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  #21  
Old 06.04.2020, 10:15
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Re: What "type" of German did you learn?

I learned Sächsische Deutch. Now I want Bernese dialect, but I think I have to pass through Hoch Deutsch to know what I am doing.

Last edited by MusicChick; 06.04.2020 at 11:45.
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  #22  
Old 06.04.2020, 10:18
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Re: What "type" of German did you learn?

Not a good dialect to speak in Germany..... Sächseln was done mostly by the border patrol offficers in the GDR.


Hochdeutsch is good to to start with to understand the grammar.
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  #23  
Old 06.04.2020, 10:35
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Re: What "type" of German did you learn?

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I think I'm learning Swiss German. That's the language in shops and bars.
Dialects have such different tonality than Hoch Deutch, it is good to mimic to get the music in (not in a bar and shops).

I can speak regular French with heavy vadois tonality, it already warms people up.
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  #24  
Old 06.04.2020, 10:45
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Re: What "type" of German did you learn?

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I remember my German Assistant at school in UK, from Kassel- laughing her head off when I used the word 'Spital' - and she took great delight in saying 'Ruriräschli' as a greeting lol.
lmao I say Spital even when I speak English now (saves a syllable doesn't it ) My therapist (British/German) also found it amusing!

My German (also my English) is peppered with Swiss German words bc I heard them more frequently when I was a noob and they just stuck, and bc the kids do it too it became a habit and I can't help it now. Sometimes in therapy I speak German if my emotions get in the way and apparently I'm perfectly understandable to German speakers who are not Swiss, but I'm told I have a heavy Swiss accent (way more prominent than my British). Some Swiss still squint at me though, as if they need to concentrate to "tune in", and I do the same when I'm listening to Swiss German
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Old 06.04.2020, 10:55
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Re: What "type" of German did you learn?

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Alot of people think I am Dutch when I speak High German. Strange that considering I am Australian by birth. But then I should be greatful that they don't think I am an American.
I get the Dutch thing a lot as well, I think it's due to the mix of dialects I've picked up all sounding mostly Germanic but none "proper". I also think it's due to the Irish "s" often having a h attached to it which works in German, think "Shtop" and "Shtart".

I've learnt my german mostly in Austria with one of the southern dialects, I also spent a chunk of time in northern Germany and now my years here. I've never done classes so most of my German is flavoured from the people I've spoken with. My Austrian friends now laugh due to the Swiss pronounciation stuck in, sometimes some Austrian pops in here as well to the amusement of my collegues.
For conversational use I'm happy enough, my written German is horrible though.
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  #26  
Old 06.04.2020, 11:27
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Re: What "type" of German did you learn?

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... do something the Germans cannot or are not willing to do...
Notwithstanding that I think a good grasp of German is helpful for learning dialect, in my class, it seems the Germans are the ones who have the most difficulty speaking it properly (gaaaaaaarn, not gern) - understanding someone else, not so much.
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  #27  
Old 06.04.2020, 12:01
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Re: What "type" of German did you learn?

Basically, if you came to Switzerand...

Pre 90s: Swiss German
90s - 00s: depending on immersion
Post 00s: High German
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Old 06.04.2020, 12:42
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Re: What "type" of German did you learn?

Personally I strive to be more "correct" in whatever language I'm speaking, including English, which means trying to avoid specific dialectical terminology or grammar.

On the basis that no-one's ever going to be fooled into thinking I'm a local of their locality, I might as well try to make myself more understandable for the larger number of people, rather than trying to work out which particular version to speak in any given situation.

I get it, if you live for a long while in one place with limited external contacts you're more likely to absorb the local way of doing things, and of course it's hugely important to understand the local dialect, but holding a conversation where a local is speaking their dialect and you're replying in a more standardised language works well for me.

I spent years replying to a generalised end-of-meal question which was clearly asking me if it was all good, without understanding exactly what the question was, grammatically. My answer was always " .. war sehr gut, danke", and I stuck to that even once I'd learned that the question was asked in a different tense and with a peculiar Swiss-german conraction, "...ist gut g'si?".

I understand it well enough, but it still sounds 'wrong' to me, so I will not try and emulate it, just as I wouldn't try to use Scouse, Geordie or Glaswegian dialect if I found myself in those places.
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  #29  
Old 07.04.2020, 12:23
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Re: What "type" of German did you learn?

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Basically, if you came to Switzerand...

