What are the major differences in the German language?

I know that the German language when spoken is different among its major speaking countries (Austria, Switzerland and such). Just how different is it? I would like to learn standard German (here in America) and I'd like to know if it varies a great deal (like would it be usable) or if the variation is slight... show more I know that the German language when spoken is different among its major speaking countries (Austria, Switzerland and such). Just how different is it? I would like to learn standard German (here in America) and I'd like to know if it varies a great deal (like would it be usable) or if the variation is slight enough.

Thank You! (Vielen Danke :0) )
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