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Standard German {{#invoke:main|main}} Standard German originated not as a traditional dialect of a specific region, but as a written language. However, there are places where the traditional regional dialects have been replaced by new vernaculars based on standard German; this is the case in large stretches of Northern Germany, but also in major cities in other parts of the country. It is important to note, however, that this colloquial standard German differs greatly from the formal written language, especially in grammar and syntax, in which it has been influenced by dialectal speech.

Standard German differs regionally, between German-speaking countries, in vocabulary and some instances of pronunciation, and even grammar and orthography. This variation must not be confused with the variation of local dialects. Even though the regional varieties of standard German are only to a certain degree influenced by the local dialects, they are very distinct. German is thus considered a pluricentric language.

In most regions, the speakers use a continuum from more dialectal varieties to more standard varieties according to circumstances.

Varieties of standard German

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In German linguistics, German dialects are distinguished from varieties of standard German. The varieties of standard German refer to the different local varieties of the pluricentric standard German. They only differ slightly in lexicon and phonology. In certain regions, they have replaced the traditional German dialects, especially in Northern Germany.

In the German-speaking parts of Switzerland, mixtures of dialect and standard are very seldom used, and the use of standard German is largely restricted to the written language. This situation has been called a medial diglossia. Swiss Standard German is used in the Swiss education system, whereas Austrian Standard German is officially used in the Austrian education system. A mixture of dialect and standard also does not occur in Northern Germany. The traditional varieties there are Low German, whereas Standard German is a High German "variety". Because their linguistic distance to it is greater, they do not mesh with Standard German the way High German dialects (e.g. Bavarian, Swabian, Hessian) are able to.


German language sections
Intro   History    Geographic distribution    Standard German    Dialects    Grammar    Vocabulary    Orthography    Phonology    Literature    German loanwords in the English language    Organisations    See also    References   Notes   Bibliography    External links   

Standard German
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