Updated April 11. This post will be regularly updated for some time. Warning! This essay is very long; it runs to 166 pages on the Internet (varying by browser and OS) and 72 pages printed out.
The German languages, and German is not a single language, but, like Chinese and Italian, a family of languages, have been in need of a good reclassification for some time now. Ethnologue has done an excellent job, dividing German into 20 separate languages. However, Ethnologue’s treatment does not go nearly far enough, as they themselves admit in the entry for Standard German: “Our present treatment in this edition is incomplete.” The entry for Low German itself formerly stated that LG is made up of 20-30 separate mutually unintelligible dialects, although this has been revised to “differing intelligibility, depending on distance” in the latest edition. Hence, this treatment will attempt to expand the 20 German languages listed at present into a higher number.
Many of the language divisions noted below are arbitrary, and admittedly based on more intuition than hard evidence. In many cases, intelligibility testing could clear up a lot of confusion. This treatment, like my prior treatment of Chinese, is best seen as a series of often very tentative hypotheses rather than a set of conclusions. The classification scheme (for instance, the decision to include Low Saxon as a part of Macro-German rather than a part of Macro-Dutch) is fairly arbitrary and is not the purpose of this treatment, which deals mainly with intelligibility. This treatment makes no statements about classification, generally just following Wikipedia and Ethnologue. There are others doing major work on classification, and I will leave that up to them. So far, this classification expands German from 20 separate languages to 167 separate languages.
It is incomplete, and it is also a pilot study intended to spur further research, analysis and especially evidence-based criticism. Criticism is welcome, as long as it is rational and evidence-based. Keep in mind that we have valid intelligibility data for a lot of these languages, so wild claims of widespread intelligibility are likely to be ignored. Further splitting is certainly warranted, and lumping may be too. Both will require evidence before proceeding. This piece may be seen as a companion piece to my reclassification of Chinese, which expands Chinese from 14 languages into 343 languages (at present).
As far as my qualifications for writing this, I have a Masters Degree in Linguistics, and I have been employed as a linguist for an American Indian tribe where I created an alphabet, ran the language program, worked on a dictionary and phrasebook and did fieldwork with native speakers.
German, like Chinese, is a pluricentric language, with a standard version and many typically mutually unintelligible major dialects surrounding it. Interdialectal comprehension is achieved via the use of Standard German. Hence, the intelligibility estimates by the ignorant are going to be biased. What these people mean when they say that everyone in Germany can understand each other is that they can when they speak Standard German to each other. However, there are still a few older folks in Germany who cannot speak Standard German and can only speak their regional form of German.
There are 27 main German dialect families, and all are considered to be separate languages. The German dialects exist as a dialect chain where dialects are normally intelligible to the dialect regions next door, but not to those more distant. At the same time, it is frequently stated that the major German dialects are not mutually intelligible. This makes delineating languages from dialects quite difficult and is why intelligibility testing is needed. Most German “dialects” have low intelligibility (below 90%) to speakers of Standard German, because they are quite divergent and hence hard for a Standard German speaker to understand. There is a strong suggestion that all of the strong forms of the regional lects are not intelligible to a speaker of Standard German.
Germany is awash in dialects. There are over 4000 (!) different dialect groups within Low German alone, and there are 150 dialects in Ripuarian Franconian that were different enough to have dictionaries written for them. In addition to not being intelligible with Standard German, the major German dialects are in general not mutually intelligible with each other either. Inside of that, there is the even more alarming suggestion that many of the major dialects are so diverse that they are not even completely intelligible among themselves. A graph of the major German languages is here, and an even better one is here.
Separate languages or suspected separate languages are bolded below. Dialects or extinct languages are generally italicized. Macrolanguages that do not deserve separate language designation are generally printed in normal typeface. All languages and dialects are spoken in Germany unless otherwise noted. Languages or dialects marked by an asterisk were definitely full languages 50 years ago, but whether they still are today is less certain. Some may still be languages, others may have dwindled to dialects and others may have disappeared. 50 years ago, those languages were still alive and well and probably even being taught to children. Most or all still have speakers, though the youngest speakers may be over 50 in some cases. These starred lects are very tentative additions to this classification.
Low German or Low Saxon is a group of far northern German dialects. Dialects up by Hamburg and Friesland sound like English. According to an older edition of Ethnologue, there are 20-30 Low German lects which are all mutually unintelligible. None of the Low German languages are intelligible with Standard German. Low German differs from region to region and even from village to village. Ethnologue says that there are only 1,000 speakers of Low German, but that 10 million can understand the language.
This is completely wrong. On the basis of a recent survey conducted in the former West Germany 25 years ago, 20%, or 3.5 million, said that they could speak Low German very well. Another 36%, or 6.5 million, said they had anywhere from some to good Low German speaking abilities. Fully 89%, or 16 million, had some reasonable amount of understanding of the language. This means that 25 years ago, there were 10 million people in West Germany alone who could speak Low German to one degree or another. Until fairly recently, most Low German speakers could only speak their Low German language and nothing else.
Low German has over 4000 different dialects in it. As late as 1960, a situation existed from Hamburg west to the Netherlands border in Germany whereby, while most spoke Standard German, most also spoke regional dialects. In general, one village could understand the next couple of villages over, but beyond that, things got dicey. So even 50 years, you had many de facto separate languages of Low German. The question is how many of these separate languages still exist.
Even today, more pure forms of Low Saxon have about 40% intelligibility with Standard German. Recent writings suggest that all Low Saxon speakers can communicate adequately in any of these disparate lects. This flies in the face of SIL’s earlier statement about 20-30 inherently unintelligible languages. Therefore, there needs to be an assessment on the ground of what existing Low Saxon lects look like and how intelligible they are with each other. Some descriptions describe the type of intelligibility within Low Saxon as akin to that between the Scandinavian languages. However, recent findings seem to indicate that the mutual intelligibility of the Scandinavian languages is much exaggerated. Having seen transcriptions of translations of a single short story into different Low Saxon lects, it seems clear to me that they differ dramatically.
Ethnologue has already split off Westphalian and East Frisian Low Saxon, so the matter is settled as far as those two go. All of the rest are lumped into Low German as some possibly dubious macrolect. The situation regarding intelligibility within German Low Saxon remains very confused.
North Low Saxon is a Low Saxon language spoken in the north of Germany. It is understood across a wide region. There is a standard version based broadly on the Hamburg dialect that is widely used on TV and in the media. Dialects include Holsteinisch, Schleswigsch, Bremen, Hamburgs, Emsland and Oldenberg. All of these dialects are apparently intelligible, though transcribed versions of them are often quite divergent.
Holsteinisch North Low Saxon (Holsatian) is a North Low Saxon dialect spoken in Holstein around Kiel. It has similarities with the Old Low German language and to Bremen Westphalian and Heide Westphalian. Holsteinisch is still holding up pretty well. This is the area from which the Angles and Saxons originated before leaving for Britain. Holsteinisch may well be intelligible with Hamburgs, Oldenberg and Schleswigsch. Subdialects include Heikendoft, Dithmarscher, Central Holsteinisch (Zentral Holsteinisch), Stormarner, East Holsteinisch (Ostholsteinisch) and Kiel.
Schleswigsch North Low Saxon (Schleswickian) is a North Low Saxon dialect spoken in Schleswig. It has a lot of influence from North Frisian and Low Danish. This lect is not intelligible at all with Standard German. People from around Berlin even say that they can’t understand a word of this lect in its pure form. At one time, fishermen around Lübeck spoke a form of Low Saxon koine that could be understood by sailors and fishermen from any of the Baltic Sea nations. This dialect is doing very well compared to the rest of Low Saxon, especially in the west area of the zone.
Hamburgisch North Low Saxon is a North Low Saxon dialect that serves as something like the official form of Low Saxon, a koine, or Standard Low Saxon, in Germany. It is widely understood across the Low Saxon speaking region. The language itself is spoken and around Hamburg.
Ollands North Low Saxon, spoken in Ollands, a fruit and vegetable growing region of northern Germany on the Lower Elbe, is a subdialect of Hamburgisch. Other subdialects include Finkwarder, Kirchwerder, Harburg, Olwarder, Veerlanner (with many sub-subdialects) and Barmbeker. Kirchwerder is spoken 12 miles southeast of Hamburg. There are still some middle-aged speakers of Hamburgisch and the language is doing better than most Low Saxon lects. In addition, there are also some young speakers of Hamburgish, especially on islands off the coast of the mouth of the Elbe River.
Bremen North Low Saxon is a North Low Saxon dialect that is spoken in the area about from Bremen east. It has traces of both the Frisian and the Oldenberg languages and is related to both the Holstein and the Heide languages. It may be intelligible with Oldenberg, Hamburgs, Schleswigsch and Holsatian.
Oldenberg North Low Saxon is a North Low Saxon dialect that is spoken just west of Bremen in what used to be the state of Oldenberg. This language is holding up better than a lot of the other Low Saxon lects. It has been influenced somewhat in the north by East Frisian, and there is an inland version of East Frisian called Saterland Frisian that is spoken right around this area. To the south, it has been influenced by Munsterland Westphalian, and to the east, by Bremen Westphalian and Heine Westphalian. Subdialects include North Oldenburg (Nordoldenburger). It may be intelligible with Holsatian, Hamburgs, Schleswigsch and Bremen.
Emsland North Low Saxon includes the southern part of the former Weser-Ems district (the area around Osnabrück in Lower Saxony and Emsdetten in far Northern Rhine-Westphalia). This dialect has very heavy East Frisian, Dutch and Groningen influences. It is still doing fairly well. Weser-Trave is a subdialect.
West Low Saxon is a group of languages and dialects spoken in the Netherlands and Germany. For the West Low Saxon languages spoken in the Netherlands, see the entry for Dutch Low Saxon below. Dialects spoken in Germany include South Emsland (Südemsländisch), Hümmlinger, South Oldenburg (Südoldenburgisch), North Osnabrück (Nordosnabrückisch) and West Diepholzer. South Oldenburg is spoken in Oldenburger Münsterland.
Friso-Saxon is a group of related languages and dialects spoken in and around the East Frisian region in Germany and the Netherlands. There is a very heavy East Frisian substrate in these lects. It is a branch of West Low Saxon.
East Frisian Low Saxon is a Friso-Saxon language spoken in the East Frisian peninsula of northwestern Lower Saxony. It is intelligible with Groningen in the Netherlands, but Ethnologue has split them, so we will too. As part of a dialect continuum, it is not intelligible with Pomeranian, but may well be with Oldenburg or Hamburgs. It has 230,000 speakers. There are still rural areas around here where the majority of people under age 40 speak the language. This language has a Frisian substratum. There is dialectal diversity between the western and eastern branches, which may not be mutually intelligible. There are also speakers in Iowa, about 500 of them, mostly over age 50. The classic variety probably looks something like this. Dialects include Hinte, Ems (Emsfriesisches), Weser (Weserfriesisches), Jeverländer, Harlingerländer, Ommelands, Mooringer and Westerkwartiers.
Hinte East Frisian Low Saxon (Hintener) is a divergent dialect of East Frisian Low Saxon, but intelligibility data with the rest of East Frisian Low Saxon is not known. It is spoken in the town of Hinte on the Dutch-German border. Hinte is in Eastern Friesland (Ostfriesland) in Lower Saxony and Groningen is on the Dutch side. It is somewhat similar to Twents.
Westphalian (Westfäölsk) is a West Low German language spoken in Westphalia in the northeastern part of North Rhine-Westphalia, but not in Siegerland and Wittgenstein. It is a separate language and is definitely not intelligible with other forms of Low German. It is mostly spoken by older people now. Westphalian is doing fairly well, but not great, compared to other Low Saxon lects. There are still a tiny number of speakers in Iowa in the Waterloo and Cedar Falls area of Blackhawk and Bremer Counties. Dialects include West Munsterland (Westmünsterländisch), South Westphalian (Südwestfälisch) and Bentheimisch.
Münsterland Westphalian (Münsterländisch) is a Westphalian language spoken in Westphalia around Munster. Furthermore, it is very hard for Northern Low Saxon to understand, harder to understand than the rest of Westphalian. It is mostly spoken by older people now. Intelligibility testing with this language and the rest of Westphalian is indicated. Steinfurt Munsterland Westphalian is a Westphalian dialect, possibly a separate language, spoken in Westphalia around Munster. It is quite different from Munster Westphalian proper.
This language is transitional between North Saxon, Eastphalian and Westphalian. This seems to be the lect that is often described as Grafschafter Platt (County Language). The term “county” refers to the fact that this region was one of the few in Germany that had was ruled by a count (a feudal figure like a duke). Grafschafter Platt seems to be spoken in the region between Osnabrück (Emsland) and Munsterland and over to the Dutch border where it looks like it borders on Twents. It is mostly spoken by older people now. There are a tremendous number of dialects in this language, especially over by the Dutch border. It’s not really correct to say that each village has its own dialect, but there is definitely a dialect continuum with new dialects every few villages or so.
The five main dialects are Gildehaus, Upper Grafschaft, Nordhorn, Lower Grafschaft and Wietermarschen Group. The Wietermarschen Group is spoken in Wietermarschen, Drievorden and Engden. Nordhorn is spoken in the city of that name. Lower Grafschaft is spoken around the towns of Emlichheim, Laar, and Hoogstede. Grafschaft has heavy Dutch influence, more than any other West Low German language spoken in Germany. This language has undergone a serious decline in the past 50 years. It is now spoken by 25% of the population and understood by 50%.
East Westphalian (Ostwestfälisch) is a series of lects that are spoken in the eastern parts of the Westphalian speaking zone.
Osnabrück Westphalian is an East Westphalian dialect spoken in the area around Osnabrück in southern Lower Saxony.
Lübbecke Westphalian is an East Westphalian language that is spoken in and around Lübbecke and to the north. The variety from around the towns of Stemwede and Oppenwehe has poor intelligibility with the Osnabrück Westphalian spoken around Bad Ilburg south of Osnabrück only 25 miles to the southwest. The region is heavily forested.
Ravensbergish-Lippish (Ravensberger-Lippisch) Westphalian is an East Westphalian dialect that is spoken in the north of Northern Rhine-Westphalia near Lippstadt, Steinhagen, and Rheda-Wiedenbruck.
Paderborn (Paderborner) Westphalian is an East Westphalian dialect spoken around Paderborn in northeast Northern Rhine-Westphalia near the border with Lower Saxony.
Soester Westphalian is an East Westphalian dialect spoken in and around the city of Soester east of the Ruhr region.
Sauerland Westphalian is an East Westphalian language, definitely a separate language, spoken in Westphalia in the Sauerland, which is in southeast North Rhine-Westphalia. Although it is related to Westphalian, it is a separate language and is not intelligible with other forms of Westphalian or Low German. This language is definitely still spoken. There are other languages spoken in the Ruhr-Sauerland region.
Balve Westphalian is an East Westphalian language spoken in and around Balve, near Dortmund in the Sauerland region of North Rhine-Westphalia. This area has tremendous dialect diversity and there is a new language every couple dozen miles or so. Knowing this and comparing Balve with Lüdenscheid, Balve may be a separate language.
Lüdenscheid Westphalian is an East Westphalian language spoken in and around the city of Lüdenscheid in North Rhine Westphalia. Speakers report that the Low German in this region is incredibly varied, with new languages ever couple dozen miles or so. Thus, Lüdenscheid may be a separate language.
Gladbeck Westphalian is an East Westphalian language spoken in the town of Gladbeck. It is unintelligible other German lects. Gladbeck is a town located in the Ruhr between Gelsenkirchen and Bottrop and north of Essen.
Eastphalian (Ostfälisch) is a West Low German language spoken east of the Weser river in southern parts of Lower Saxony and western parts of Saxony-Anhalt, in cities such as Hanover, Braunschweig, Hildesheim, Göttingen and Magdeburg in Eastphalia. It is completely unintelligible with the rest of Low Saxon.This language is barely holding on, with very low activity and only a few speakers. Eastphalian is best seen as transitional between Low German and Middle German. Eastphalian lects include Solling, Braunschweiger, Bode (Bode Ostfälisch), Calenberger, Elbe (Elbostfälisch), Göttingisch-Grubenhagensch, Heide (Heideostfälisch), Hildesheimer, Holzland (Holzland Ostfälisch), Huy (Huy Ostfälisch), North Eastphalian (Nord Ostfälisch), Oker (Oker Ostfälisch), East Eastphalian (Ostostfälisch) and Papenteicher.
