German Translation Dialects

The German language serves as a standalone language family under the Indo-European linguistics, and it has gained a multitude of variations due to its geographic distributions across Europe, Africa and some parts of Latin America. However, when it comes to written documents and papers, only a few variants of the language are used for translation. This is because of their formality in construction, more neutral use of vocabulary, and compatibility among different speakers of the language across the globe.

German is divided into two major dialects, Low German and High German. While these variants differ on how they are used by society, their segregation is based on the geographic divisions of the language across the country.

German Translation Dialects - Standard German

Standard German is not an actual spoken language, but rather a written language. It is used for all sorts of papers, from government forms to academic research and business and legal documents. It has been main form of writing in Germany and other neighboring countries that also use the same language. Unless specified by client, translators use Standard German in conducting professional translation services.

Standard German also remains as the official language of the state of Namibia.

German Translation Dialects - Low German

Low German, or “Platt,” is a group of dialects used by German regions that carry the ­–ik sound at the end of each word, and these include Northern Germany and neighboring Dutch countries. Low German is relatively older than High German, and it has been used as the main mode of communication upon the establishment of mass education in Germany.

High German

German Translation Dialects - High German meanwhile is spoken by regions that fall below the Uerdigen Line, and this group of dialects contains the –ich sound at the end of each word. High German dialects encompass that of neighboring countries in the French Rivera, such as Belgium, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Austria and Liechtenstein.

High German dialects are more exposed to other languages in Europe. Among the dialects under its wing are Ripuarian, Central Hessian, Moselle Franconian, East Hessian, North Hessian, Thuringian, Rhine Franconian, North Upper Saxon, Lorraine Franconian, Silesian German, High Prussian, Lausitzisch-Neumarkisch and Upper Saxon. These dialects are spoken in Belgium, Luxembourg and Austria.

High German has been the basis of the modern Standard German used in present written forms.

Overseas German Dialects

There are also German dialects that are used overseas, such as in Latin America and the United States. These include:

  • Amana German. This variant of the West Central German dialect is used in the Amana colonies in the state of Iowa, and is derived from Hessian. It is recognized as Kolonie-Deutsch in Standard German.
  • Brazilian  German. The Riograndenser Hunsruckisch was developed by the German settlers at the Rio Grande do Sul, such as in Santa Catarina, Parana and Espirito Santo.
  • Lagunen-deutsch. Lagunen-deutsch is a High German variant used in Chile, particularly by settlers in Llanguihe Lake. This variant is already a mix of German and Spanish.

Pennsylvania German. The German settlers in the state of Pennsylvania brought in their Palatinate dialect, which served as the basis of this dialect. However, Pennsylvania German already has a blend of English and German vocabulary and grammar structures.