why does every state in germany have a different language?

i live in hallstadt germany, and yes im american, i speak some german but i cant understand anyone from east germany, and have problems understanding the people in unterfranken as well, i find it strange, that in one country people can not comunicate in one language, my wife is german and she also has problems with some areas, i realize its all a form of german but why dont we all use proper german, and no america does not have the same problem, we have normal english and then we have getto people who speak slang.

4 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Well, first of all, they are not different languages, they are different dialects of the same language. (Well, admittedly there are some tiny pockets of Frisian, which is a distinct language, in the northwest, and the languages of Switzerland and Luxembourg are sometimes considered German dialects, sometimes distinct languages.)

    Second of all, the dialect borders are not generally the same as the state borders.

    Partly, the relatively rich landscape of dialects stems from the fact that national unification came rather late to Germany (in 1870), and even after that, for most of its history, Germany has had strong federalist structures rather than one dominant political/cultural center influencing the language.

    Having said that, nowadays there is a strong mainstreaming of the dialects towards Standard German, mostly due to the fact that Standard German is used almost exclusively in the media, and in virtually all written materials. The Plattdeutsch dialect in the north, for example, is dying out quickly.

    Also, most Germans will be able to switch to Standard German without hesitation if you ask them to.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    they aren't languages. They are dialects, variations of Standard German Speaking

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  • 1 decade ago

    When I was in school, my english teacher came back from a trip to the US (Atlanta) one day and said sho couldn't understand anything the locals were saying.Instead of At-lan-ta, they said sth. like "Lanna".It may seem to you that America has no such problem, but for a non-native, it does.

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  • 1 decade ago

    it is all german but with a different dialects and is the same everywhere too...

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