Solling Eastphalian is an extremely divergent lect of Low Saxon that is spoken in the Solling Forest of Lower Saxony. It is dying out, but the pure form of it is still spoken by the elderly. It is very strange and is said to sound like the Frisian language. It is quite possible that this is a separate language, as it is said to be quite distant from Eastphalian proper.
Elbe Eastphalian (Elbostfälisch) is an Eastphalian language spoken around Oschersleben and Haldensleben in the Magdeburger Börde, which is between Helmstedt and Magdeburg. It is spoken on the west side of the Elbe River from Magdeburg west to the Harz Mountains in Saxony-Anhalt. This language has heavy influence from East Low German and is actually transitional between East and West Low German. It is still in very good shape and is widely spoken in Magdeburg at least.
Göttingisch-Grubenhagensch Eastphalian is a dialect of Eastphalian spoken around Göttingen, Northeim and Osterode am Harz. It is mostly spoken by older people now.
Heide Eastphalian (Heideostfälisch) is a dialect of Eastphalian spoken around Celle that has some with Northern Low Saxon elements. It is spoken between Hamburg, Bremen and Hanover. This language has many words that look like English. This suggests that Heide was close to one of the original Old Low German languages that gave rise to Old English. Heide means “pagan” in this language and this group resisted feudalism and Christianity longer than most other groups in the area. This in part explains the ancient nature of their tongue. This is the area from which the Angles and Saxons originated before leaving for Britain.
Central Eastphalian is is a dialect of Eastphalian spoken in a large area surrounding Braunschweig and Hanover. It is mostly spoken by older people now. This dialect is in particularly poor shape. East Low German is a group of languages spoken in Mecklenburg – West Pomerania and Brandenburg and surrounding areas, including over into Poland. The two main branches are Mecklenburgish-Pomeranian and Markish. Low Prussian is not included in this grouping – it is a separate group. These are more recent lects, created from West Low German lects with Russian and Standard German admixture.
Mecklenburgisch-Vorpommersch is an East Low German language group. Lects in this group include Wendländisch, Mecklenburgish, West Pomeranian (Westpommersch) and Strelitzisch. Strelizisch is transitional to Mittelpommersch. There are still a considerable number of people who speak and understand this language.
Mecklenburgisch is an East Low Saxon dialect spoken in Mecklenburg-West Pomerania. It has very high to excellent intelligibility with North Low Saxon, so it may only be a dialect of Low German. It is spoken in far northeastern Germany around Straslund and Rostock. This area was once Slavic, but Charlemagne moved Germans in this area. These Germans spoke Low German. Many of these immigrants also spoke Frisian, so there is an element of that too. However, in the 1700′s, High German became such a strong force in the area that this dialect began to be mixed with High German. The dialect remains very archaic, as the region is very resistant to change in general. This dialect is doing ok, but not great, compared to other Los Saxon lects. Although it is officially an East Low German dialect, it is actually on the border between East Low German and West Low German. Before 1945, this dialect was the main means of communication in the villages.
Vorpommern or West Pomeranian is an East Low Saxon language spoken in Western Pomerania, Vorpommern or Hither Pomerania, however you want to translate the term. This is a part of far northeast Germany on the border with Poland. The northern border is the North Sea. This language is doing ok, but not great, compared to other Low Saxon lects. As part of a dialect continuum, Pomeranian is clearly not intelligible with East Frisian Low Saxon, but it may be intelligible with Mittelpommersch or Mecklenburgisch.
Markish (Märkisch)* is a group of East Low German lects spoken below Middle Pomeranian through Brandenburg down to Berlin and south and east of it, and over to the eastern parts of Saxony-Anhalt. It is little known. It is a major high level German dialect division. Markish is not intelligible with Upper Saxon. This suggests that Markish may well be a separate language. There are many Dutch words in this language. There are nine lects of Markish.
Pomeranian or East Pomeranian is a Markish language spoken in Poland. This area was Slavic in the 600′s. The Danes laid waste to the area in the 1000′s. The destruction was so severe that the rulers invited German farmers to the area to rehabilitate the land, and this interesting language developed. Speakers are all elderly and scattered, and the language is moribund. This language was also decimated by the expulsion of Germans from Poland after WW2.
There are five major dialects: West Prussian (Westpreußisch), formerly spoken in West Prussia; Western Further Pomeranian (Westhinterpommersch), formerly spoken in western Further Pomerania; Eastern Further Pomeranian (Osthinterpommersch), formerly spoken in eastern Further Pomerania; Bublitzisch, formerly spoken in Bublitz (now Bobolice), Poland; and Pomerelian (Pommerellisch), formerly spoken in a region called Pomerelia. Pomeranian is not intelligible with Low Prussian or other Low German languages. There is still a significant Pomeranian community in Brazil, and there are some Pomeranian speakers in the US too.
North Margravian or Mittelpommersch is a Markish dialect spoken in the northern part of Brandenburg State around Prenzlau and Wittenberg and in Mecklenburg-West Pomerania around Pasewalk-Ueckermünde. This dialect has or had two subdialects, West Middle Pomeranian (Westmittelpommersch) and East Middle Pomeranian (Ostmittelpommersch). Ostmittelpommersch was spoken in the Lower Oder River region of Poland around Stettin and Stargard and may well be extinct since 1945. Westmittelpommersch is still alive and is spoken in the areas discussed above. There is some activity to keep this language going, and there are still some speakers left. Before 1945, this language was still the main medium of communication in almost all of the villages in the area.
North Markish (Nordmärkisch or Altmärkisch) is a Markish dialect spoken in Salzwedel, Gardelegen and Stendal in far northern Saxony-Anhalt. This dialect has Eastphalian influences.
Westprignitzisch is a Markish dialect spoken in Perleberg, Pritzwalk and Wittstock in far northwestern Brandenburg.
Ostprignitzisch is a Markish dialect spoken in Löwenberg, Templin, Zehdenick and Fürstenberg in far northern Brandenburg. The Prignitz dialects show less Dutch influence than other dialects in the area. They are also close to Mecklenburgish.
New Markish (Neumärkisch) is a Markish dialect spoken in Angermünde and Schwedt/Oder in northeastern Brandenburg.
Flämingisch is a Markish dialect spoken in Jüterbog and Buchenwald in Brandenburg south of Berlin near the border with Saxony-Anhalt and in Saxony-Anhalt in areas north of Wittenberg. Flämingisch is transitional between Low German and Middle German.
Havelländisch is a Markish dialect spoken in Rathenow, Premnitz and Nauen in Brandenburg west of Berlin.
Brandenburgish or Central Margravian* is an East Low German language spoken west of Berlin in Staaken, Potsdam and Brandenburg and west of Berlin in Potsdam, Brandenburg an der Havel It has been influenced heavily by Dutch from guest workers who came in the 1700′s, and it also has a Westphalian influence.
South Brandenburgish (Südbrandenburgisch) and Eberswalder are dialects of Brandenburgish. There are suggestions that this language is nearly extinct, and may even be extinct, and that speakers for the most part have reverted to a Berlinisch sort of dialect of German. However, this new lect (or whatever lect they area speaking) is unintelligible with Standard German. This language, whatever form it is taking, is still going very strong as of three years ago.
New Mecklenburgish* is spoken north and northwest of Berlin around Oranienburg and Neuruppin. It is not in good shape and is under heavy pressure from Berlinisch and Standard German. In fact, it may well be de facto extinct. Investigation is needed to determine if this language even exists anyone, or has reverted to some sort of Berlinisch dialect.
Low Prussian (Niederpreußisch) is a separate branch of Low German spoken in eastern Poland. It is spoken in the region where the Slavic Kashubian language is spoken, so it received some influence from that language. This area was Slavic in the 1200′s and became German in the 1700′s. This is a full language, not intelligible with Standard German or with any other German language. It used to have many speakers, but now it is moribund. There are a few elderly speakers left, but no language community. It has 11 major dialects.
Low Prussian-East Pomeranian (Übergangsmundart zum Ostpommerschen) was a transitional dialect with East Pomeranian. Vistula Delta (Weichselmündungsgebietes) was spoken around Danzig (Gdansk) at the mouth of the Vistula River. Frischen-Danzig Spit (Frischen-Nehrung Danziger-Nehrung) was spoken around the Vistula Lagoon. Elbing Heights (Elbinger Höhe) was spoken around Elbing (Elblag). Kürzungs was spoken around Braunsberg (Braniewo). West Käslausch (Weskäslausch) was spoken around Mehlsack (Pieniezno). East Käslausch (Ostkäslausch) was spoken around Rößel (Reszel). Natangian-Bartish (Natangisch-Bartisch) was spoken around Bartenstein (Bartoszyce). West Sambian (Westsamländisch) was spoken around Pillau (Baltiysk). East Sambian (Ostsamländisch) was spoken around Königsberg (Kaliningrad), Labiau (Polessk) and Znamensk (Wehlau). Eastern (Ostgebietes) was spoken around Insterburg (Chernyakhovsk), Memel (Klaipeda) and Sovetsk (Tilsit). Another dialect was Haff (Haff Niederpreußisch). It is not known where this dialect was spoken. Dialect intelligibility is not known. It became moribund due to the expulsion of Prussian speakers from Poland after WW2. It is not intelligible with other Low German languages or with Pomeranian. There are apparently still some speakers in Wisconsin. Southeast Limburgs is a West Low German language made up of a number of dialects that are transitional between Limburgs and Ripuarian. It is spoken in Belgium around Eupen, including Welkenraedt, Lontzen, Raeren, Eynatten and Moresnet; in the Netherlands between Ubach and Brunssum in the towns of Kerkrade, Bocholtz and Vaals; and in a large area in North Rhine-Westphalia including Mönchengladbach. Aachen German is another lect spoken in this same general region in Aachen, North Rhine-Westphalia on the border with Belgium. It is similar to the Ripuarian Franconian spoken in Eschweiler (Eschweiler German) and Stolberg (Stolberg German), but intelligibility data is lacking. SE Limburgs and Aachen are more or less the same tongue, and I don’t think it makes sense to split them. Aachen German has 60% intelligibility with Niederrbergisch Low Rhenish (Bergisch), the form of Limburgs spoken across the border (Harms 2009). Low Dietsch is a West Low German language made up of a number of dialects that are transitional between Limburgs and Ripuarian. When people say that Limburgs and Ripuarian are intelligible, what they mean is that there are lects like Low Dietsch, Southeast Limburgs and Aachen that are transitional between the two languages. Dialects include East Getelandish, West Getelandish, Tongerlandish and Bilzerlandish, all spoken in Belgium. East Getelandish is spoken around St. Truiden, West Getelandish is spoken around Bierbeek, Tongerlandish is spoken around Tongeren and Bilzerlandish is spoken around Genk. Intelligibility data for the dialects is lacking.Dutch Low Saxon is a group of languages related to Dutch and German that are very hard to classify, especially in terms of their relationship with Low German in Germany and with Low Franconian (Macro-Dutch) in the Netherlands. See the comments after the piece for arguments against the rather arbitrary choice here of tossing Dutch Low Saxon in with Macro-German and not with Macro-Dutch. With languages like these, it gets very hard to tell where “Dutch” ends and “German” begins. Dutch Low Saxon contains a series of very confusing languages and dialects that are spoken in the northern Netherlands. This essay will consider all of Dutch Low Saxon to be part of Low Saxon, not Low Franconian, following the typical analysis. There seems to be some linguistic imperialism operating here, with Dutch linguists wanting to claim all languages spoken in Holland (And possibly all of German too!) as Macro-Dutch, and German linguists arrogantly grabbing many dubious and hazy Dutch-German lects and claiming them for Macro-German. I’m not a party to this debate, my last German ancestors having come over to America from Bavaria in 1740 and being 100% assimilated. Hence we are just going to follow the typical analysis and treat Low Saxon as Saxon (German) not Franconian (Dutch). There is an argument floating around that all of Dutch Low Saxon is intelligible with all of German Low Saxon. This is certainly not true. Looking at Veluws to Schleswigsch, those two languages are not intelligible with each other at all. In fact, even Groningen and Veluws are not intelligible within the Netherlands alone. Dividing up so many Dutch Low Saxon lects into separate languages is often challenged by people who claim that they are all intelligible. These same folks also often claim that Dutch Low Saxon is intelligible with Dutch. There is marginal intelligibility of around 90% between Dutch and Dutch Low Saxon (Zweers 2009). And apparently, most or all Dutch Low Saxon languages are not intelligible with each other either (Smith 2008). Dutch Low Saxon includes four groups: East Frisian Dutch Low Saxon, West Dutch Low Saxon, Westphalian Dutch Low Saxon and Plautdietsch. Friso-Saxon Low Saxon is a group of 3 languages spoken in Groningen that have all been heavily influenced by the East Frisian language. These languages are Groningen, Westerwolds and Veenkoloniaals. Groningan or Gronings is a Friso-Saxon Dutch Low Saxon language spoken in all of Groningen Province, some of Drenthe Province, and a bit of Friesland Province in far northeastern Netherlands. It regarded by Ethnologue as a separate language. It has 320,000 speakers. It has a heavy Frisian substrate. It is not intelligible at all with Dutch, and along with Limburgs, it is the lect spoken in the Netherlands farthest from Dutch. Nevertheless, Groningen is intelligible with East Frisian Low Saxon across the border in Germany, but Ethnologue splits them, so we will too. Groningen is very close to Drents, but it is very far from Achterhoeks, Twents and Stellingwerfs. This treatment places Gronings in Macro-German since we consider Dutch Low Saxon as more German than Dutch in this analysis. Veenkoloniaals is a Friso-Saxon Dutch Low Saxon language spoken in the Netherlands. It is considered a major split in Low Saxon. Since Ethnologue and the Dutch government have split all the other upper level divisions of Dutch Low Saxon, we may as well split off Veenkoloniaals too. Spoken in in eastern Groningen in the Netherlands. Veenkoloniaals is close to Drents but even closer to Stellingwerfs. Westerwolds is another high level split in Dutch Low Saxon. It is a Friso-Saxon language. On the basis that all other high level splits have been split off by the SIL and the Dutch state, it seems reasonable to split off Westerwolds too. This language, like Veenkoloniaals, is spoken in eastern Groningen. West Dutch Low Saxon is a group of six Dutch Low Saxon lects that form a subgroup of Dutch Low Saxon. They are the westernmost lects and they have been most influenced by Dutch. This group includes Drents, Stellingwerfs, West and East Veluws and Sallands. Drents is a West Dutch Low Saxon language spoken in the Netherlands. It is a separate language and is recognized by the Dutch government. It is part of Dutch Low Saxon. Drents is very close to Groningen. It has over 240,000 speakers. Drents is spoken in Drenthe Province by about 1/2 the population, and also has some speakers in Overijssel. In towns like Zuidolde, the majority of people even aged 30-40 continue to speak Drents as the main everyday language. Every town and village has its own dialect. Drents is close to Groningen, but it is far from Twents, Achterhoeks and Stellingwerfs. Drents is part of West Dutch Low Saxon. Sallands is a West Dutch Low Saxon language spoken in the Salland region in the western part of Overijssel, the Netherlands. It is recognized as a separate language by the Dutch government. Sallands is part of West Dutch Low Saxon. Stellingwerfs is a West Dutch Low Saxon language spoken in the municipalities of Weststellingwerfs and Oststellingwerfs in eastern Friesland Province, the Netherlands, on the border with Drenthe and Overijssel. It is a separate language, recognized by the Dutch government and Ethnologue. Stellingwerfs is not close to Groningen, Drents, Twents or Achterhoeks. Stellingwerfs is part of West Dutch Low Saxon. East Veluws is a West Dutch Low Saxon language spoken in the Veluwe, a formerly heavily forested and swampy region in along a ridge in northern Gelderland Province, the Netherlands. This region has a lot of wildlife and used to be very popular with hunters. There are proposals to turn much of this region into a national park. Veluws is recognized as a separate language by the Dutch state. Although it is a part of Dutch Low Saxon, Veluws is marginal within this family (Smith 2009), with West Veluws looking a lot like Dutch proper and East Veluws looking more like a typical Dutch Low Saxon. Therefore, I have decided to place East Veluws in Macro-German and West Veluws in Macro-Dutch. East Veluws is part of West Dutch Low Saxon. Westphalian Dutch Low Saxon is a branch of Dutch Low Saxon. These lects are heavily Germanized and collate with the Westphalian Low German spoken across the border in Germany. This group includes