Pre 90s: Swiss German
90s - 00s: depending on immersion
Post 00s: High German

care to elaborate?
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  #30  
Old 07.04.2020, 18:08
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Re: What "type" of German did you learn?

You need a role model. Ralph Krueger being interviewed in a mixture of Swiss german and swiss high german, replying in swiss high german Really important to learn both if you want to stay here long.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Aa5aLEbVr-g
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  #31  
Old 07.04.2020, 18:22
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Re: What "type" of German did you learn?

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Personally I strive to be more "correct" in whatever language I'm speaking, including English, which means trying to avoid specific dialectical terminology or grammar.

On the basis that no-one's ever going to be fooled into thinking I'm a local of their locality, I might as well try to make myself more understandable for the larger number of people, rather than trying to work out which particular version to speak in any given situation.

I get it, if you live for a long while in one place with limited external contacts you're more likely to absorb the local way of doing things, and of course it's hugely important to understand the local dialect, but holding a conversation where a local is speaking their dialect and you're replying in a more standardised language works well for me.

I spent years replying to a generalised end-of-meal question which was clearly asking me if it was all good, without understanding exactly what the question was, grammatically. My answer was always " .. war sehr gut, danke", and I stuck to that even once I'd learned that the question was asked in a different tense and with a peculiar Swiss-german conraction, "...ist gut g'si?".

I understand it well enough, but it still sounds 'wrong' to me, so I will not try and emulate it, just as I wouldn't try to use Scouse, Geordie or Glaswegian dialect if I found myself in those places.
You sound like my OH - flat RP- no accent. I have a very musical ear, and just love languages- so I pick up accents. I can still do very thick Neuchâtel, and have a good go at Vaud or Valais. In London when I first moved there- exactly 50 year ago- I was surrounded with people like OH - again, flat RP ... but then we moved to Stoke a few years later and I worked in a local engineering firm with people who had never left the Potteries. And they took huge delight in teaching me local dialect, like a 'luuke in the buuk' and much more. I could understand all the local tradesmen- but OH was totally stumped- I had to translate for him. And then we moved to Leicester, and I taught in local State schools - and picked up local stuff. Being able to switch between different accents and also register- can be very useful and lots of fun too. Got to be careful not to overdo it though. Back in the region where I grew up, old friends just love that I can still speak the local lingo- but I can switch it on and off.

So French with a Swiss accent (if I wish), English with Midlands intonation if I wish- but sound somewhat South African... Gawd knows why- OH was Cape Town born, but has NO SA accent at all. Oh and I hate the French intonation when I speak German- although if I stay long enough in Germany, I can get rid of it, mostly. Apparently My Italian accent is not bad at all.

Time to learn Bärntütsch. But for OP- start with Hochdeutsch, for sure.

Last edited by Odile; 07.04.2020 at 21:33.
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  #32  
Old 08.04.2020, 12:24
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Re: What "type" of German did you learn?

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I get it, if you live for a long while in one place with limited external contacts you're more likely to absorb the local way of doing things, and of course it's hugely important to understand the local dialect, but holding a conversation where a local is speaking their dialect and you're replying in a more standardised language works well for me.
This.

People who expect a foreigner to speak dialect do so to be a pain or establish superiority. If it's not the dialect they'll find something else.
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I spent years replying to a generalised end-of-meal question which was clearly asking me if it was all good, without understanding exactly what the question was, grammatically. My answer was always " .. war sehr gut, danke", and I stuck to that even once I'd learned that the question was asked in a different tense and with a peculiar Swiss-german conraction, "...ist gut g'si?".
The simple past tense doesn't exist in Swiss German grammatically, your reply is very fine. Not sure if that's just me but "es ist gut gewesen" feels odd.
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Old 08.04.2020, 12:55
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Re: What "type" of German did you learn?

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This.

People who expect a foreigner to speak dialect do so to be a pain or establish superiority. If it's not the dialect they'll find something else.
I look at it completely the other way round- I find language fascinating and wonderful- so it is me who wants to learn intonations, expressions- even local forms of grammar - because I love it, not because anyone expects it.

An old friend in Leicester always used the 'I were' - 'you was' - I never used it myself, but I loved hearing his heavy East Mids accent and his unusual use of grammar, à la 'I were stood standing there when ...', etc. Same for some of my students- took a while to get it - but I did much better than my OH and his Surrey RP.

'I were dead frit Miss' always sticks in my mind since a student first said it to me - as a direct French translation, frite morte. Often use the 'une frite sur l'épaule' as a joke, and so on. If you love music, you love language, in all its forms.
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