome!

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