Twents and Achterhoeks. Twents is a Westphalian Dutch Low Saxon language spoken in the Netherlands. It is recognized as a separate language by the Dutch government. It is part of Dutch Low Saxon. It has 328,000 speakers, or 62% of the population of Twents, a region in Overijssel. Every town has its own dialect, but all dialects are intelligible. Twents is not close to Drents, Stellingwerfs, Groningen or Achterhoeks. Twents is part of Westphalian Dutch Low Saxon. Achterhoeks is a Westphalian Dutch Low Saxon language spoken in the Netherlands. It is a separate language, recognized as such by the Dutch government. Achterhoeks is very far from Drents, Twents, Groningen and Stellingwerfs. Achterhoeks is in very good shape, and is widely used as an everyday language. This is part of Westphalian Dutch Low Saxon. Plautdietsch is a Dutch Low Saxon language spoken in the Netherlands. It forms a subgroup of its own and is quite divergent from the rest of Dutch Low Saxon. It is a separate language, recognized as such by the Dutch government. It is not intelligible with many other Low German languages, Standard German, or Pennsylvania German. Plautdietsch has 50% intelligibility with Hutterite German. This language was originally a Friesland Dutch Low Saxon lect, but they moved to Prussia after they were persecuted for their religion, and later they moved to the US. This is the language of the Mennonites worldwide. Thuringian (Thüringisch) is group of East Middle German lects related to Upper Saxon spoken to the west of Berlinisch and Upper Saxon. The status of Thuringian is very confused. It’s often say to be easy to understand, but some of the individual dialects are quite hard for Standard German speakers to understand. At the moment, Thuringian is best thought of as a series of lects, some of which are not intelligible to Hochdeutsch speakers, and others which may be intelligible to them. Thuringian has a sing-song quality and is one of the easier lects for Standard German speakers to understand. The southern linguistic boundary of Thuringian with East Franconian is formed by the ridge of the Thuringian forest. Thuringian has many dialects. Northeast Thuringian (Nordostthüringisch) is a Thuringian language spoken in Halle, Merseburg and Bernburg (Saale) in Saxony-Anhalt and in Artern in Thuringia. At least the Halle form of this language is very difficult for outsiders to understand. It is spoken very near the Upper Saxon zone, so possibly it has been influenced by Upper Saxon. Mansfeldisch is a dialect of Northeast Thuringian spoken in Hettstedt, Mansfeld and Eisleben in Saxony-Anhalt. Eichsfeldisch is a Thuringian language spoken in Heilbad Heiligenstadt, Leinefelde, Worbis and Mühlhausen in Thuringia and in Eschwege, Bad Sooden-Allendorf and Witzenhausen in Hessen. This dialect is quite divergent and has Eastphalian and North Hessian features. This language appears to be quite diverse internally, and there may be more than one language in it. It is not intelligible with Eastphalian, North Hessian or other types of Thuringian. Central Thuringian (Zentralthüringisch) is a dialect of Thuringian that is spoken in a triangle in central Germany formed by Arnstadt, Erfurt and Gotha. Ilm Thuringian(Ilmthüringisch) is a dialect of Thuringian is spoken in Königsee, Bad Blankenburg, Rudolstad, Weimar, Jena and Apolda in Thuringia and in Bad Bibra in Saxony-Anhalt. It has two subdialects, North Ilm Thuringian (Nord Ilmthüringisch) and South Ilm Thuringian (Süd Ilmthüringisch). The lect spoken in Weimar at least is hard for speakers of Standard German to understand. North Thuringian (Nordthüringisch) is a dialect of Thuringian spoken in Nordhausen, Bad Frankenhausen, Sondershausen in Thuringia, in Sangerhausen, Harzgerode and Stolberg (Harz) in Saxony-Anhalt, and in Bad Lauterberg and Bad Sachsa in Lower Saxony. West Thuringian (Westthüringisch) is a dialect of Thuringian spoken in Eisenach, Bad Liebenstein, Bad Salzungen and Ruhla in Thuringia. Southeast Thuringian (Südostthüringisch) is a dialect of Thuringian spoken in Saalfeld/Saale, Gera, Greiz, Neustadt and Bad Lobenstein in Thuringia, in Mühltroff and Elsterberg in Saxony and in Ludwigsstadt and Teuschnitz in Bavaria. Upper Saxon is an East Middle German language that is not mutually intelligible with Standard German. What’s odd is that Standard German was based on a specific Upper Saxon dialect as spoken in about 1700. It has since drifted into a language of its own. Intelligibility between Upper Saxon and Standard German is very poor, worse than intelligibility with Bavarian, and is probably less than 40%. It is spoken in southeastern Germany, southwest of Berlin near Saxony, in Dresden, Leipzig and Chemnitz in Saxony and around Halle in Saxony-Anhalt. Some other Germans, especially from southern Germany, find Upper Saxon almost impossible to understand (Kirmaier 2009). Upper Saxon is considered by many Germans to be among the hardest dialects of all to understand, if speaking of dialects spoken in Germany proper. It has extensive Slavic borrowings. Since German reunification in 1990, Upper Saxon has been giving way to Standard German. It has 2-4 million speakers. Upper Saxon has nine different lects within it. Standard German (Hochdeutsch) is an East Middle German language based on Upper Saxon, the pluricentric language of German, and the official and uniting language of all German speakers. Genetically, it is closest to Thuringian, Upper Saxon and Lower Silesian, but it has diverged dramatically. It was originally based on a certain Upper Saxon dialect, and there is a dialect of Upper Saxon today that still bears remarkable similarity to Standard German. The best version of Standard German spoken today (the one that “lacks an accent”) is said to be the speech of Hanover in central Lower Saxony. This is in the Eastphalian Low Saxon area, but Standard German has pretty much cleaned out the Low Saxon in the area and has almost completely replaced it. It is also known as Hochdeutsch. Most German dialect speakers also speak Standard German, but in a few places there are speakers of German type languages in and around Germany that cannot speak Hochdeutsch, notably in far western Austria, to some extent in Switzerland, and a few older people in Hessen. Further, the Dutch Low Saxon speakers in the Netherlands, treated as Macro-German speakers in this analysis, may not speak Standard German, though many Dutch have at least some understanding of German. It is possible that some of the South Meuse-Rhenish transitional lects may not speak German either. Standard German has been seriously impacting Low German since the 1700′s, but it has only effected other German languages recently. Like other pluricentric languages, Standard German serves the function of being a common language for many Macro-German speakers who would not ordinarily have one. Unserdeutsch is a German-based creole spoken in New Guinea by only about 100 remaining speakers, some of whom are middle aged. It originated based on the Standard German spoken in German colonial times. It was formed, oddly enough, by New Guinean children who were raised in an orphanage run by German speakers. It then came to be spoken by the White-New Guinean Catholic Vunapope community in the Gazelle Peninsula of New Britain. It is one of only two German-based creoles. Belgranodeutsch is a German-Spanish creole spoken in Buenos Aires, Argentina. It is a mixture between Spanish and Standard German and is no doubt not intelligible with Standard German. The Belgrano district is a part of Buenos Aires that has many German speakers. Namibian Black German (Küchendeutsch) is a German pidgin spoken in Namibia based on Standard German. It is presently nearly extinct. It used to be spoken by Namibian Blacks who were servants for their German colonial masters in the German colony of Sudwest Africa. It is probably not intelligible with Standard German. Berlinisch is an East Middle German language and is one of the easiest German languages to understand, however, some speakers of Standard German say it takes them several months to learn to understand it completely, so in that sense it may be a separate language. Intelligibility testing is urgently needed here. It has an almost comical quality to it. Ruhrdeutsch is an East Middle German language spoken in the Ruhr far away from the other East Middle German language. It is a strange language which spoken around Essen in North Rhine-Westphalia. It has elements of Low Franconian Bergisch lects and Westphalian Low Saxon. It is quite distinct and is probably a separate language (sample). North Upper Saxon (Nordobersächsisch). This Upper Saxon dialect is spoken in the Elbe-Elster Region. Intelligibility data is needed between this and other forms of Upper Saxon. It is not well-known. Anhaltisch is an Upper Saxon language spoken in Dessau, Köthen, Bernburg, Staßfurt and Aschersleben in central Saxony-Anhalt south of Magdeburg. It is also spoken down around Zietz and Hohenmolsen in far southern Saxony-Anhalt where it meets Thuringia and Saxony. It is very divergent. Anhaltisch is transitional between Upper Saxon and Thuringian. Dialects include Gladitz and Trebnitz. The two are very different. Trebnitz is closer to Upper Saxon. Gladitz at least has poor intelligibility even with Brandenburgish. Intelligibility within Anhaltisch is not known. Osterlandic (Osterländisch) is an Upper Saxon language that is spoken in Delitzsch and Torgau in far northwest Saxony, across the border into far southern Saxony-Anhalt in Wittenberg and Bitterfeld, and into far southeastern Brandenburg in Liebenwerda and Elsterwerda. Osterlandic is not intelligible with any Upper Saxon lects spoken in Saxony, nor with Erzgebirgish. This language is still doing very well. Dialects include Northeast Osterlandic (Nordost Osterländisch), Southwest Osterlandic (Südwest Osterländisch), Southeast Osterlandic (Südost Osterländisch) and Schraden Osterlandic (Schraden Osterländisch). Meissenish is a group of Upper Saxon languages spoken in Saxony. North Meissenish (Nordmeißenisch) is an Upper Saxon language spoken around the cities of Grimma, Döbeln and Riesa in northern Saxony east of Leipzig. It is little known, but there are still many speakers. This language is incredibly hard for Standard German speakers to understand. Northeast Meissenish (Nordostmeißenisch) is an Upper Saxon dialect spoken in a small area around Lommatzsch and Großenhain in Saxony northwest of Dresden. It is little known, but must still have many speakers. Intelligibility data is needed between this and other forms of Upper Saxon. West Meissenish (Westmeißenisch) is an Upper Saxon dialect spoken in Saxony on both sides of the lower Zwickauer Mulde River around Rochlitz, Mittweida and Borna north and northwest of Chemnitz which forms an intermediate position between North Meissenish and South Meissenish on one side and a Thuringian dialect called Altenburg (Altenburgish) on the other side. It has Thuringian and Hessian characteristics. It is little known, but still has many speakers. Intelligibility data is needed between this and other forms of Upper Saxon. South Meissenish (Südmeißenisch) is an Upper Saxon language spoken in an area of Saxony around the cities of Öderan, Frankenberg, Hainichen and Freiberg northeast of Chemnitz. It is poorly known, but still has quite a few speakers. Poor intelligibility with Southeast Meissenish. Southeast Meissenish (Südostmeißnisch) is an Upper Saxon language spoken in Saxony in a circle around Dresden around the cities of Dippoldswalde, Freiberg, Meißen, Radeburg, Pirna and Bad Schandau. It was heavily influenced extensively by the old language spoken in Dresden. Many speakers remain, but it is poorly known. Southeast Meissenish is utterly unintelligible even with other East German lects such as the Havelländisch Markish spoken in Brandenburg west of Berlin. Southeast Meissenish speakers have a hard time understanding South Meissenish. Northern Bohemian is an Upper Saxon language formerly spoken in the part of Sudetenland region of Czechoslovakia near Saxony. It was spoken in the towns of Dec�Firezonen, Úst�Firezone nad Labem and Teplice south and southeast of Dresden. We will temporarily split this off until we can get better information on intelligibility between this and Upper Saxon. East Thuringian (Ostthüringisch) is an Upper Saxon language spoken in Eisenberg and Altenburg in Thuringia and in Zeitz, Naumburg (Saale) and Hohenmölsen in Saxony-Anhalt. It is almost completely unintelligible with Standard German. Fore Vogtländisch (Vorvogtländisch) is an Upper Saxon lect that is transitional to East Franconian. It is little known. Lusatian (Lausitzisch) is an East Middle German language spoken in Eastern Germany. There is difficult intelligibility between this language and Standard German. It has some traces that go back to Dutch for some reason. There are various dialects of Lusatian. Dialects include West Lusatian, East Lusatian, New Lusatian, Upper Lusatian and Lower Lusatian. This language has very marginal intelligibility with Standard German and intelligibility testing is indicated. West Lusatian (Westlausitzisch) is a lect spoken in eastern Saxony, east of the upper Pulsnitz River, west of the Lausitzian speakers in the Sorbian area and northwest of Dresden in an isolated region around Pulsnitz, Bichofswerda and Kamenz. This lect is little known, but it still has 50,000 speakers. New Lusatian (Neulausitzer) is spoken in Saxony in the Sorb-speaking area around Bautzen and Hoyerswerda. Upper Lusatian (Oberlausitzer) is a lect spoken in southeastern Saxony near Zittau by the border of Germany, Czechoslovakia and Poland. It is spoken in the village of Schönbach and other areas. This lect is still the primary means of communication in the region. Difficult intelligibility with Standard German (90% comprehension with slow speech). Lower Lusatian (Niederlausitzisch) is spoken around Cottbus, Finsterwalde, Senftenberg and Spreewald in far southern Brandenburg and south across the border in Hoyerswerda, Weißwasser in far northern Saxony. Lower Lausitzian and Lower Silesian overlap geographically with High Prussian in central East Prussia and neighboring West Prussia. This dialect is transitional between Low German and Middle German. This dialect appears to be in good shape, has many speakers at least in Cottbus and has poor intelligibility with Standard German. Silesian* (Schlesisch) is a group of East Middle German languages. As a separate language, it is recognized by Ethnologue. It is spoken north of the Riesengebirge (Giants Mountains) around Glatz in eastern Bohemia, Czechoslovakia and in Kuhländchen in the upper Oder area. It was formerly spoken in Western Moravia. By the 1100′s, this region was covered with German settlements and was completely Germanophone. As a high-level German dialect grouping, it must be a separate language. Silesian lects include Neiderländisch, Kräuter Silesian (Kräuterschlesisch), Mountain Silesian (Gebirgsschlesisch), Glätzisch, Brieg-Grottkau Silesian (Brieg-Grottkauer Schlesisch), Reichenberg and Upper Silesian (Oberschlesisch). This language is often described as a sort of Creole with heavy Polish elements in it. Hultschiner Laendle Bohemian German is apparently a separate Silesian language spoken in a pocket of the Sudetenland where Bohemia borders Silesia. This divergent lect is considered to be a separate lect from the rest of Bohemian German and is probably close to Silesian. Poorly known, but there are probably still some speakers left. Lower Silesian (Niederschlesisch) is a separate language. It is an East Middle German language spoken southeast of Berlin close to the Polish border near Bautzen. It was formerly spoken extensively in Poland. It is not mutually intelligible with Standard German. In some places, it is still spoken by young people. It still has quite a few speakers, possibly as many as 500,000. It overlaps with High Prussian in central East Prussia and West Prussia. Oppelner is a dialect of this language. High Prussian (Hochpreußisch) is an East Middle German language that was formerly spoken extensively in East Prussia, now part of Poland. The language is moribund with the expulsion of Germans from Poland after WW2, and there are only a few elderly speakers left. It must surely be a separate language and must be unintelligible with other German languages or with Standard German. The language originated from Silesian speakers who moved to the area in the 1200′s-1400′s. It was then influenced by the extinct (since 1700′s) Baltic Low Prussian language, a West Baltic language related to Lithuanian and Latvian. All West Baltic tongues have gone extinct. Baltic Low Prussian went extinct around 1710 when a series of famines and bubonic plague epidemics swept through the population, decimating the speakers. Dialects of High Prussian include Oberländisch and Breslau (Breslausch). Barossa German is a moribund language spoken in Australia by a few remaining elderly speakers. Speakers came from the High Prussian and Silesian regions, so the language is a Middle East German tongue. It is very strange, barely intelligible at all to Standard German speakers and probably not intelligible with any other German lects either. German settlers arriving around 1840 settled in the Barossa Valley in South Australia. It declined with the suppression of Germans and the German language in Australia during WW1. Vilamovian (Wilamowicean or Wymysorys) is a West Germanic language spoken in Wilamowice (Wymysoj), Poland near Bielsko-Biala, on the border between the regions of Silesia and Lesser Poland. This is in the far southwestern part of Poland near Germany and Czechoslovakia. It is derived from the Middle German circa the 1200′s spoken by settlers who came to the area from Germany, Scotland and the Netherlands. Why they all decided to speak a German language is not known. Further, despite their disparate origins, they all decided on a Dutch identity, while speaking German nevertheless. Very