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Old 05.10.2011, 13:31
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Re: Swiss German isn't a language...

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Have to agree with AbFab, there are no dialects in English, just regional accents withe the odd idiosyncratic word or phrase thrown in.
Just because Wikipedia says it is so, doesn't mean it's true.
I had a 5-minute conversation once with an old bloke from Glasgow in a pub in Newcastle. His accent wasn't a big problem -- I got his name, and heard every word clearly -- but we both spent those five minutes not understanding a single word the other said, after the introductions. That's the power of the dialect.
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Old 05.10.2011, 13:31
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Re: Swiss German isn't a language...

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Nooooooooo hoooo ooooo, everyone else is :-)

That's my point, accent/dialect is the same thing.

Swiss german has absolutely no grammar and same vocab as alemanic. And written swiss german is no diff than txt spk ok m8.

c ya!
Pleease, do your homework.

Difference between accent and dialect

Difference between dialect and language
(much more subtle and very often just political)
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  #43  
Old 05.10.2011, 13:34
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Re: Swiss German isn't a language...

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Have to agree with AbFab, there are no dialects in English, just regional accents withe the odd idiosyncratic word or phrase thrown in.
Just because Wikipedia says it is so, doesn't mean it's true.

i would agree with this.

also another important distinction to remember when we english speakers try to classify and compare the germanic linguistic tapestry with that of english:

english evolved from its various roots of latin, german, gaelic with some french thrown in and boiled into its own form, and then from there was spread to the rest of the places where its now spoken from England. First to cornwall and the west, then around the british isles where it mixed with the local gaelic. then the UK spread english around the world to the americas, australia etc, where these colonies evolved on their own over a few hundred years with their own various influences from immigration and what not till you got various english accents, but with a single common ancestor.

german was the opposite. german wasnt one that spread, german was many tribal dialects which gradually consolidated into a few different languages. The germans themselves were as diverse in their written and spoken forms until the standardization brought in through the translaation of the bible by Luther into the dialect spoken in the center of germany which ostensibly had the most mutual comprehensibility around the german speaking world, which at that time went from East prussia to Friesland, from Jutland to the Gotthard.

Over centuries and political consolidation, a number of those territories became germany and the language was consolidated and now begins to resemble english in terms of regional accent, but came from the opposite direction english did.

switzerland was the literal backwater of the germanic speaking world and as such missed out on most of this. they missed all the political upheavals, wars, population transfers etc that cooked the german dialects into one language.

so i guess what im saying is, english was one core which spread. german was many and boiled down to a few.

Last edited by glennsche; 05.10.2011 at 13:58.
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  #44  
Old 05.10.2011, 13:40
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Re: Swiss German isn't a language...

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I am aware of the regional differences in the USA, having been to most of it. However there is more difference in language between Basle and Zurich than New York and Los Angeles. Although you don't seem to have grasped this concept.

There is only one dialect of English - Pigeon or Pidgin English. The rest (Glasgow and Oxford have been referred to) are just accents and slight changes in use of vocabulary. However, English is pretty easy too "accent-ise", unlike German. You only need to hear, London, Birmingham, Liverpool, Manchester etc.

Swiss-German is a dialect with different grammar and major vocab. changes from High German. Swiss-German's base was established before High German by the way...
No, there is not only one dialect in English and as a matter of fact, you'll immediately know when you're talking to somebody from NY versus somebody from LA. Not only do they phonetically sound completely different but they also use different vocabulary and sentence structure. Whether the difference between Basel and Züritüütsch is greater than NY English vs. Los Angeles English is debatable.
Also, there also various pidgin dialects in respect to the geographical location the speaker is from. Not sure what you're trying to get at here.
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  #45  
Old 05.10.2011, 13:46
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Re: Swiss German isn't a language...

Believe it or not, I actually didn't expect any or much response!

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Me, too! Maybe she means "If I would have known" ... ("woulda known"). I say both -- If I "would have known" and "had known."
Thanks, that is exactly what I meant. Knew it looked wrong when I'd written it. Correct (British) grammar would be: "If I had known, I would have come sooner". I also hate "I'd of", but as it's widespread I suppose it's only a matter of time before it becomes officially accepted. The variation doesn't mean English isn't a proper language though, right?

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So OP are you saying Glaswegian isn't English but should be considered a separate language per se?

Same with Geordie, Brummie Scouse? Are they all separate languages instead of English.

Swiss-german is German, fact. Just badly pronounced.

Just like a wee man up north is a titchy geeza down souf.
I think you may have missed what I was saying there, namely that English is one language (with regional variations, sure) even though people from Leeds or Glasgow can be quite hard to understand for someone from Oxford or Alabama. We don't try to make out that people in God's Own County are speaking something different. In the same way, what people from Nidwalden speak is the same language as that spoken in Zurich or St Gallen (varieties of Alemannic, as someone pointed out). Mutually understandable, if sometimes with some difficulty. Ergo, Swiss-German is just as capable of being recognised as a language as English is.

