German is not German – 'Schweizerdeutsch' and Austrian German

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German is spoken in Germany, Switzerland and Austria. However, there are drastic differences within the countries because they speak different dialects. The Swiss insist on calling their ‘Schweizerdeutsch’ a language for itself. Individual words also differ between the German language and the Swiss ‘Schweizerdeutsch’. Some examples can be found below.

Swiss German German
Velo Fahrrad
Parkieren Parken
Grillieren Grillen
Tschutimatsch Fussballspiel

Based upon the first example, one can see the strong influence of the French language, one of the neighbours of Switzerland. ‘Velo’ is a French word.

The Austrian German experienced a strong influence from Bavaria, a part of southern Germany, hence numerous Bavarian expressions are popular in Austria.

Austrian German German
Bim Straßenbahn
Watschen Ohrfeige
Tschick Zigarette
Taxler Taxifahrer

For many Germans the regional differences and dialects are unusual and a strong dialect is difficult to understand. Hence calling the dialects an individual language is justified in some sense.

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3 thoughts on “German is not German – 'Schweizerdeutsch' and Austrian German”

  1. Pingback: Crisps are Chips and Chips are Fries - Lexiophiles

  2. Pingback: Deutsch ist nicht Deutsch – ‘Schweizerdeutsch’ und österreichisches Deutsch - Lexiophiles

  3. “The Austrian German experienced a strong influence from Bavaria, a part of southern Germany, hence numerous Bavarian expressions are popular in Austria.”
    — tell that to an austrian and he’ll give you a “watschn”. austrian german is not influenced by bavarian german, rather they developed together. the dialects are very similar, but not the same and austrian german is austrian german, not bavarian 😉

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