confusing. Low German, Dutch, Frisian, Old English and Polish went into the mix. The Polish Communists banned the language after WW2, but the ban was lifted in 1956. Nevertheless, the language has been replaced by Polish, and the only speakers now are 70 elderly speakers, so it is moribund.Ripuarian Franconian is a West Central German Central Franconian language spoken in northwest Germany on the borders of Netherlands and Belgium in North Rhine-Westphalia around the town of Cologne. Ripuarian Franconian consists of 150 different, often quite divergent, lects for which dictionaries have been published. They form a dialect chain whereby one city can understand itself and the cities next to it, but once you get a couple of cities over, they can’t understand each other anymore. At the extremes of the Ripuarian dialect chain, intelligibility is as low as 20%. Therefore, Ripuarian is clearly more than one language. There are 1 million speakers of Ripuarian. Some of the varieties include Bonn German, Homburgisch, Lammersdorf, Neusser, Bad Neuenahr/Ahrweiler and Bocholtz German, which may well be separate languages, but we will need more evidence before splitting them. Kölsch is the specific variety of Ripuarian Franconian spoken in Cologne, North Rhine-Westphalia. Kölsch is not intelligible with the rest of Ripuarian Franconian. It has about 250,000 speakers. Here is a sample of Kölsch. You can see it doesn’t look much like any of the surrounding languages. Kirchröadsj is a Ripuarian Franconian language at one end of the huge Ripuarian dialect chain. It is not intelligible with Hommersch at the other end of the chain, so it makes sense to split the two at least. It is spoken in Kirkrade in the Netherlands. Hommersch is a Ripuarian Franconian language at the other end of the huge Ripuarian dialect chain from Kirchröadsj, is not intelligible with Kirchröadsj, and therefore it makes sense to split it into a separate language. Moselle Franconian (Moselfränkisch) is a West Central German Central Franconian language spoken south of Ripuarian Franconian in Germany on the borders of Belgium and France and which also shades into Belgium and possibly France too. It is not intelligible with Luxembourgish other than that the westernmost dialects of Moselle are intelligible with the easternmost dialects of Luxembourgish near the Luxembourg border. Trier is a major city in this speaking area. There are many Moselle Franconian lects. Trierisch is spoken in the Trier, Germany. Reiler is spoken in and around Reil, Germany. There are various Moselle Franconian dialects spoken between Venn and Schneifel, Germany. Wäller is spoken in eastern Westerwald, Germany, on the border between Moselfränkisch and Hessisch. Westerwälder or West Westerwäldisch is spoken in the Westerwald in Germany. Wittlicher is spoken in Wittiness, German. Andernacher is spoken in Andernach, Germany. It has more Ripuarian features than other Moselle lects. Unter Moselfränkisch is another Moselle dialect, but I am not sure where it is spoken. Kröver is a Moselle Franconian language spoken in the city of Kröv on the Mosel River. Germans who lived in the area refer to it as a separate language. Eifler is a Moselle Franconian language spoken in the Eifel Mountains in Germany. Eifler is so strange that intelligibility with Standard German is close to zero. It is not intelligible to outsiders. Clearly it must be a separate language. Eifler has dialects of its own, including Demerather, Maifeld, Southeifel and Uebereltz. South Eifel is similar to Luxembourgish. Eifler is also spoken in Belgium around St. Vith. This was where the Battle of the Bulge was fought. Siegerländer is a Moselle Franconian dialect spoken in the Siegerland region in Nordrhein-Westfalen. Mainfränkisch is about 40% intelligible with Standard German. It’s a variety of Moselle Franconian. It is spoken near the town of Mainz in Germany. Intelligibility testing is needed between this and other Moselle varieties. Luxembourgish (Lëtzebuergesch or Letzeburgisch) is a Moselle Franconian language spoken in Luxembourg. It is not intelligible with Moselle Franconian other than those Moselle dialects right next the German border with Luxembourg, where the easternmost dialects of Luxembourgish are intelligible with Moselle Franconian. Luxembourgish is close to the Southeifel dialect. There are several distinct varieties of Luxembourgish, but there is a Standard Luxembourgish emerging now in place of them. Luxembourgish is not used in the classroom, and there is a tendency of the state to use German and French in public announcements. Both languages are heavily promoted, such that Luxembourgers are typically trilingual. Although almost everyone speaks Luxembourgish, there is frustration on the part of speakers that the language cannot accommodate many modern and technical terms, for which German and French are often used instead. There is a heavy French influence. Luxembourgish has 40% intelligibility with Standard German. It is also spoken in Belgium and France. In France, it is spoken in the Moselle Department of Lorraine around the Thionville area where Lorraine Franconian is also spoken (Hughes 2005). In Belgium, it is spoken in Arlerland in Eastern Belgium. Transylvanian Saxon (Siebenbürger Sächsisch) itself is a macrolanguage of Germans in Romania. Originally, it was a Moselle Franconian language. It has incredible dialectal diversity, with over 250 documented dialects. Obviously, it is not intelligible with Standard German, but intelligibility data is lacking with the rest of Moselle Franconian, though considering the baffling diversity of Moselle itself, this is probably for all intents and purposes at least one separate language. Transylvanian Saxon has 80% lexical similarity with Luxembourgeois, but that often boils down to less than 50% intelligibility in the real world. It appears that Transylvanian Saxon is a separate language. Transylvanian Saxon is completely unintelligible with Danube Swabian, Standard German and even Franconian. Every village has its own dialect, and dialects are suspected to be quite different. Intelligibility data for the various Transylvanian Saxon dialects is lacking and urgently needed. At least in 1855, there were 7 distinct dialects of Transylvanian Saxon. In 1885, there were mutually unintelligible dialects of Transylvanian Saxon (separate languages). In fact, prior to WW2, there were unintelligible dialects of Transylvanian Saxon between various villages, yet the Saxons had developed a Standard Transylvanian Saxon koine in order to communicate. Two separate languages may have been Hianzisch and Hittisch. They may well be extinct. Transylvanian Saxon originally was a dialect chain, but villages that were too far apart could not understand each other. Whether this state of affairs still exists is not known. No one really knows why it is called Saxon, except that before the immigrants moved into the area, they moved through the state of Saxony. Bistrita Transylvanian Saxon is a separate language that was and possibly still is spoken in the villages around the city of Bistrita in Romania and their descendants in Germany. It is a separate language and is not intelligible with any other Transylvanian Saxon. Rhine Franconian is a family of lects that are spoken in the western German regions of Saarland, Rhineland-Palatinate and Hessen and in France in the state of Lorraine and in northern Bas-Rhin in the state of Alsace. The Franconian language group related to Hessian that is spoken in the Rhine River Valley in Germany over to the French border. It is not intelligible with Standard German. It is spoken to the southwest of the Hessian zone. In the western part of this area, Pfälzisch is spoken in restaurants, stores, offices, schools, theaters. You would almost think that Standard German is the foreign language. Pfälzisch is still very popular and most kids still grow up speaking it. Every village has a different dialect. Some of the dialects are Großrosseln, Saarbrücken, Zaisenhausen, Altrip, Bann, Gabsheim, Odenwälderisch, Rülzheim, Nordpfälzisch, Südpfälzisch, Wissembourg, Thaleischweiler-Fröschen and Pirmasens. Dialectal intelligibility is not known. Odenwälderisch, spoken in the Odenwald, a mountain chain in southern Hesse, northern Bavaria and northern Baden-Württemberg, has been influenced by South Hessian. Rülzheim is spoken in the Germersheim area along the Rhine. Pirmasens is spoken in the town of the same name in far southwest Palatine near the French border. Gabsheim is spoken in northern Palatine between Mainz and Alzey near the town of Wörrstadt. Bann is spoken in the town of Bann, near Kaiserslautern. Thaleischweiler-Fröschen is spoken in the Palatine Forest 4 miles north of Pirmasens. Altrip is spoken in the city of Altrip 4 miles south of Ludwigshafen. Großrosseln and Saarbrücken, spoken in the Saarland, are partway between Rhine Franconian and Moselle Franconian. Großrosseln is almost a suburb of Saarbrücken. Wissembourg is spoken in northern Alsace, France. Westpalatine German or West Pfälzisch is a major level split in the Rhine Franconian lects. Lects included in this grouping include Saarländisch, Saarpfälzisch, Westrichisch, Pfälzer-Bergländisch, Pfälzer-Wäldisch, Schwarzwälder-Hochwäldisch, Idarwäldisch, Hunsrückisch, Naheländisch, Rheinhessisch, Kaulbach and Waldpfälzisch. Saarländisch, Saarpfälzisch and Westrichisch are spoken in the Saarland. Most of the rest are spoken in the Rheinland Palatine. Saarlännisch is a form of Westpfälzisch spoken in the Saarland. It is intelligible with the Lorraine Pfalzisch spoken right across the border in the French state of Lorraine (Hughes 2005). Here is a sample of the Saarland dialect. There are various subdialects within Saarlännisch, including Eschringen, Ensheim, Saarlouis and Irsch. Lorraine Pfalzisch is a Rhenish Franconian dialect, probably a Westpfälzisch tongue, spoken in northeast France in eastern Moselle Department in the state of Lorraine region. In the Lorraine, it is spoken between Forbach and Biche in the Moselle Department of Lorraine Province. The Rhenish Franconian spoken in Lorraine is not intelligible with the Luxembourgeois or with Lorraine Franconian spoken there. It is however intelligible with the Saarlännisch spoken just across the border in Germany in the state of Saarland (Hughes 2005). Lothringian Pfalzisch is a dialect spoken in the transitional area in Lorraine between the Lorraine Franconian (Moselle Franconian) speakers and the Lorraine Pfalzisch (Rhenish Franconian) speakers. These dialects are transitional between these two lects. St. Arnold is a subdialect. Hunsrückisch, or Hunsrücker, is a Westpfälzisch dialect that is partway between the Rheinfränkisch and Moselfränkisch languages. Riograndenser Hunsrückisch is a variety of Hunsrückisch that is widely spoken in southern Brazil. Although it resembles Hunsrückisch as of 100 years ago, it has also received many inputs from other German languages, including Low German languages like Pomeranian and Plautdietsch, other European languages such as Italian and Venetian and of course lots of Portuguese. The German grammar has been largely replaced by Brazilian Portuguese grammar. It is apparently not at all intelligible with Standard German. Danube Swabian is spoken by former residents of the Danube region of Europe, especially Hungary, but also in Slovenia, Bosnia, Croatia, Romania and Bulgaria. Most were expelled from the area after WW2. They now live in Brazil and Germany. This language is not intelligible at all with Standard German and is completely unintelligible with the Transylvanian Saxon that is spoken by other Hungarian Germans. This language is only nominally Swabian, and it sounds like a combination of the earlier forms of many German languages such as Swabian, Pfälzisch, Alemannic and Alsatian circa the 1700′s, because that is what it is. To pin it down though, it is best thought of as a Rhine Franconian lect similar to Saarlännisch. It had many dialects, and you could often tell the particular village a person came from by his speech. It has many Hungarian borrowings. It is still spoken, but less and less. It was still widely spoken in 1989, and many people could not even speak Hungarian, but only spoke Swabian. With the return to capitalism in 1990, 90% of the 500,000 Saxon population left for Germany, leaving only 50,000 behind. Mandatory classes in Standard German have been introduced, and Danube Swabian is spoken less often. The dialects are, incredibly enough, often regarded as largely mutually intelligible. However, other reports say that in Hungary, each village had its own dialect and adjacent villages sometimes could not understand each other (Bindorffer 2004). The latter report casts doubt on the intelligibility of the Danube Swabian lects. In the Banat (a region encompassing parts of Romania, Serbia and Hungary) alone, there may have been as many as 24 different dialects. Danube Swabian has high intelligibility with Black Sea German, a form of German spoken in the southern Ukraine. Kurpfälzisch is spoken in the northern part of Baden-Württemberg from Karlsruhe north to up around Heidelberg and Mannheim. This is a Palatinian lect. It is unintelligible with Standard German and probably with other German lects. Other Germans find the language spoken in Mannheim to be nearly incomprehensible, on the order of Swabish and German Bavarian. It is probably about 40% intelligible with Standard German. Intelligibility testing is needed for related lects. This is a Rheinish language related to Pfälzisch and Hessian. There are different dialects of this language, including Heidelberg, Viernheim, Sandheim, Seckenheim and Mannheim. The Mannheim dialect is described as “completely different” in the northern and southern parts of Mannheim, so there are two dialects, North Mannheim and South Mannheim. The Mannheim dialect is in excellent shape, and most of the town speaks it habitually. Sandhofen is one of the dialects spoken in the north of Mannheim. There seems to be a broad Mannheim dialect that is understood all across the general Mannheim region. Pennsylvania German is a West Middle German Rhine Franconian (Rhenish Palatinate) language that is descended from Pfälzisch. It is spoken in the USA. It is 70% intelligible with the Bavarian language Hutterite German. Although it is descended from Pfälzisch, it is almost incomprehensible to Palatinian speakers now. It seems to bear specific resemblance to the Kurpfälzisch spoken in Mannheim. There are 2-3 million speakers of Pennsylvania German in the US, Canada and Central and South America. It has high intelligibility with Danube Swabian. It is often said that Pennsylvania German is one language with many dialects that are all mutually intelligible. However, recent data shows that this is not the case. There are differences in this language even within the same branch of Anabaptism. The differences are sometimes serious enough to cause major disruptions in communication (Bowie 1997). This implies, but does not prove, that some Pennsylvania German lects may be only about 80-89% intelligible, and hence may be separate languages. This important issue should be looked into more. Forepalatine German or Vorderpfälzisch is a high level split in Rhenish Franconian that is probably a separate language. It is spoken in the Vorderpfälz Middle Rhine region near Mannheim in the southeast of Rhineland-Palatine. Dialects include Alsatian Pfälzisch (Elsässisch-Pfälzisch) spoken near Weißenburg (Wissembourg) and Nordelsass in France, Haardtgebirgisch, spoken near Haardtgebirge, Germany, Speyerisch-Landauisch, spoken near Speyer and Landau, Germany, Ludwigshafenerisch, spoken near Ludwigshafen, Germany, and Wormserisch, spoken around Worms, Germany. Speyerisch-Landauisch is still very commonly used in everyday life. Dialect intelligibility is lacking. Alsatian Pfalzisch is a dialect of Vorderpfälzisch that was spoken by many German colonists in the Black Sea area. This variety of Black Sea German derived from many immigrants that came from the Pfalzisch-speaking part of Alsace in France and settled in Russia during the 1800′s. Many then moved from the Black Sea to North Dakota in the US. All forms, that spoken in the Black Sea, the form spoken in Alsace, and the form spoken in North Dakota, appear to be intelligible. Not intelligible with the Low Alemannic Alsatian language widely spoken in Alsace. Intelligibility between this and the Lorraine Pfalzisch in Lorraine and Saarlännisch is not known. South Hessian (Südhessisch) is a form of Rhenish Franconian. Some South Hessian dialects and languages are Biblis, Darmstadt, Dörnigheim, Haaner, Hanau, Heppenheim, Langenselbold, Seligenstadt, Mainzerisch, Orwisch, Rodgau, Ronneburg, Wetterauisch, Taunus-Hessisch, Untermainländisch, Riedhessisch and Odenwälderisch. Haaner is spoken in Dreieichenhain, 15 miles south of Frankfurt. Frankfurterisch South Hessian is a South Hessian language spoken in the city of Frankfurt. It has poor intelligibility with Bad Homburg South Hessian 10 miles north of town. Intelligibility with other South Hessian lects is not known. Bad Homburg South Hessian is a South Hessian language that is spoken in and around Bad Homburg 10 miles north of Frankfurt in Southern Hessen. It is not intelligible with Frankfurterisch, but it is intelligible with lects spoken around it. Rhenish Hessian (Rheinhessisch) is a South Hessian language spoken in Rhenish Hessen around Mainz, Bingen, Bad Kreuznach, and in Hessen in the Rheingau area and Wiesbaden. Others place this language within Westpfälzisch. Mainzerisch, spoken around the city of Mainz, is a subdialect of Rhinehessen, but my impression is that it is intelligible with Rhinehessen and not a separate language. Rheingauer Rhinehessen is a form of South Hessian that is spoken in and around the wine-growing region of Rheingauer over by the French border. Residents of the area regard this as a separate language. Lorraine Franconian is a West Middle German Rhine