And there's no more reason for it to remain classified as a dialect of German than there is for Norwegian, Danish or Dutch to be dialects of German (or of each other).

Anyway... I like the sound of chainsaws making love and I'd like to be able to learn to reproduce that sound properly without having to grasp yet another foreign language first, which takes twice as long to learn as usual because I'm not hearing it all around me on a daily basis.
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  #46  
Old 05.10.2011, 13:49
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Re: Swiss German isn't a language...

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No, there is not only one dialect in English and as a matter of fact, you'll immediately know when you're talking to somebody from NY versus somebody from LA. Not only do they phonetically sound completely different but they also use different vocabulary. Whether the difference between Basel and Züritüütsch is greater than NY English vs. Los Angeles English is debatable.
Also, there also various pidgin dialects in respect to the geographical location the speaker is from. Not sure what you're trying to get at here.

as i define dialect, i dont think there are many in the US. NY vs LA is accent to my definition.

id say ebonics is a dialect (even, arguably, a family of them, as ebonics spoken by rural georgian blacks is very different from that spoken by southern california blacks), as is Cajun.

i think if the US couldve had another 200 years of relative geographic isolation from one another and continued to evolve seperately (for example, if nyc had continued to be a fusion of yiddish, italian, irish and other immigrant accents contributing to the "NewYorkerisch", and LA continuing to become more and more influenced by "spanglish", THEN you might get some real dialects.

(on a side note, have you noticed how the LA accent often has mexican nasal vowels? "Yeah, i theeeeenk you're right about that...")
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  #47  
Old 05.10.2011, 13:49
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Re: Swiss German isn't a language...

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Anyway... I like the sound of chainsaws making love and I'd like to be able to learn to reproduce...
I like what you did there.
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Old 05.10.2011, 13:56
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Re: Swiss German isn't a language...

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Ah so interesting - so when a High German speaker says "Guten Appetit" and a Swiss says "en guerte" this is only pronunciation?
or for other examples of pronunciation fahrad/velo, poulet/huhn, &&&&
Are you really so stupid to believe that such differences don't exist also within Germany, and between Germany and Austria?
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Old 05.10.2011, 13:58
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Re: Swiss German isn't a language...

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so, in true collaberative consensus building swissyness, they decided to adopt the grammar of the "northern canton" for their written language; this is acceptable to the confederated swiss as no single canton is singled out and the "real" swiss or favorite.

swiss IS as different from german as dutch is. but the swiss never found a common national voice by throwing out the spanish over an 80 year process and building a mercantile empire together as far away as indonesia the way the dutch broke from the rest of the Holy roman empire after the treaty of westfalia in 1648. The dutch national identity was forged fighting the spanish.

The swiss have been alone and isolated and ignored for most of their history and never had a similar type of event which made them come together as a nation first, regions second. Hell they only even formed into a real nation state in the mid 19th century with any sort of federal power to guarantee border integrity and make sure their stronger neightbors didnt gobble them up.

this is why "they speak a language noone writes and write a language noone speaks".

as a german speaker, it took me about 6mos to really understand it decently, and now after 2 years i get 90%. Once your german falls into place, making the switch isnt hard. But i can concede learning it from scratch must be aggravating!
Missed this the first time through - good stuff! Switzerland is more like a mini-EU then. Most people consider themselves to be their own nationality/kanton first, European/Swiss second if at all. (I'm one of the few who have it the other way round.)
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Old 05.10.2011, 14:08
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Re: Swiss German isn't a language...

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as i define dialect, i dont think there are many in the US. NY vs LA is accent to my definition.

id say ebonics is a dialect (even, arguably, a family of them, as ebonics spoken by rural georgian blacks is very different from that spoken by southern california blacks), as is Cajun.
..but those are precisely dialects...and there are ample examples to support this. The differences are not only displayed within the black community but also crosses socio-economic boundaries and are about as vast as in Switzerland. Butter for instance in Bern, they'd call it "anke"...in Zurich and Basel "Butter". On the east coast, if you order a soda you'll get a soft drink...you order a soda on the west coast you'll get sparkling water.
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Old 05.10.2011, 14:12
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Re: Swiss German isn't a language...

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Does it fall under the category of being difficult weirdos for no apparent reason?
That sounds like a description of you. If you don't like it here...oh wait...never mind
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Old 05.10.2011, 14:26
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Re: Swiss German isn't a language...

