Does German sound different in Germany, Switzerland and Austria?Jan 21, 2023
Does German sound different from country to country? what if I told you that "Heute" and "Hüt" both mean "Today", but in different countries?
This is because there are actually several different varieties of German, each with its own unique quirks and features. Let's take a closer look at the three most common varieties of German: Swiss German, Austrian German and Germany German.
Check out my Youtube video where I'm joined by Linda from "German With Joy" and Naira from "Schweizer Deutsch" in order to settle the topic once and for all!
Swiss German vs. Austria German vs. Germany German: A Comparison
The main difference between Swiss German and Austrian/Germany German is that Swiss German has been influenced by French, while Austrian/Germany German has been influenced by Dutch. As a result, Swiss German sounds more like French than like Austrian/German, while Austrian/German sounds more like Dutch than like Swiss. Here are some other key differences between the three varieties of German:
There are many words that are unique to Swiss German or Austrian/German that you won't find in the other variety (and vice versa). For example, common SwissGerman words include "chuchichäschtli" (a small cabinet) and "zvieri" (snack time), while common Austrian/German words include "Kaffeeklatsch" (coffee chat) and "Wanderlust" (a desire to travel).
There are also some notable differences in pronunciation between the three varieties of German. For example, Swiss Germans tend to pronounce their vowels more clearly than their counterparts in Austria and Germany.
Finally, there are also some grammatical differences between the three kinds of German. For instance, Switzerland uses masculine, feminine and neutral genders for its nouns, while Austria and Germany use only masculine and feminine genders.
So, what's the bottom line? While all three varieties of German are technically considered "correct," they can still be quite different from one another. If you're ever unsure about which variety of German to use, just go with whichever one is most commonly spoken in your region. And if you're ever travelling to a new area within Germany, make sure to brush up on the local dialect before you go :)
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