egypt
AR
belarus
BE
bulgaria
BG
bangladesh
BN
bosnia
BS
spain
CA
czech_republic
CS
germany
DE
greece
EL
usa
EM
great_britain
EN
esperanto
EO
spain
ES
estonia
ET
iran
FA
finnland
FI
france
FR
israel
HE
croatia
HR
hungary
HU
indonesia
ID
italy
IT
japan
JA
georgia
KA
india
KN
south_korea
KO
lithuania
LT
latvia
LV
india
MR
netherlands
NL
norway
NN
india
PA
poland
PL
portugal
PT
brazil
PX
romania
RO
russia
RU
slovakia
SK
serbia
SR
sweden
SV
ukraine
UK
vietnam
VI
china
ZH

Languages and dialects

There are 6,000 to 7,000 different languages worldwide. The number of dialects is of course much higher. But what is the difference between language and dialect? Dialects always have a clearly localized tone. They belong to the regional language varieties. This means dialects are a language form with the narrowest reach. As a general rule, dialects are only spoken, not written. They form their own linguistic system. And they follow their own rules. Theoretically, every language can have several dialects. All dialects fall under the standard language of a country. The standard language is understood by all the people of a country. With it, even speakers of different dialects can communicate with each other. Almost all dialects are becoming less important. You hardly hear dialects being spoken in cities anymore. The standard language is usually spoken at work as well. Therefore, dialect speakers are often said to be simple and uneducated. And yet they can be found at all social levels. So dialect speakers are no less intelligent than others. Quite the opposite! Those who speak in dialect have many advantages. In a language course, for example. Dialect speakers know that there are different linguistic forms. And they have learned to switch quickly between linguistic styles. Therefore, dialect speakers possess a higher competence for variation. They can sense which linguistic style fits with a certain situation. This has even been scientifically proven. So: Have courage in using dialect – it's worth it!

text before next text

© Copyright Goethe Verlag GmbH 2015. All rights reserved.