Franconian language related to Pfälzisch. It is spoken in the northeastern part of the French province of Lorraine. It is not intelligible with Standard German, Luxembourgish, or the Alemannic High German language Alsatian with which it is often paired, or with the Rhenish Franconian spoken in the Lorraine. It has 78,000 speakers. Use is decreasing, and only 20% of children under age 15 are able to speak it. It is mostly spoken in the Moselle Department of the state of Lorraine around Thionville. Hettangeois, Bitscherland and Rodener are some of the dialects of Lorraine.Hessian is a West Middle German language spoken in Hessen that is closest to Pfalzisch. Hessian is only about 40% intelligible with Standard German. In many cases, Standard German speakers say they can scarcely understand a word of Hessian. There are many Hessian lects, but intelligibility data is generally lacking between them. Some Hessian lects are surely separate languages. Hessian is spoken northeast of Pfälzisch. Hessian is not intelligible with Luxembourgish or with other Rheinish lects. There are several main varieties of Hessian: Lower Hessian (or Niederhessisch), Upper Hessian or Central Hessian (Oberhessisch or Mittelhessisch), West Hessian (Weshessisch), South Hessian (Südhessisch) and Wittgenstein Hessian. Within Lower Hessian, there are two subvariants, North Hessian (Nordhessisch) and East Hessian (Osthessisch). All of these have subdialects. Lower Hessian (Niederhessisch) is a family of German dialects which contains two large languages, North Hessian and East Hessian. North Hessian (Nordhessisch) is a top level split in German dialects, so it may well be a separate language, part of the Lower Hessian family. Further, Hessian is an extremely diverse family. Schenklengsfeld and Kassel are dialects of North Hessian. East Hessian (Osthessisch) is part of the Lower Hessian group is a top level dialect split that is quite possibly a separate language. Dialects include Fulda and Salzung. Rhöner Platt East Hessian is a complex language that is hard to characterize spoken around the Rhön area of eastern Hessen. This is a Middle German language, but it hard to say if it is East or West Middle German because it has been influenced by both. It is probably best seen as an East Hessian language. It has been influenced by East Franconian, Hessian and Thuringian. This language is spoken around the Fulda Gap between the former nations of East and West Germany. As a high level German dialect division, it is surely a separate language. Schlitz East Hessian (Schlitzerplatt) is a form of Hessian spoken in the town of Schlitz in Hessen. Speakers say (Wahl 2009) that it is not intelligible with any other German lects. Hence, it is a separate language. Upper Hessian or Central Hessian (Oberhessisch or Mittelhessisch), is another high level split in the Hessian family that is probably a separate language, especially given the extreme diversity of Hessian. Central Hessian dialects include Holzhausen, Ruttershausen, Langenbach and Hättenberger Land (the area around Wetzlar and Gießen).Hinterlander Central Hessian (Hinterländer Platt) is a Central Hessian dialect spoken in the Hinterlander region of Hessen. Wittgenstein Hessian is a highly divergent Hessian lect that may well be a separate language. It is spoken in Wittgenstein in North Rhine-Westphalia. Volga German is a language or series of languages spoken by Germans in the Volga Region of Russia. Beginning in 1763, Catherine the Great urged Germans to come to Russia to farm empty lands. Many deeply impoverished Germans took up the call and migrated to Russia, where they were given land in the Volga Region. Volga German in general seems to be a West Middle German Rhenish Franconian language with deep affinities to Hessian, though there are Swabian influences too. It is almost completely unintelligible with Standard German. This language, like Yiddish, has been deeply influenced by Russian in terms of both lexicon and syntax. Since 1990, many have left Russia for Germany. As in the case of Bohemian German, this may be another trash can category for a variety of lects spoken by different German groups in the Volga. Although, arguing against this is evidence from the region in 1850 that a Standard Volga German koine (Kolonistendeutsch) was already developing. The language may have an archaic character. German visitors in 1924 noted that it sounded like 17th Century German.Ostfränkisch (East Franconian) is a High German language transitional between Central and High German. It is spoken in Thuringia, Bavaria, Hessen and Baden-Württemberg around Eisenach, Coburg, Würzburg, Hof, Bayreuth, Plauen and Bamberg, in the area east of Frankfurt, to southern and western Thuringia and out to the Vogtland. It has a very high number of speakers. Dialects include Klein-Allmerspan, Oberschefflenz and Kupfer River are dialects.Main-Franconian is one of the Ostfrankisch (East Franconian) High German languages that are transitional between Central and High German. It is spoken along the Main River which runs into the Rhine. It is spoken in Germany in the Main-Tauber District of Baden-Württemberg, in Upper Franconia (Oberfranken) in Bavaria, and in Schmalkalden-Meiningen, Hildburghausen, Sonneberg and the city of Suhl in southern Thuringia. It is also spoken around Schlüchtern in Eastern Hesse near the border with northwest Bavaria. Major cities where it is spoken include Bayreuth. This language is not intelligible at all with German Bavarian (Kirmaier 2009). There are many Main-Franconian lects. Taubergründisch is an East Franconian lect spoken in Bavaria in Euerhausen and Sonderhofen, and in Baden-Württemberg in Weikersheim, Bad Mergentheim and Tauberbischofsheim. This lect borders on South Franconian. Ansbachisch is an East Franconian lect. I am not sure where it is spoken. Lower Franconian (Unterfränkisch) is a Main-Franconian lect spoken in Würzburg and Schweinfurt in the Unterfranken or Lower Franconian region of Bavaria. There is full but not complete intelligibility between Lower Franconian and the rest of Main-Franconian (Kirmaier 2009), but it appears that Lower Franconian is not fully intelligible with Main-Franconian since Lower Franconian is not even intelligible within itself. However, Lower Franconian has huge dialectal diversity. There are apparently over 250 dialects of Lower Franconian alone. Some of these dialects are not very different, but others are so different that intelligibility is poor. Villages spaced far apart often have poor intelligibility. There are a number of separate languages in Lower Franconian, but until we can begin to delineate them, we can’t list any. These small lects appear to be dying out lately. Grabfeldisch is a Main-Franconian lect spoken in Bad Königshofen and Mellrichstadt in Bavaria, in Römhild and Frankenheim in Thuringia, and in Gersfeld and Hilders in Hessen. Schlüchtern may be a dialect. Bambergerisch is a Main-Franconian lect spoken in Bamberg, Forchheim, and Erlangen in Bavaria. Frammersbacher Welschen is spoken in the town of Frammersbach in the Spessart area. It is a secret language, so not a dialect proper. Upper Franconian (Oberfränkisch) is a Main-Franconian lect spoken in Bavaria in Bayreuth, Kulmbach, Kronach, Hof and Lichtenfels. It has high, but not full, intelligibility with Lower Franconian. Hof Upper Franconian (Hofer) is the Upper Franconian language spoken in Hof. Hofer is very divergent, even within itself, and in all probability it is a separate language. Central Franconian (Mittelfränkischen) is spoken in the Mittelfranken or Central Franconian region. This is a language spoken in and around Nuremberg that very different from the rest of East Franconian to the extent that it is not intelligible with it (Kirmaier 2009). Therefore, it is a separate language. There are some dialects of this language. Hetzle is spoken in the village of the same name near Nuremberg. Fürther is spoken in the town of Fürth near Nuremberg. Nuernbergerisch is spoken in the city of Nuremberg. There are apparently some dialects of Central Franconian in the rural areas that are impossible for even native speakers of Fürther to understand. Therefore, there is more than one language in Central Franconian, but we need some details before we proceed. Hohenlohisch is an East Franconian dialect that is spoken around Bad Mergentheim, Crailsheim, Gerabronn, Künzelsau, Öhringen and Schwäbisch Hall in Baden-Württemberg. This is probably the same language as Schwäbisch-Fränkisch, a type of East Franconian that is spoken on the border of the Swabian speaking area. Hennebergisch is a Main-Franconian language spoken in Schmalkalden, Meiningen, Zella-Mehlis, Suhl and Schleusingen in Thuringia. Itzgründisch is a Main-Franconian language spoken in Coburg, Neustadt and Bad Staffelstein in Bavaria and in Sonneberg, Effelder-Rauenstein and Hildburghausen in Thuringia. Itzgründisch is not intelligible with Upper Saxon and probably with none of the other Main-Franconian lects are either. Sonnebarger is a dialect spoken in Sonneberg. Vogtländisch is one of the Ostfrankisch (East Franconian) High German languages that are transitional between Central and High German. It is spoken in Vogtland in Saxony, and it is also spoken in Austria. It is not intelligible with Erzgebirgisch, other East Franconian languages, Upper Saxon, or with any other German language. Speakers now are mostly elderly, as children have not been raised speaking it for some time now. Still, there are quite a few speakers. The dialects differ drastically from one another, and there may be one or more separate languages among them. Cities where it is spoken include Plauen and Klingenthal. There are four dialects – Middle Vogtländisch (Mittelvogtländisch) is spoken around Mühltroff, Treuen and Oelsnitz. Northern or Nether Vogtländisch (Nordvogtländisch) is spoken along a line going from Reichenbach – Mylau – Netzschkau – Elsterberg – Pausa. Eastern Vogtländisch (Ostvogtländisch) is spoken around Göltzschtal from Falkenstein to Lengenfeld. Upper Vogtländisch (Obervogtländisch) is spoken south to a line running from Bobenneukirchen – Oelsnitz – Werda – Schöneck. Eastern Vogtländisch around Klingenthal is regarded as particularly incomprehensible by Standard German speakers.Erzgebirgisch is an East Middle German language related to East Franconian. Although it is often said to be an Upper Saxon language, the latest thinking is that it is separate from Upper Saxon. A good case can be made that it is an East Franconian language. It is not intelligible with any other German language. It is spoken on on the border with the former Sudetenland region of Czechoslovakia, especially in the area of the Erzgebirge or Ore Mountains. It is losing ground to Standard Upper Saxon, and many speakers are emigrating out of the area, hence the language is declining, but it still has 500,000 speakers. It is close to Bavarian. It has five dialects, Upper Erzgebirgisch, Fore Erzgebirgisch (Vorerzgebirgisch), East Erzgebirgisch, West Erzgebirgisch and North Erzgebirgisch. Fore Erzgebirgisch is transitional to East Franconian. All dialects are said to be intelligible. West Erzgebirgish (Westerzgebirgisch), is an Erzgebirgisch language spoken around Scheeberg, Marienberg and Annaberg. This language is not intelligible with Standard German or with any other lects and is regarded as being one of the toughest dialects for Standard German speakers to understand. Intelligibility with Standard German is surely below 40%. As of 20 years ago, this language was still the primary means of communication in the area. This language is transitional to East Franconian. There is a lot of East Franconian influence in this language. Osterzgebirgisch or East Erzgebirgisch, an Erzgebirgisch dialect, represents a transition dialect between West Erzgebirgish and Upper Saxon. East Erzgebirgisch is transitional to East Franconian. This dialect has heavy Upper Saxon influence.Sudfrankisch (South Franconian) is a High German language transitional between Central and High German. It is spoken in northwest and north-central Baden-Württemberg around Heidelberg, Karlsruhe, Pforzheim and Rastatt. It has a low number of speakers, and some do not even consider this lect to be a separate entity, so its treatment here is tentative. The very existence of this language is controversial. For instance, although Karlsruhe and Heidelberg are said to be South Franconian-speaking, in other analyses, the language is “Kurpfalzisch”. This language, or at least the variety spoken in Heidelberg and Karlsruhe is very hard for Standard German speakers to understand. Dialects include Bad Schönborn, spoken around the city of the same name, Odenwäldisch, Kraichgauisch, spoken around the cities of Kraichgau and Santkanna, Unterländisch, spoken in and around Heilbronn, Central North Badisch (Zentral Nordbadisch) and Southern North Badisch (Süd Nordbadisch). Intelligibility among dialects is not known.Schwabian is a Alemannic language that has about 40% intelligibility with Standard German. Speakers of Standard German say they find it almost impossible to understand. Commercials and TV series in Swabian are shown on German TV with subtitles. It is spoken in southwest Germany in a region called Swabia. The southern border of the Swabian language is Villingen-Schwenningen. After that, it follows the Danube to the east. In the east, the border is a line from Augsburg south to the Aargau. Reutte/Außerfern, a dialect in upper East Tirol on the Lech River just south of the Bavarian border, is considered to be Swabian. Stuttgart is in the Schwabian speaking area and the standard version of Swabian is spoken in Stuttgart. It has 820,000 speakers. Swabian has great dialectal diversity, and there is more than one language in Swabian. Badisch and Swabian form a dialect chain in which the dialects at the far ends of the chain are not intelligible with each other. The Western Swabian dialects are most comprehensible with the eastern Badisch dialects. Swabian is not intelligible with Alsatian, Swiss German or Bavarian. In fact, the differences between Swabian and Swiss German are tremendous. This is important to note because there are claims that the two are intelligible. Swabian has many lects. Some of the lects are Lower Swabian (Niederschwäbisch or Neckarschwäbisch), East Swabian (Ostschwäbisch), Upper Swabian (Oberschwäbisch) and Southwest Swabian (Südwestschwäbisch). Lower Swabian is spoken in and around Stuttgart and in the Eastern Black Forest. It is also spoken north of Stuttgart up to around Pforzheim and Heilbronn, where it starts shading into East Franconian. Some of the big cities in the Lower Swabia area include Esslingen, Reutlingen and Tubingen. East Swabian is spoken in the Eastern Swabish Alps. It is also spoken in East Württemberg. Major towns in East Württemberg include Aalen, Ellwangen, Heidenheim an der Brenz and Schwäbisch Gmünd. Rieser Schwäbisch is a major division of this language that is spoken in the Donau Reis, a region of Bavaria. It can be seen on this map as the Swabish speaking area of Bavaria north of the Danube. Upper Swabian is spoken in the Western Swabish Alps and Upper Swabia. Tuttlingen is a main city in this area. Upper Swabia is the region from the Swabian Alps south to the Danube. Southwest Swabian is spoken in the Neckar Mountains. The dialects of Würtingen and Dettingen 35 miles south of Stuttgart are so different as to constitute separate languages, yet they are only 6 miles away. Dettingen seems to be a Lower Swabian dialect and Würtingen seems to be an Upper Swabian dialect. This is in the area around Reutlingen, where there are several distinct dialects of Swabian spoken. Allgäu Swabian (Schwäbisch-Allgäuerisch) is spoken in the Allgäu region on the border of Switzerland, Swabia and Bavaria. It contains three divisions. Lower Allgäu Swabian (Unterallgäuerisch), Northern Upper Allgäu Swabian (Nord Oberallgäuerisch) and East Allgau Swabian (Ostallgäuerisch). Reports indicate that the type of Swabian spoken where Austria, Switzerland and Germany all come together is not understood anywhere else in Germany. On that basis, we can assume that Allgäu Swabian is a separate language. Internal intelligibility data for the dialects is lacking. Upper Schwabian is a language spoken in the Swabian Alb Mountains (Swabian Alps) in Baden-Württemberg. At least the type spoken in Albstadt seems to be unintelligible with the rest of Swabian, in particular with the Swabian spoken in Tuttlingen and Esslingen. Even in and around Albstadt, there are villages only 3 miles away that speak completely separate languages of Alpine Swabian that are not intelligible with each other, so clearly there are multiple languages within Upper Swabian. Bavarian Swabian (Bayerisch Schwaben) is the form of Upper Swabian spoken in the Schwaben region of southwest Bavaria. According to residents, it is not intelligible with either Bavarian or with the rest of Swabian spoken in Baden-Württemberg (Kirmaier 2009), hence it is a separate language. Dialects include Augsburg and Lechhausen. Lechhausen is quite different. Other towns in the area include Brenz, Iller and Lech. Russian German Swabish is one of the languages spoken by Russian Germans in their widespread colonies. In general, it is not understood by anyone in Germany. There are only a few elderly speakers left. Whether or not this is intelligible with specific Swabish lects is not known. This is an old Swabish from around 200 years ago. Low Alemannic is a group of Alemmanic High German lects that are spoken in southern Baden-Württemberg, across the border into France, a bit into Switzerland, and over into southwestern Bavaria.Upper Rhine Alemannic (Oberrhiinalemannisch) is a high level Low Alemannic superfamily division based on the work of linguist Karl Bohnenberger. This group includes Alsatian, Badisch, Upper Rhine Alemannic proper, and Basel German. South Badisch is a dialect spoken along the French border of Germany and east aways to the border with Swabian starting near Freiburg and heading up towards Karlsruhe, where it borders South Franconian. Dialects include Ortenau (Ortenauer), Gottenheim, Freiburg-Opfingen, Elz, Iffezheim, Kämpflbach, Briesgau (Breisgauer) and Black Forest (Schwarzwälder). Elz, a subdialect of Black Forest, is spoken around the city of Waldkirch in the Elz Valley. Gottenheim is spoken 6 miles northwest of Freiburg. Freiburg-Opfingen is spoken in and around the city of Freiburg. Badisch forms a dialect chain with Swabian in which the far ends of the chain are not intelligible. The eastern dialects of Badisch are intelligible with the western dialects of Swabian. Intelligibility data between this and Alsatian is needed. Badisch is not at all intelligible with Standard German. Alemán Coloniero (Colonia Tovar) is a Low Alemannic language spoken in Venezuela. It is not intelligible with Standard German. It is originally derived from a Badisch-type lect. Baar Alemannic (Baar Alemannisch) is a Low Alemannic dialect. It is spoken in a region called the Baar in the upper headwaters of the Danube River in far southern Baden-Württemberg. Towns in this region include Löffingen, Tuttlingen, Bad Dürrheim, St. Georgen, Furtwangen, Villingen-Schwenningen, Rottweil, Trossingen, Hüfingen, Spaichingen, Geisingen and Donaueschingen. Intelligibility data between this lect, Basel German, South Badisch and Upper Rhine Alemannic and is needed. Alsatian is a Low Alemannic language spoken in Alsace, France around Strasbourg, and is not intelligible with Standard German, Swabian, Swiss German or Bavarian. In Alsace, it is mostly spoken in the Sundgau region of north Alsace and in the rural areas of the center. It is a High German language related to Schwabian, Swiss German and Walliser. It has 700,000 speakers. The language is still widely spoken despite the fact that it gets little to no support from the French state. 