A Introduction to German Dialects

Earlier in the semester, I attended a discussion of German dialects led by a member of OSU’s German staff, encouraged by both the German and Linguistics clubs. He discussed several dialects, including Yiddish and Swabisch. I found the talk very interesting, as I am both a German and Linguistics major, and I have a particular interest in German dialects. My own experience with dialects comes from my time in Passau, Bavaria, where I stayed for the summer before my Senior year. My host family spoke Bairisch, and though I was very confused at first, I managed to learn a view words and phrases by the end of my stay. My personal hope is that, after graduation, I can apply for a Fulbright scholarship in German, and work on German Linguistics, specifically with German dialects. I hope to make the many varied dialects of German more accessible to Linguistic researchers worldwide, as I recently discovered that there is very little research available in languages that are not German. As the dialects of German have older roots than standard German, which came from the dialects, closer study of them may lend inset to proto-indo-european languages, but only if they are available to a wider range of researchers. I am glad that I got this first insight into the world of Dialectology, and the talk only affirmed me of my wish to study dialects further.  

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