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R: Diglossia (was Re: Nur-ellen in the world of Brithenig)

From:Mangiat <mangiat@...>
Date:Tuesday, September 12, 2000, 8:07
Jörg wrote:

> They are not, or only marginally so. My mother language is High > (Standard) German (though the language of my forebears was Low German), > and I still find it quite difficult to understand spoken Low German even > though I have familiarized myself with it a bit. It is practically a > foreign language, though quite an easy one because it is notably > similar. In fact, in many ways Low German is more similar to *English* > than to High German. (This also makes it easier to me.) At any rate, > it is closer to Dutch than to anything else. The situation, however, is > complicated by the fact that Low German is itself splintered into about > half a dozen main dialect groups (and countless local verieties) some of > which are barely mutually intelligible.
Just yesterday I met a Swiss guy from Bellinzona (Italian Switzerland) who could speak High (standard) German and Schweizer Deutsch, so I've had fun trying to understand this dialect. Definitely High German; yet quite unitelligible to me, even if I watch Swiss German tv every day (on tv they *always* speak in dialect... even the news aren't in German!). This guy told me that when he went in Ireland to study English, he met a boy from Zürich who, speaking to an Austrian in High (standard) German, said this was not his native language. Indeed I've found really few Swiss men who could even pronounce (standard) German - unless they saw the written text!!!
> According to what I have heard from several Norsemen, mutual > intelligibility between Danish, Norwegian and Swedish is better, but I > cannot comment on that from my own experience. >