20 years ago, 70% of teenagers said they could speak the language well. This is a strange area where there are speakers of French, German, and languages that are neither French nor German but are transitional between the two. In this way it resembles the Limburgs region in the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany. Alsatian borders Upper Rhine Alemannic on the east and is apparently not intelligible with it, or at least Alsatian speakers say it is not the same language as what they speak (Auer 2005). Alsatian is actually a number of dialects, not all of which are completely mutually intelligible. However, the Strasbourg variety has been promoted as the standard and is used on the local TV station (Osorio 2001). Dialects include Strasbourg, Colmar, Vosges, Orbey Valley and Mulhouse. This implies that Alsatian is actually more than one language, but we don’t have enough data yet about intelligibility between varieties to split any of them yet. Lake Constance Alemannic (Bodeseealemannisch) is a supergroup split in the Low Alemannic languages according to linguist Karl Bohnenberger. It includes Allgäuisch, Vorarlbergerisch, and South Württembergish (Süd Württembergisch), all separate languages. It has a strong French influence. It is probably not intelligible with Swiss German. This language family is spoken in Vaduz, Lichtenstein; Bregenz, Austria and Ravensburg and Tuttlingnen in Baden-Württemberg. In Tuttlingnen, it borders on Swabish. South Württembergish (Süd Württembergisch) is a high-level split in the Lake Constance Alemannic family. It is spoken east of Tuttlingen and the Baar along the Upper Danube, south to the Swiss border and over to the border with Bavaria. This language has a heavy French flavor. Überlingen and Konstanz are dialects. Konstanz is spoken in the city of Konstanz on Lake Constance straddling the Swiss border. It is very different from the Thurgau Swiss German spoken across the border in Kruezlingen (Auer 2005). Allgäuisch (Allgäuerisch) is a group of Low Alemannic lects spoken in far southwestern part of German Bavaria on the border with Switzerland, Austria and Baden-Württemberg. This is part of the Lake Constance Alemannic superfamily. It is not intelligible with Swabish. It probably resembles Swiss German, but considering that you need a dictionary to translate between Allgäuisch and Swiss German, they must be separate languages. This language is probably closest to Swabish and the Vorarlbergerisch spoken in far western Austria, to which it is geographically close. This language has heavy French influence. There are four different Allgäuisch subdialects in each of the four major valleys in the region. One of the dialects is Bernbueren, spoken near Schongau and Weilheim. Other dialects include West Allgäuisch (Westallgäuerisch), East Allgäuisch, Upper Allgäuisch and Lower Allgäuisch. Upper Allgäuisch is further divided into Southern Upper Allgäuisch (Süd Oberallgäuerisch) and Northern Upper Allgäuisch. Lower Allgäuisch is spoken in the northern Allgäu. West Allgäuisch is spoken in the western Allgäu, in the Alemannic-Swabish transition zone of the Allgäu and in the city of Lindau and the area around far eastern Lake Bodensee. West Allgäuisch is close to Swiss German and especially the form of Vorarlbergerisch spoken in the Bregenz Forest (Bregenzerwald) in the northern part of Vorarlberg on the German border. Opfenbach West Allgäuisch has poor intelligibility with the West Allgäuisch spoken around Lindau, Weissensberg and Schwatzen 5-10 miles to the southwest. It is spoken at least in and around the town of Opfenbach in far southwestern Bavaria between Wangen and Lindenberg. East Allgäuisch is spoken in the East Allgäu and in the area around Füssen and the Upper Lech River. Upper Allgäuisch is spoken in the southern Allgäu and in central Allgäu around Immenstadt and Kempten. The area around Immenstadt and Kempten is probably where Northern Upper Allgäuisch is spoken. Oberstdorf is a dialect of Southern Upper Allgäuisch. Intelligibility data between Allgäuisch and other lects and within Allgäuisch itself is lacking. Vorarlbergerisch is a group Low Alemannic languages that is part of the Low Alemannic Lake Constance Alemannic Family. It is similar to Swiss German. Vorarlbergerisch was originally a Swabian language. For the most part, the Vorarlbergers came from Valais in Switzerland in the 1200′s and 1300′s. This language is spoken in Austria and is not intelligible with Bavarian, Standard German or other German languages. It is spoken in Vorarlberg, a region in far western Austria near the Swiss border. Most towns in Vorarlberg have their own dialects. It has elements of Swiss German along with Tyrolean and Bavarian. Vorarlbergerisch is so different that speakers are given subtitles when they speak on Austrian TV. Many Vorarlbergerisch speakers either cannot or do not speak Standard German. There are two main divisions of Vorarlberg – Montafon and Bregenz. Feldkirch, Lustenau and Dornbin are dialects. Bregenz Forest Vorarlbergerisch is a very distinct dialect of Vorarlbergerisch spoken in the Bregenz Forest (Bregenzerwald) in far northwest Vorarlberg on the borders of Switzerland and Germany. Other Vorarlbergerisch speakers from elsewhere in Vorarlberg have a hard time understanding Bregenzerwald speakers, so it seems to be a separate language. This area is very famous for its dairy products, especially its cheeses. There are two main dialects of this language – Vorderwald and Hinterwald, and they are quite different. Nearly every village has its own dialect. Intelligibility between dialects is not known. Egg is dialect of this language. Intelligibility testing between this language and West Allgäuisch is indicated, as the two languages are close. Montafon Vorarlbergerisch (Muntafunerisch) is a Vorarlbergerisch language that is spoken in the Montafon Valley in Vorarlberg, Austria. This valley extends from about Bludenz to the Silvretta Mountains on the border with Switzerland. It may have poor intelligibility with other forms of Vorarlbergerisch due to its divergence. It has Romansch influences since it is spoken near the Romansch-speaking part of Switzerland. Even villages 15-20 miles away cannot understand this language. This language is utterly unintelligible to any German. Schruns is a dialect of this language. High Alemannic is a group of lects that are spoken primarily in Switzerland. However, a few are also spoken in Baden-Württemberg right on the border with Switzerland. The most famous High Alemannic language is Swiss German. South Alemmanic is a group of High Alemannic dialects spoken in far southwestern Baden-Württemberg in regions called Markgräflerland and Hotzenwäld. Markgräflerland goes from about Basel to about Bad Krozingen in the north and to the Black Forest in the east. Hotzenwäld is a region around the Swiss border from Wehr to Waldshut-Tiengen, otherwise known as the Waldshut District. Klettgau is a South Alemannic dialect spoken on the Swiss border in the Waldshut District. Other dialects include Markgräflerland (Markgräflerisch), Hotzenwäld (Hotzenwälderisch) and High Rhine Alemannic (Hochrhein Alemannisch). Intelligibility between this and Swiss German in Switzerland and South Sundgau in Germany is not known. South Sundgau (Süd Sundgauisch) is a High Alemannic dialect spoken in southern Baden down around the Swiss border. Intelligibility between this and Swiss German is not known, but it is said that once you leave Switzerland and cross the border, people are no longer speaking anything close to Swiss German. Standard Swiss German (Schwyzerdütsch) is a High Alemannic language that is 40% intelligible with Standard German. It has over 6 million speakers. There are dozens of varieties, and every canton in Switzerland has its own lect. Two major varieties are Zurich and Bernese German. However, Bernese is not intelligible with Swiss German proper. Aargau and Thurgau are very different. The city of Vaduz, Austria, also speaks Swiss German. There are 20-70 different lects within Swiss German, and according to Ethnologue, many of them are not mutually intelligible. Swiss German is so diverse that speakers are given subtitles when they speak on Austrian and German TV. The dialectal situation of Swiss German is very complex. About 30-40 years ago, before people started moving around a lot, there were many full Swiss German languages that were not intelligible to other speakers. We can call these the pure dialects. However, the situation has changed a lot since then. A form of Swiss German, call it Standard Swiss German, is now used across Switzerland when communicating with people who speak another form of the language. Many of the dialects seem to be changing from full languages into intelligible forms of Standard Swiss German with regional dialects, similar to the situation in the US with our intelligible regional dialects. When people are interviewed on Swiss TV, they typically speak in this standard language to make sure that they are understood. There are some elderly people who can speak only their regional form of Swiss German and not the standard version, and sometimes they cannot communicate with people in a similar situation speaking another version of the language. However, if you recorded speakers of many of the various forms of Swiss German speaking among themselves and then presented it to speakers of other forms of the language, you would probably need subtitles for them to understand it. In terms of lexicon, the Swiss German lects differ dramatically. There may be 40 different words for the same term, depending on the lect. Many Swiss German speakers dislike speaking Hochdeutsch, only speak it if they have to, and may refuse to speak it unless it is mandatory. Hochdeutsch classes are now mandatory in the schools, but most Swiss hate to study the language and this requirement is resented by many Swiss. Some can understand the Hochdeutsch spoken on TV but may not understand the Hochdeutsch of a visitor. Some older Swiss cannot understand Hochdeutsch at all. Although Swiss German is considered to be a High German language, it has Low, High and Highest Alemannic forms inside of it. Hence, “Swiss German” is something of a trashcan description for forms of German spoken in Switzerland. The Pündner dialect is unclassified. Basel German (Baseldeutsch, Baslerdütsch, Baslerdietsch, Baseldütsch) is a type of Low Alemannic Swiss German spoken in and around Basel, Switzerland, that is not intelligible with High Alemannic Swiss German. It is spoken across the border a bit into France west of Basel and north and northeast of Basel up into Baden-Württemberg to Freiburg. There are different dialects spoken in Baselstadt (a canton encompassing the city of Basel) and Baselland (Basel Canton), but it is not known how they differ. Bernese Swiss German (Bärndütsch, Bäärndüütsch, Berndüütsche, Baernduetsch, Bern Deutsch) is is a Western High Alemannic Swiss German language that is not intelligible with Swiss German proper and is thus a separate language. Other Western High Alemannic Swiss German dialects include Solothurn (Solothurner, Solothurnerdütsch), West Aargau (Westaargauisch), Central Aargau, Aarau, Middle Bernese (Mittelbernisch), Entlebuchisch, Lucerne (Lozärno, Lozärnerdütsch) and Zug (Zogerdütsch). Intelligibility data between the lects is not known. Ettiswil Bernese Swiss German is spoken in the town of Ettiswil in the canton Bern. It is so divergent that it may well be a separate language. Zurich Swiss German (Zuridootch, Züridüütsch, Zürcher, Züritüüstcht, Züritütsch, Züridütsch, Zöridütsch, Zuerideutsch or Zürischnüre) is not readily intelligible to speakers of Standard Swiss German. It is spoken in Zurich. As most Swiss hear this language a lot on TV, they are familiar with it and it is probably intelligible to most of them, but that does not mean it’s inherently intelligible, because it’s not. Züridüütsch is a Central Swiss German dialect. Zurich Oberland and Goldbach are dialects of this language. Other Central Swiss German dialects include Stadtzürcherisch, Ämtler, See, Oberländer, Winterthurer and Unterländer. Appenzell Swiss German (Appenzellerisch) is an Eastern High Alemannic Swiss German language that is not intelligible with other forms of Swiss German and is a separate language. It is spoken in Appenzell Canton in Switzerland near the border with Germany, Austria and Liechtenstein. Other Eastern High Alemannic Swiss German lects include St. Gallen (Sankt Gallener or St. Galler Deutsch), Schaffhausen (Neu Schaffhauserdeutsch, Schaffhuserisch), Zurich Weinland (Zürcher Weinländerdeutsch), Lower Toggenburg (Untertoggenburgerisch), Upper Toggenburg (Obertoggenburgerisch), Rheintal (Rheintalerisch), Seeztal (Seeztalerdeutsch), Middle Lucerne/South Aargau (Mittelland Luzerndeutsch/Südaargauisch), East Aargau (Ostaargauisch), Lucerne (Luzerndeutsch, Luzerner, Luzärnerisch, Luzärner), Bünd (Bündnerisch, Bündner, Bündnerdüütsh, Bündnerdütsh), Chur (Churertütsch, Churer), and Graubünden (Graubündnerisch). Intelligibility data is lacking. Lucerne contains the following subdialects: Lucerne Hinterland (Hinterland Luzerndeutsch), Middle Lucerne (Lucerne Mittelland), Rigi, Entlebuch and Lucerne/Hochdorf. Thurgau Swiss German is an Eastern High Alemannic Swiss German language that is hard for many Swiss German speakers to understand. Dialects include West Thurgau (West Thurgauerisch), East Thurgau (Ost Thurgauerisch) and Upper Thurgau. Inner Swiss German is a group of Swiss German lects that are transitional between High Alemannic Swiss German and Highest Alemannic Swiss German. Intelligibility data is lacking. Dialects include West Oberland (Westoberländisch), Haslital (Haslitalerisch), North Urn (Nord Urnerdeutsch), South Urn (Süd Urnerdeutsch), Obwalden (Obwaldnerisch), Nidwalden (Nidwaldnerisch), Engelberg (Engelbergisch) and West Obwalden (Westobwaldnerisch). Nidwalden Swiss German (Nidwaldnerisch) is an Inner Swiss German language that is not intelligible with other Swiss German lects, especially with Zurich Swiss German. Intelligibility with other Inner Swiss German lects is not known. Fribourg Swiss German (Fribourgerisch, Friburgerisch) is a Highest Alemannic Swiss German language that is not intelligible to other speakers of Swiss German and must be a separate language. It is spoken in Fribourg Canton southwest of Bern in southwest Switzerland. Intelligibility with other Highest Alemmanic Swiss German lects is not known. Jaun is a dialect of this language. Other Highest Alemannic Swiss German lects include Unterwalden, Uri (Ursnerisch), Schwyz and Glarus (Glarnerdeutsch, Glarner). Since Highest Alemannic languages seem to be hard for High Alemannic Swiss German speakers to understand, it is questionable to what degree the five lects above are intelligible to them. Intelligibility testing is in order. Bernese Oberland at least is very different from Standard Swiss German. Bernese Oberland Swiss German is a Highest Alemmanic Swiss German language notorious for having poor intelligibility even with native speakers of Swiss German. It therefore qualifies as a separate language. Intelligibility with other Highest Alemmanic Swiss German lects is not known. Uri Swiss German is a Highest Alemannnic Swiss German language has poor intelligibility with other Swiss German speakers, in particular with Zurich. It is spoken in Uri Canton. Intelligibility with other Highest Alemmanic Swiss German lects is not known. Schwyz Swiss German is a Highest Alemannnic Swiss German that is not intelligible to other Swiss German speakers, especially speakers of Zurich. It is spoken in the canton of Schwyz. Intelligibility with other Highest Alemmanic Swiss German lects is not known. Walser German is a Highest Alemannic language spoken in Switzerland, Italy, Austria, Lichtenstein and Germany. It is spoken by 22,780 speakers. It is not intelligible with any other Alemannic languages and is very different. This is very different from the Walliser language, which is a variety of Swiss German spoken in Wallis Canton. The Walsers split off from the Walliser group in about 1200 