Dialogue

Vocabulary

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Lesson Transcript

Michael: Is the German spoken in Germany different from the German spoken in Austria and Switzerland?
Anja: And what are the differences?
Michael: At GermanPod101.com, we hear these questions often. Let’s imagine the following situation. Ben Lee sees a mysterious item on a restaurant menu in Vienna. He asks his friend Yannek Young,
"What is Erdapfel?"
Ben Lee: Was ist 'Erdapfel'?
Ben Lee: Was ist 'Erdapfel'?
Yannek Young: Es ist Kartoffel auf Österreichisch.
Michael: Once more with the English translation.
Ben Lee: Was ist 'Erdapfel'?
Michael: What is ‘Erdapfel’?
Yannek Young: Es ist Kartoffel auf Österreichisch.
Michael: "It’s ‘potato’ in Austrian."
Michael: German Standard German
Anja: Bundesdeutsches Hochdeutsch
Michael: is the variety of the German language used in Germany. This is, however, not the only Standard German that exists. In Austria, Austrian Standard German
Anja: Österreichisches Hochdeutsch
Michael: is the variety of German in use, and in Switzerland, they use Swiss Standard German. The relationship between German Standard German and Austrian Standard German is much like the one between British and American English, with both varieties being understandable to the speakers of the other variety, despite some changes in spelling, pronunciation, intonation, and even vocabulary.
As we have mentioned, Swiss Standard German, or
Anja: Schweizer Hochdeutsch,
Michael: is the variety of German spoken in Switzerland, and its rules are defined by the Swiss Association for the German Language. The relationship between this variety of German and German Standard German is a bit more complicated, and some Germans find it hard to understand. This variety has been strongly influenced by the French language, which is why you may hear merci more often than danke when conversing with Swiss German speakers. As you might expect, there are also differences in the vocabulary. For example, the words
Anja: Frühstück
Michael: and
Anja: Abendbrot,
Michael: meaning "breakfast" and "supper" in German Standard German, will become
Anja: Morgenessen
Michael: and
Anja: Abendessen
Michael: in Swiss Standard German. The word "potato" is also an interesting example. Do you remember how the German Standard German word for "potato"
Anja: Kartoffel
Michael: becomes
Anja: Erdapfel
Michael: in Austrian Standard German? In Swiss Standard German, the word for "potato" is
Anja: Herdöpfel.
Michael: In fact, actual German spoken in Switzerland encompasses a variety of local dialects. Standard Swiss German is basically a written form of the language, and won’t be heard in its spoken form apart from in educational settings, on TV news, or during parliamentary sessions. But don’t worry, despite the differences, you should still be able to communicate with the speakers of all three standard varieties of German.
Michael: Let's practice the opening dialogue. Respond to the prompts by speaking aloud. Then repeat after the German speaker, focusing on pronunciation.
Do you remember how BEN LEE asked,
"What’s an Erdapfel?"
[Beep. Pause 5 seconds.]
Ben Lee: Was ist 'Erdapfel'?
Michael: Listen again and repeat.
Anja: Was ist 'Erdapfel'?
[Beep. Pause 5 seconds.]
Anja: Was ist 'Erdapfel'?
Michael: And how did YANNEK YOUNG say,
"It’s ‘potato’ in Austrian."
[Beep. Pause 5 seconds.]
Anja: Es ist Kartoffel auf Österreichisch.
Michael: Listen again and repeat.
Anja: Es ist Kartoffel auf Österreichisch.
[Beep. Pause 5 seconds.]
Anja: Es ist Kartoffel auf Österreichisch.
Michael: Now you know the differences between the three Standard Varieties of German. Do you want to learn more? Be sure to download the lesson notes for this lesson at GermanPod101.com — and move onto the next lesson!

3 Comments

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😄 😞 😳 😁 😒 😎 😠 😆 😅 😜 😉 😭 😇 😴 😮 😈 ❤️️ 👍

GermanPod101.com Verified
Monday at 06:30 PM
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What German learning question do you have?

GermanPod101.com Verified
Thursday at 01:11 AM
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Hallo robert groulx,


Danke schön for posting. We are very happy to have you here. Let us know if you have any questions.


Mit freundlichen Grüßen,

Levente

Team GermanPod101.com

robert groulx
Wednesday at 01:50 AM
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thank you for the lesson transcript


favorite phrase is Es ist Kartoffel auf Österreichisch.


robert