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..but those are precisely dialects...and there are ample examples to support this. This differences are not only displayed within the black community but also crosses socio-economic boundaries and the differences are about as vast as in Switzerland. Butter for instance in Bern, they'd call it "anke"...in Zurich and Basel "Butter". On the east coast, if you order a soda you'll get a soft drink...you order a soda on the west coast you'll get sparkling water.

umm.... i said ebonics and cajun were dialects too!

ebonics for example has different ways of using "to be" than regular american english. i cant really speak to it i only remember this sort of in passing, but the grammar is different from standard american english, ergo, dialect.

similarly, CH D vs D: in CH, you have for example the differences in future and past tense "mer händ gseit gha" is literally translated as "wir haben gesagt gehabt" in D; this is a different use of haben in past tense, the germans would just say "wir hatten gesagt"...they use it twice here because they dont use simple past. Or how the swiss use "gömmer go" for future, which is "gehen wir gehen"... also not gramatically the same as german.

contrast this with say LA vs NY, and sure you get different words for things. or like how in the southern states "fixin' " to do something means "wanting to" (hey bubba, ye fixin' to go fishin' this weekend?), or how in NY they added an S to you plural (ihr) to make it "yous"... these are different words, yes, but the grammar fundamentals are the same. If the grammar's the same, its an accent. if the grammar changes, it aint an accent, its a dialect. at least to me.
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  #53  
Old 05.10.2011, 14:30
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Re: Swiss German isn't a language...

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i cant really speak to it
Why not? What did "it" do to upset you so?


If you can bring yourself to speak about it, we'll give "it" a good seeing-to, on your behalf!
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Old 05.10.2011, 14:43
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Re: Swiss German isn't a language...

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similarly, CH D vs D: in CH, you have for example the differences in future and past tense "mer händ gseit gha" is literally translated as "wir haben gesagt gehabt" in D; this is a different use of haben in past tense, the germans would just say "wir hatten gesagt"...they use it twice here because they dont use simple past. Or how the swiss use "gömmer go" for future, which is "gehen wir gehen"... also not gramatically the same as german.
"The Germans would say" is plain nonsense. "Mir henn des gsagt ghet" is exactly what one would also say in my home town. "I gang go" is also typical for Oberschwaben. Standard German is just one variety of German, invented exactly to facilitate communication between speakers of different German dialects.
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Old 05.10.2011, 14:44
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Re: Swiss German isn't a language...

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umm.... i said ebonics and cajun were dialects too!

ebonics for example has different ways of using "to be" than regular american english. i cant really speak to it i only remember this sort of in passing, but the grammar is different from standard american english, ergo, dialect.

similarly, CH D vs D: in CH, you have for example the differences in future and past tense "mer händ gseit gha" is literally translated as "wir haben gesagt gehabt" in D; this is a different use of haben in past tense, the germans would just say "wir hatten gesagt"...they use it twice here because they dont use simple past. Or how the swiss use "gömmer go" for future, which is "gehen wir gehen"... also not gramatically the same as german.

contrast this with say LA vs NY, and sure you get different words for things. or like how in the southern states "fixin' " to do something means "wanting to" (hey bubba, ye fixin' to go fishin' this weekend?), or how in NY they added an S to you plural (ihr) to make it "yous"... these are different words, yes, but the grammar fundamentals are the same. If the grammar's the same, its an accent. if the grammar changes, it aint an accent, its a dialect. at least to me.
..but there ya go. It's both dialects.
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  #56  
Old 05.10.2011, 16:16
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Re: Swiss German isn't a language...

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Are you really so stupid to believe
Now here is a German sentence translated into English if I ever saw one.

Last edited by Joy2; 05.10.2011 at 18:22.
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  #57  
Old 05.10.2011, 16:20
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Re: Swiss German isn't a language...

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Correct (British) grammar would be: "If I had known, I would have come sooner".
If I'da only known that....

Blame 200+ years of immigrants learning English.
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  #58  
Old 05.10.2011, 17:12
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Re: Swiss German isn't a language...

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Exaclty! en guete = ein guten appetit in txt spk.

Exact same vocab just diff pronunciation.
That's a translation. By your logic, Dutch would be a German dialect too.

Paging SwissAstrid... oh wait
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Old 05.10.2011, 18:02
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Re: Swiss German isn't a language...

No, that's not a language...

Nor is it a dialect.

They're just all trying to cough up fur balls.
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Old 05.10.2011, 18:08
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Re: Swiss German isn't a language...

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I just think the Swiss should do what the Dutch did 500 years or so ago, and what Luxembourg did in the 20th century and
- decide that their German dialect is no longer a dialect, but a language
- standardize grammar and vocab (it could be done for Romansh, so it can be done for Swiss German).
It could be done but as long as they don't do it, it's not a language. It's their decision, it's been for centuries... the Swiss will keep us updated if they work on that.

Let's just accept the diglossia as it is. Nothing wrong with it in the first place.

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swiss IS as different from german as dutch is.
No problem with the other parts of your message, go Glennsche!
But that sentence attracted my attention:
Dutch is low-German. Hence no 2nd consonant shift.
Swiss-German is High German. Hence with 2nd consonant shift.
High German and Swiss-German have the 2nd consonant shift in commun an Dutch does not.
That's a biggy.
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