and moved to other areas. The Walsers moved into many areas of the Alps, often displacing or attempting to displace Romansch speakers. In many places, settlements failed, but they held in a few others. By the mid-1300′s, Black Plague ended the Walser migrations by devastating both the source and the destinations of the migrants. Most Walser dialects are very different even from one another, so there may be more than three languages in Walser. A process of assimilation is occurring in Switzerland whereby Walser speakers are assimilating to the German-speaking culture around them and in the process losing their language. Intelligibility between the widely variant dialects, other than Toitschu, is not known. The Walser are expert dairymen, woodworkers, weavers and mountain-climbers who often build a distinctive style house called a Walser house. Walser has many dialects. Prättigau (Prätttigauer), Avers, Obersaxen, Davos and Rheinwald are spoken in Grisons Canton. Triesenberg is spoken in Lichtenstein and has the support of the local government. Kleinwalsertal is spoken in Austria and has been on the decline lately. Rimella, Rima San-Giuseppe, Alagna Vallesia, Macugnaga and Formatta are dialects of Walser spoken in northwest Italy. The dictionary for Algana Walser has an incredible 22,000 words. Intelligibility data among dialects is not known. Gurin Walser German (Gurinerdeutsch) is a Walser dialect spoken in Bosco-Gurin, Ticino (Italian-speaking) Canton, Switzerland. It has remained isolated from other German varieties for centuries and may well be a separate language. This is close to the forms of Walser spoken in Italy. It must be unintelligible with other forms of Walser other than Italian Walser, and since Italian Walser is not even intelligible to the villages right next door, Gurin Walser must be a separate language. There are only 23 speakers of this language left in the village of Bosco-Gurin, and it seems to be dying out (PFECMR 2006). However, including speakers outside the town, there are 120 speakers. In addition, 40 people have receptive competence but not productive competence in the language (COE 2006). Toitschu Walser German is an outlying language related to Walser that is spoken in the village of Issime in the Upper Lys Valley in Valle d’Aosta in far northwest Italy. Toitschu is a highly divergent Walser lect that has been heavily influenced by Piedmontese and Francoprovencal. It is unintelligible with the rest of Walser and is a separate language. Both Toitschu and Titsch have 600 speakers and are both an endangered languages. Titsch Walser German is spoken in the same region as Toitschu in the Italian Alps of northwest Italy in the nearby villages of Gressoney-Saint-Jean and Gressoney-La-Trinité. There are currently major efforts underway to preserve both Toitschu and Titsch, but the regional Italian government does not seem very cooperative. Both languages are quickly giving way to Italian especially and both lack many words for modern things. Titsch is much different from Toitschu as it seems to have continued to evolve in time, while Toitschu seems to have been frozen back in 1200 or so. There is poor intelligibility between Toitschu and Titsch, and both must be separate languages. Major dictionary projects have just been completed and a large conference on both languages was held in the region recently which resulted in the publication of an amazing 163 page document exclusively about the Walser language. The dictionary of Titsch has an incredible 125,000 words, only 4% of which are foreign loans. Walliser German has about 250,000 speakers in the German part of Wallis (Valais) Canton, Central Switzerland. It is is a Highest Alemannic language. It is not intelligible with Standard German or with Walser. There are six dialects: Gomer, Briger, Saaser, Zermatter (spoken in Zermatt), Lötschentaler and Raron. There is currently a petition before SIL to have it recognized as a separate language. The petition states that all of the the dialects are intelligible. The main city here is Brig. The notion that all dialects are intelligible is questioned by the fact that there are many divergent dialects spoken within this language in the high valleys north and south of the Rhone Valley that are hard for Walliser speakers to understand, although precise intelligibility data is not known. It does appear that Walliser German may be more than one language. The language arose from immigrants from the Bern region who came to Wallis in the 700′s. Two different immigration waves led to two different Walliser dialect groups. In the 1100′s, a Walliser group split off and moved to other parts of the Alps. This group became the Walser German language speakers.Bavarian is a macro-language with three main varieties: Northern Bavarian, Central Bavarian and Southern Bavarian. There are claims that broad Bavarian is intelligible across its length and breadth, but these claims seem somewhat dubious in light of the 40% intelligibility figure with Standard German, and in light of my interviews with native speakers. Also, there are claims that the diversity of dialects of Bavarian makes it impossible to create one unified dialect for writing Bavarian, as the debate over the Bavarian Wikipedia shows. Even Northern and Central Bavarian, supposedly intelligible, are so different that to create one written form to unite them is impossible. For these reasons, intelligibility testing is imperative for Bavarian. There are some Tyrolean lects in the more isolated mountain valleys in Tyrol in Austria and in Italy that are hard for even Tyrolean Southern Bavarian speakers to understand. Central Bavarian is described as extremely diverse. The various Vienna dialects have all died in the last 20 years, and Viennese now speak a Bavarian-Standard German mixed language based on an old East Viennese dialect mixed with Standard German and no longer speak pure Bavarian. The differences between Tyrolean Southern Bavarian, Carinthian Southern Bavarian, Styrian Southern Bavarian and Viennese are described as great. An attempt on the Internet to compare Bavarian with Texan English was described as ridiculous. All of this suggests that intelligibility inside of Bavarian is not all it is cracked up to be. Bavaria itself is very diverse linguistically, and the state is not synonymous with the language. In Southwestern Bavaria, Bavarian Swabian is spoken; the northern half of Bavaria speaks several Middle German Franconian lects (Bavarian is High German); and the far northwest of Bavaria speaks a Palatinian Rhine-Franconian language. Hence, less than 1/4 of Bavaria actually speaks Bavarian, adding up to about 1/3 of the population of the region. Each Bavarian-speaking village in Germany is said to have its own dialect. Bavarian is not intelligible with Swabian, Alsatian or Swiss German. A nice chart of the various Bavarian lects is here. Northern Bavarian or German Bavarian is spoken in Upper Palatinate, Bavaria. It is not intelligible with Central Bavarian (Kirmaier 2009). Oberpfälz North Bavarian (Oberpfälzerisch or Oberpfälzisch) is a language spoken in southeastern Germany in central eastern and northeastern Bavaria from Regensburg, Kelheim and the Bavarian Forest north along the Naab River to the Fichtelgebirge (Fir Mountains) and in the Northern Bohemian Forest along the border with Czechoslovakia. It is also spoken up by Neumarkt. According to residents (Kirmaier 2009), this is a separate language, not intelligible with other German Bavarian lects. Dialects of this language include Danube Oberpfälzisch, which, though different, is fully intelligible with the Oberpfälzisch spoken in Neumarkt. This is the Oberpfälzisch spoken along the Danube around the towns of Kelheim and Regensburg. Bohemian German (Boehmerwaelderischish) is a High German language spoken in Czechoslovakia, Germany and the US. It looks like both North and Central Bavarian. Starting in the 1200′s, Germans began moving into the Sudetenland, often invited by Bohemian kings. Over the centuries, they pushed out the Czechs and Slavs living in the area and took it over for farming. Although intelligibility data for Bohemian German is lacking, it is often considered to be a full language of its own, so we will treat it as one in this analysis. Actually, since it ranges from East Middle German to Bavarian High German, Bohemian German seems to be a wastebasket designation for the varying lects spoken in the Sudetenland. On the border of Silesia, it resembled Silesian. On the border of the Erzgebirge, it looked like Erzgebirgisch. In the far northeast, where the Riesengebirge separated Bohemia from Silesia, in the Hultschiner Laendle, the people had a very divergent lect of their own. To the south of the city of Mies, along the Bohemian Mountains, it looked like Niederbayerisch. A dialect called Böhmish is spoken spoken in the Böhmerwald or Bohemian Forest. In the south, extending all the way towards Moravia, it looked very much like the Central Bavarian spoken in Austria. Sorting all of this out and determining what was a dialect and what was a separate language is going to be difficult. Schönhengst is a dialect of this language spoken in Moravia. Egerland Bohemian German (Egerlaenderisch) is spoken in Bischofteinitz, Mies, Tachau and Taus Counties in the Czech Republic in Western Bohemia and in and around New Ulm, Minnesota, where there are still speakers ranging from 52-98 years old. In the Czech Republic, each village had a separate dialect, but all dialects are intelligible. This appears to be a separate language from Oberpfalz Northern Bavarian. This seems to be the same language as Sechsämterland spoken across the border. The Sechsämterland dialect is spoken in the area around Selb, Wunsiedel, Hohenberg and Thierstein in the far northeast of Bavaria near the border with Czechoslovakia and Lower Saxony. Dialectal diversity is very high in this area, and every village has its own dialect. Lauterbach is a divergent dialect spoken east of Tirschenreuth on the Czech border. Tiss is a divergent subdialect of Egerland. Sangerberg is a divergent Egerlaenderisch dialect spoken in Prameny, Czechoslovakia. Cheb is spoken in the large German city of the same name. Tachauer is a dialect that formed the basis for the Machliniec dialect spoken formerly spoken by the Carpathian Germans in their language island in the Machliniec area of the Ukraine. They left during WW2. German Central Bavarian is a group of Bavarian lects that are spoken in Germany. This group includes Lower Bavarian, Upper Bavarian and Lechrain Bavarian (Lechrainisch). Lechrain Bavarian is spoken in Western Bavaria and is transitional to Swabian. Map of the Lechrain region. Lechrain is very different from the rest of Bavarian, but intelligibility data is lacking. Lower Bavarian includes the Bohemian Forest language and many dialects. Upper Bavarian includes the Rosenheim, Meisbach and Garmisch-Partenkirchen languages and many dialects. Lower Bavarian Central Bavarian (Niederbayerisch) is spoken in the Lower Bavarian region of German Bavaria. Major cities include Landshut. According to residents (Kirmaier 2009), this is a full language unintelligible with other German Bavarian lects. Speakers of Landshut Niederbayerisch claim that Landshut Niederbayerisch is intelligible with Münchnerisch. On the other hand, some speakers of Münchnerisch find Regensburg Niederbayerisch almost impossible to understand. Dialects include Landshut, Regensburg, Passau, Straubing, Rottal-Inn, Breitenberg, Neureichenau, Thalberg, Germannsdorf, Untergriesbach, Wegscheid, Geiselhöring, Rattenberg and Landau. Rottal-Inn is spoken in the Rottal-Inn district east of Munich. Towns here include Eggenfelden, Pfarrkirchen and Simbach am Inn. Rottal-Inn is a fairly typical Central Bavarian dialect, nevertheless, the dialect of Simbach is different from the dialect spoken just across the border in Braunau. Breitenberg, Neureichenau, Thalberg, Germannsdorf, Untergriesbach and Wegscheid are spoken in far southeast Bavaria near the Austrian and Czech border and are very divergent. Geiselhöring is spoken in the Straubing-Bogen area of the Bavarian Forest. Rattenberg is also spoken in the Straubing-Bogen area and sounds like Viennese. Bohemian Forest Lower Bavarian is spoken in the far southern Bohemian Forest, at least along the Regen River and around the town of Zwiesel, where a dialect called Zwieslerisch is spoken. At least Zwieslerisch is not intelligible with the Niederbayerisch spoken around Straubing, which is only 60 miles away. Upper Bavarian Central Bavarian (Oberbayerisch) is spoken in the Upper Bavarian region of German Bavaria. The major city in this region is Munich. According to residents, it is a separate language not intelligible with the rest of German Central Bavarian (Kirmaier 2009). Upper Bavarian Central Bavarian is said to be intelligible across the border into Austria for some ways, but this notion needs clarification since it is said that if you go 15-20 miles in any direction outside of Munich, you are dealing with separate languages. Some say that people in Munich do not speak Bavarian anymore, but this does not seem to be the case. On the contrary, 20% of the population are Bavarian native speakers and with them, nearly all casual conversation is carried on in Oberbayerisch, and they often refuse to speak Standard German on principle at parties and such. However, the variety spoken in Munich (Münchnerisch) is a very watered-down type of Bavarian that is no longer the real deal. Nevertheless, speakers of Standard German often find it baffling. The pure Bavarian Münchnerisch seems to be dying in Munich with the massive influx of immigrants from all over Germany. Münchnerisch is still holding on very well in the boroughs of Sendling, Giesling, Obermenzing and parts of Neuhausen. The type of broad Central Bavarian spoken in Munich is widely understood in the urban centers from Munich to Vienna. There are at least 19 major Central Bavarian dialects, some of which are separate languages. Dialects include Oberschweinbach, Friedberg, Holledau and Bad Reichenhall. Holledau is spoken in a region north of Munich roughly bounded by Moosburg, Pfaffenhofen, Ingolstadt and Neustadt. This is the largest hops-growing region in the world. Oberschweinbach is spoken the Fürstenfeldbruck district west of Munich. Bad Reichenhall is spoken southeast of Munich on the border with Austria, near Salzburg. Friedberg, while located in Bavarian Swabia, speaks Bavarian, not Swabian. Rosenheim Upper Bavarian is spoken in the Rosenheim District south of Munich near the Austrian border, especially along the Mangfall River in the foothills of the Alps, the Chiegmau Mountains. Towns here include Rosenheim and Bad Aibling. It has very poor intelligibility with Münchnerisch. Intelligibility testing is needed between this language and Garmisch-Partenkirchen and Meisbach. Meisbach Upper Bavarian is a Bavarian language spoken in the Meisbach district of Bavaria in the towns of Meisbach, Finsterwald and possibly others. It is not intelligible with at least some other highland Bavarian lects (de Gyurky 2006). Intelligibility testing is needed between this and other highland Bavarian languages, especially Garmisch-Partenkirchen and Rosenheim, which are close by. Rosenheim is actually the next district over, Garmisch-Partenkirchen Upper Bavarian is a separate language that is spoken in Garmisch-Partenkirchen 50 miles southwest of Munich 6 miles from the Austrian border. This language is not intelligible at all with Münchnerisch. There are 2 dialects in this language – Garmisch and Partenkirchen. Intelligibility between the two is not known, and intelligibility between this language, Rosenheim and Meisbach is also unknown. This language is said to resemble the Tirol Bavarian spoken in Innsbruck, and may not even be a Central Bavarian language. Austrian Standard Central Bavarian is a koine language that is understood in most of Austria except for many in Voralberg who speak Voralbergerisch. It is based somewhat on the Vienna dialect, but it seems to have diverged quite a bit from the true pure Viennese. It is even understood in Tirol. This language differs dramatically from the Central Bavarian spoken across the border in Munich and in general is often not intelligible with it. Austrian Central Bavarian has two major divisions, Austrian Central Bavarian proper and Austrian Southern Central Bavarian. Southern Central Bavarian includes two main divisions – Styrian and West Southern Central Bavarian. Styrian includes West Styrian (Weststeirisch), Middle Styrian (Mittelsteirisch), Upper Styrian (Obersteirisch), East Styrian (Oststeirisch), Southeast Lower Austrian (Südostniederösterreichisch) and Burgenländ (Burgenländisch). West Southern Central Bavarian includes dialects such as Salzburg (Salzburgisch), Ausseerländ (Ausseerländisch), North Tirol (Nordtirolerisch) and Werdenfelsisch. Dialects include Innviertlerisch, Linz , Upper Pielachtal, Salzburgerisch, Wienerwald, Braunau, Bad Aussee, Bad Goisern, St. Johann in Tirol, Salzkammergut, Kufstein and many more. Viennese and Linz are very different. Innviertlerisch is spoken in the Innviertel Mountains in Upper Austria near the Bavarian border. Intelligibility testing is needed between this and Mühlviertlerisch. Upper Pielachtal is spoken along the Mariazellerbahn Railway from Mariazell to St. Polen in Lower Austria. Salzburgerisch is spoken in Salzburg. Wienerwald is spoken in the Vienna Forest west of Vienna. Bad Aussee is spoken in far northwest Styria near the border with Upper Austria. Bad Goisern is spoken in far southern Upper Austria near the borders with Salzburg and Styria. Braunau is spoken on the border with Bavaria. St. Johann in Tirol and Kufstein are actually spoken in Tirol – there are a few Central Bavarian lects spoken there. St. Johann is spoken in the Kitzbühel district in the far northeast of Tirol near the border with Salzburg. Kufstein is spoken in the Kufstein district in northeast Tirol near