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The German Language and its Dialects

German is known to be one of the most difficult European languages to learn as a foreign language based on its extensive vocabulary, complex structures, long words, declensions, etc. In the area of translations, German is one of the most expensive languages, since it really requires a lot of effort and dedication to be able to even begin to understand it and achieve communication.

This is why it is always very convenient to have a good knowledge base of this language before visiting Germany, given that learning times are long. Ideally, it is good to study German for one or two years in your country of origin, and then visit Germany to master what you have learned.

Many students know that German has different dialects, but one tends to imagine that they’re just different tunes or local slang from a province in the country, but no, the dialects are usually a nightmare… even for Germans themselves!

Language differences between one region and another can be so extreme that inhabitants from various German cities do not commonly understand each other when each one speaks in their own dialect. This also happens in Austria and Switzerland. Swiss-German (switzerdütsch) is, in fact, one of the most impossible versions to understand for those who were not born there. Even Germans need subtitles when they watch Swiss shows. And not to mention the poor foreign students. It is very frustrating to have studied for years, getting good grades and certificates, just to arrive in the country and not understand a thing.

The southern dialects, schwäbisch (from Baden-Württemberg) and bayrisch (from Bavaria) are a clear example of this distortion. They use different words, they do not pronounce many letters and they usually speak quite closed. The list of dialects is long and in turn these have different versions. It gives the impression that one encounters a new dialect every time one crosses the street. Perhaps one of the easiest to understand is the Austrian-German (österreichisch), as they speak more slowly and with an interesting Italian background melody.

The good news is that there is a neutral German (hochdeutsch), which any German can speak when they realize the other person is not from their city. This is the official version that is learned in language institutes and (luckily) is the common denominator among all the regions.

So, if you want to know the costs and times of translating texts in German (neutral, or in any of its dialects), please contact our sales team, they’ll be ready to offer you all the necessary information.