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Lesson Transcript

Hi everybody! Anja here. Welcome to Ask a Teacher, where I’ll answer some of your most common German questions.
The question for this lesson is: What are the differences between the dialects, sächsisch “Saxon” and bayerisch “Bavarian?”
Bayerisch, spoken in the South of Germany and sächsisch, spoken in the Eastern part of Germany are two dialects that are still widespread. The word “dialects” in German, Dialekte, can also be referred to as Mundarten, literally meaning “mouth style.”
First, let’s go over the differences between the two dialects.
The most distinctive characteristic of sächsisch is that the endings are “swallowed.” It is used as a kind of time-saver when speaking. For example, here’s the Standard German sentence--
Ist der Mund einmal offen, warum hinter dem Berg halten.
And here is the sächsisch dialect--
Is de Gusche ehma breed, dann gönn mor ooch glei mid eema nausloof'n lass'n!
Did you notice the difference in ending there? Both sentences literally translate as, “Once the mouth opens, why to keep it behind the mountain?” It means that once you start to talk about something, you should just say everything you’re thinking.
In the sächsisch dialect, many hard sounds are changed to soft sounds. For example, “K” turns to “G,” “T” to “D,” and “P” to “B.” It’s considered to be an immature, soft dialect, which is why it might sound straight to foreigners.
Here are some examples so you can hear the differences between the sächsisch dialect and standard German more clearly. First you’ll hear the standard German, then the dialect and finally the translation.
Morgen! Moschn! “Morning!”
Tag! Däach! “Hello!”
Guten Abend. Nabend. “Good evening.”
Wie geht’s denn so. Wie gehdsn so. “How are you?”
The Bavarian dialect is also pronounced more softly than standard German. It’s considered to be a warm-hearted and sincere dialect. Listen to the differences in sound again. Just like before, you’ll hear the standard German, the dialect and finally, the translation.
Grüß Gott! Griasgood! Griasdi! “Hello! Greetings!”
Grüß Gott. Griaseichgood. “Greetings to God.” Wie geht's? Wia gäts da? “How are you?”
Remember, these dialects are only spoken in certain parts of Germany, but in general, it’s necessary to speak and write standard German. Also, while it’s important to understand the differences between the dialects, be careful not to imitate them because you might send the wrong impression to the listener.
How was this lesson? Pretty interesting right?
Do you have any more questions? Leave them in the comments below and I’ll try to answer them!
Tschüss, bis zum nächsten Mal! “Bye, see you next time!”