the Bavarian border. Central Bavarian is a dialect chain in which while the lects of two adjoining cities are similar, the lects of major cities can differ dramatically. Speakers of Standard German sometimes say that they cannot a word of Viennese Central Bavarian. Thalgau Central Bavarian is spoken at the very least in and around the town of Thalgau east of Salzburg in Salzburg state. It is utterly unintelligible with other forms of Central Bavarian. Mühlviertel Central Bavarian (Mühlviertlerisch) is spoken in the Muhlviertel, or Bohemian Forest, region of Austria where Austria, Czechoslovakia and Germany all come together. It has poor intelligibility with other types of Austrian Central Bavarian. It does not appear to be readily intelligible with the Linz dialect spoken in the biggest city of Upper Austria either. Intelligibility is unknown between this language and Bohemian Forest Lower Bavarian spoken in the German part of the Bohemian Forest. Viennese Central Bavarian (Wienerisch) itself seems to be a separate language. The stronger form of the dialect spoken by low level workers, taxi drivers, etc. is hard to understand for people from Tirol. The rest of Austria can understand it presumably because they have been exposed to it. As Tiroleans can understand Standard Austrian Bavarian but not Viennese, it is reasonable to assume that a hard form of Viennese is a separate language. Viennese has many unusual words that other forms of German lack. It has a comical quality that is sometimes imitated in parodies. Central Bavarian is not intelligible with the Southern Bavarian spoken in Tirol, Carinthia or Syria in Austria. One source describes the dialects of Austria as akin to dozens of different languages, which implies that there are more than 20 languages spoken here. Based on that, further investigation into Austrian Bavarian intelligibility is urgently needed. However, Lower Austrian Central Bavarian is still spoken, mostly by older people, in the countryside outside Vienna. It is only about 50% intelligible with Viennese Central Bavarian, so it is a separate language. Further investigation is needed to determine the exact names of these various rural lects and how well they can communicate with each other. Carpathian Central Bavarian was formerly spoken in Slovakia by scattered German colonies. They were ethnically cleansed after WW2, and most ended up in Germany. There still appear to be some speakers left, but they are probably elderly and the languages appear to be moribund. Dialects included Pressburg, Zipser and Hauerlaender. Pressburg was spoken near the city of Pressburg, and Zips and Hauerlaender were spoken near areas of the same names. Pressburg is a dialect of Viennese, but Zips and Hauerlaender are so diverse that they are not intelligible with any other forms of Bavarian. Zipser Carpathian Central Bavarian was spoken in an area of Slovakia called the Zips. Speakers were ethnically cleansed after WW2. Scattered elderly speakers probably remain, mostly in Germany. Not intelligible with any other forms of Bavarian (sample). Hauerlaender Carpathian Central Bavarian was spoken in and around an area called the Hauerland in Slovakia. Speakers were ethnically cleansed after WW2. Scattered elderly speakers probably remain, mostly in Germany. Not intelligible with any other forms of Bavarian (sample). Landers Central Bavarian is spoken by Transylvanian Saxons who lived in Transylvania in Romania. They were deported from the Salzkammergut region of Austria northeast of Salzburg in the 1730′s. They were ethnically cleansed after WW2, but then were allowed to return. The language is still spoken in Neppendorf, Großau, and Großpold in Romania and in Germany where many of the Landers fled to after the war. They originally spoke a Salzkammergut Central Bavarian lect, but over time, it changed so much that it must surely be a separate language, and that is the impression that Tapani Salminem, top expert on European languages, gives in a recent assessment. Southern Bavarian is spoken in Austria and in Alto Adige – Südtiro in Italy and includes the cities of Graz, Klagenfurt, Lienz and Innsbruck in Austria and Bozen and Moran in Italy. It is also spoken in the Samnan region in Switzerland. Some of the Tyrolean lects in Austria, referred to here for convenience sake as Austrian Tyrolean Southern Bavarian, (Tirolerisch) are so divergent that they are not intelligible with the rest of even Southern Bavarian; further, each valley has its own lect, and some are not intelligible even with each other. Hence, Austrian Tyrolean Southern Bavarian is a separate language. In Innsbruck, the main city in the Tyrolean Bavarian region, speakers have a hard time understanding many of the Tyrolean Bavarian lects spoken in many of the surrounding valleys. So there is more than one language, and probably at least several languages, within Tyrolean South Bavarian. There are several main divisions in this language, including Tirol Highlands (Tiroler Oberländisch), Central Tirol (Zentral Tirolerisch), Tirol Lowlands (Tiroler Unterländisch) and East Tirol (Osttirolerisch). Smaller dialects include Innsbruck, Galtür, West Steeg, West Stuben, West Ischgl, West Lech, West Warth, West St. Anton/Tirol, Inst and Zillertal. Zillertal is spoken in the Zillertal Valley. Zillertal is transitional with Salzburg Central Bavarian to the east. West Tyrolean Galtür was Swiss German speaking until 1900, and today its dialect is more Alemannic than other Tyrolean lects. The West Tyrolean areas of West Steeg, West Stuben, West Ischgl, West Lech, West Warth and West St. Anton/Tirol, all along the border of West Tyrol and Vorarlberg, were originally Highest Alemannic Walser settlements like Vorarlberg. All of West Tyrol was Swabian-Bavarian speaking until the Middle Ages. Onto this Swabian base came influence from the Walser and Swiss German villages described above, and all of this on top of an earlier Romansch base, as the whole region was also Romansch-speaking. All of these have receded, leaving only Tyrolean Bavarian, but these are the substantial Alemannic inputs into Western Tyrolean Bavarian. Western Styrian lects, Western Styrian Southern Bavarian, (Steirisch) are said to be unintelligible outside of the region, and hence must be a separate language. Another lect spoken in Styria, this one in the southern part, is South Styrian. Intelligibility data is not available. Speakers of Central Austrian spoken on the Austrian flats cannot understand Carinthian Southern Bavarian (Kärntnerisch) either, so it looks like a separate language too. There are three principal dialects of Carinthian, Upper Carinthian (Oberkärntnerisch), Middle Carinthian (Mittelkärntnerisch) and Lower Carinthian (Unterkärntnerisch). Intelligibility data is lacking. There are also speakers of Carinthian Southern Bavarian in the Canale Valley/Val Canale area of Udine in Italy. This area used to be part of Austria but it changed hands after WW2 and most of the German speakers moved to Austria. Now about 80% of the population speaks Italian and Friuli and 20% speak Carinthian. This appears to be the same language in Italy and Austria. In Carinthia, there are at least 10 separate dialects of this language. Intelligibility testing is needed between Tyrolean Southern Bavarian and Carinthian Southern Bavarian. Gottschee Southern Bavarian (Göttscheabarisch or Gottscheerisch) is an outlying Bavarian language spoken by people called the Gottscheers in Kocevje, Slovenia. They apparently originally came to the region in the 1300′s from the Carinthian/Tyrolean border area. It is heavily influenced by the Slovene Carniolan dialects. It is closely related to the lects of other outlying German colonies in the area, including Zahre (Sauris in Italian), Tischelwang (Paluzza-Timau in Italian) and Pladen (Sappada in Italian) in Northern Italy. The Italian settlements were settled around 1420. Pladen/Sappada is in the eastern Upper Italian province of Belluno at the far end of the Piave Valley, to the south of the Carnic Alps. These people originally came from the East Tyrolean Pustertal Valley in Austria in the vicinity of Sillian-Heimfels near the towns of Villgraten, Tilliach, Kartitsch, Abfaltersbach and Maria Luggau. Pladen Southern Bavarian is spoken here by about 1,000 of the 1,500 residents, but many also speak Friulian (Maurer-Lausegger 2007). Southern Bavarian is spoken in Zahre and based on an old East Tyrolean language from the Lesach Valley, which they left in 1280. Zahre is very similar to Pladen, but has more influence from the Romance family, particularly Italian (Maurer-Lausegger 2007). However, Zahre has been isolated from Pladen for 700 years (Denison 1971). This time period is so long that the two lects are probably no longer intelligible. Zahre is still very much alive and spoken in the town, but it is being displaced by Friulian among young adults and by Italian among children. The Zahre lect was pronounced nearly extinct in 1849 and again in 1897 by visitors. In Timau, Tischelwang Southern Bavarian is spoken in the But valley, on a tributary of the Tagliamento River on the southern slopes of the Plöcken Pass in the Carnic Alps in the province of Udine. This is actually a Carinthian lect that is probably not intelligible with the Pladen and Zahre lects, though intelligibility data is needed (Maurer-Lausegger 2007). Therefore, Tischelwang Southern Bavarian is in all probability a separate language. Pladen and Zahre are probably no longer intelligible with lects in Austria, considering they have been isolated from their Austrian parents for 700 years, hence they are probably separate languages. Pladen and Zahre have been isolated from each other for 700 years since the migration, hence they are probably two separate languages. Pladen Southern Bavarian and Zahre Southern Bavarian. Tischelwang has been heavily influenced by the Friulian language. Gottscheerisch has maintained many of the features of the Medieval Bavarian languages and it is said to be the oldest living Bavarian language. Speakers were ethnically cleansed after WW2, and now they are scattered about the world. There are about 3,000 native speakers left in the world, many of them living in Ridgewood, New York, where speakers still maintain the language. All remaining speakers are elderly. It does not appear to be intelligible with the rest of Bavarian or with other German languages and is therefore a separate language. In Italy, Italian Southern Bavarian encompasses three different lects that differ dramatically from one another. It is spoken in Belluno, Trentino and Udine (Maurer-Lausegger 2007). The Fersina Valley/Valle del Fersina is in Eastern Upper Italy, to the north of Pergine (Persen) near the capital of Trento in the province of Trentino. There are many Bavarian speakers here. They originally came from various valleys in North and South Tyrol. They speak an old mixed Tyrolean vernacular from the 1200′s with a lot of unique developments. In addition, in the Fersina Valley, every village has its own subdialect. Fersina Valley Southern Bavarian is probably a separate language and is probably not intelligible with other Bavarian lects (Maurer-Lausegger 2007). In this area, everyone speaks Italian too. This variety of Bavarian has heavy Italian influence. There is also a South Tyrol Italian Standard Southern Bavarian (Südtirolerisch) that is beginning to emerge in this part of Italy so the three dialects can talk to each other (Maurer-Lausegger 2007). Although intelligibility data between this koine and the rest of Southern Bavarian is not known, it does appear to be a separate language, as most koines are. One Tyrolean lect spoken in this area is called Eisacktalerisch. It is spoken in the Eisack Valley of South Tyrol and is about halfway between the Innsbruck dialect and the lect spoken in Bolzano. Intelligibility data is not known. Since the three dialects of Southern Bavarian in Italy cannot understand each other, we may as well split them off. Udine Southern Bavarian is spoken in the province of Udine in the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region. It is not intelligible with the varieties of Southern Bavarian spoken in Trentino or Belluno. Belluno Southern Bavarian is a Bavarian language spoken in the province of Belluno in the Veneto region of Italy. It is not intelligible with either Trentino Southern Bavarian or Udine Southern Bavarian. One dialect of Belluno is called Puschterisch and is spoken in the area Brunico only 15 miles south of East Tirol. Intelligibility with the rest of Belluno is not known. Trentino Southern Bavarian is spoken in the province of Trentino in the Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol region of Italy. It is not intelligible with Belluno Southern Bavarian or Udine Southern Bavarian. Hianzen Southern Bavarian (Hianzisch) is spoken in southern Burgenland, Austria, along the Hungarian border, particularly around the town of Güssing. It seems to have poor intelligibility even with other nearby forms of Southern Bavarian. Cimbrian is a Bavarian macrolanguage spoken in northeastern Italy. It is not intelligible with Standard German or with other Bavarian languages. It has 2,230 speakers. Cimbrian is actually three separate languages. Lusernese (Lusern) Cimbrian is a separate Cimbrian language not intelligible with other types of Cimbrian. It is spoken in the province of Trento, Italy, where it has 500 speakers in Trentino Alto Oolige 40 km southeast of the city of Trento. Tredici Communi (Dreizehn Gemeinden) Cimbrian (Tauch) is a separate Cimbrian language not intelligible with other types of Cimbrian. It has 230 speakers near Verona, Italy, where it is currently spoken only the village of Giazza-Ljetzan. Sette Comuni (Sieben Gemeinden) Cimbrian is a separate Cimbrian language not intelligible with other types of Cimbrian. It is spoken near Asiago, Italy, where it is currently spoken only the village of Roana-Robaan. It has 1,500 speakers. Mocheno is a Bavarian language spoken in Alto Adige-Südtirol, Italy. It is not intelligible with Standard German or with other Bavarian languages. It has 3,500 speakers. Hutterite German is a Bavarian language spoken in Canada and the US. Intelligibility: it is 70% intelligible with Pennsylvania German, a Palatine language, but only 50% intelligible with the Low German Plautdietsch and Standard German. Hutterite is derived from a Carinthian Bavarian lect. Yiddish is a language spoken by European Jews that has heavy Hebrew influence on a Germanic background. It branched off from Medieval Middle German (mostly Rhenish languages) and was influenced by modern German in the 1800′s and 1900′s. It is not a dialect of German as commonly thought, but is instead a full language. It contains two languages, Western Yiddish and Eastern Yiddish. Eastern Yiddish is spoken in Israel by 215,000 speakers and by 3,142,560 Jewish speakers worldwide. It has poor intelligibility with Western Yiddish. Eastern Yiddish originated east of the Oder River through Poland, in an area moving into Belarus, Russia (to Smolensk), Lithuania, Latvia, Hungary, Romania, Ukraine, and Palestine before 1917 (in Jerusalem and Safed). There are three dialects: Southeastern, Mideastern and Northeastern. Dialects are apparently intelligible. Southeastern is spoken in Ukraine and Romania, Mideastern is spoken in Poland and Hungary and Northeastern is spoken in Lithuania and Belarus. Eastern Yiddish is not intelligible with Standard German or any other form of German. Linguist Paul Wexler argues that Eastern Yiddish is a version of West Yiddish creolized over a Kiev-Polessian Slavic lect. Hence, it is a Germano-Slavic creole. Western Yiddish is a language spoken in Germany by 49,210 Jewish speakers. There are also speakers in Belgium, France, Hungary, Israel, the Netherlands and Switzerland. There are three dialects: Southwestern, Midwestern and Northwestern. Southwestern is spoken in southern Germany, Switzerland, and Alsace (France). Midwestern is spoken in central Germany and parts of the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Northwestern is spoken in northern Germany and the Netherlands. West Yiddish has poor intelligibility with East Yiddish. Western Yiddish is not intelligible with Standard German or any other form of German. Linguist Paul Wexler has argued that Western Yiddish is a Germano-Sorbian creole. Crimean German is an extremely divergent lect of German that must be a separate language. There are probably few speakers of this language left. It is poorly known. Latvian German is another extremely divergent lect of German that in all probability is a separate language. They were ethnically cleansed by the Soviets in 1944. This is part of a larger group known as Baltic German (Baltendeutsch) formerly spoken by German colonies in the Baltic states. Most of them left for Germany after World War 2. About 10% of the words are unique to Baltic German. The last remaining speakers are mostly over age 50, and it is not being taught to children. Texas German is an unclassified dialect of German spoken by German settlers who came to central Texas in the 1840′s in an attempt to establish a New Germany in the US. It is an endangered language, and there are now projects to try to save it. The youngest speaker is 47 years old. Although it is a unique dialect, mutual intelligibility with Standard German is 95%, so it is not a separate language. Amana German is still spoken in the Amana Colonies of Iowa. This area was settled by a fundamentalist German Lutheran group called the Inspirationists around 1850. Amana is a mixture of many different German lects, but it is primarily a Buedingen-Geldhausen Hessian lect. There is also major Swabian influence. Even in the US, each village continued to have its own dialect until major changes occurred in 1932, after which as Standard Amana German developed. Intelligibility with Amana German and the rest of German is not known. References
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