Hello everyone! It’s Daniel here in Germany and the last couple of weeks have been rather eventful: as well as a week of work, as per usual, I took two trips to other parts of Germany during my Herbstferien (autumn holidays). Five days in Stuttgart and Tübingen in the southern state of Baden-Württemberg as well as a weekend in Leipzig in the east have taught me that there is a lot more to the German language than the Hochdeutsch (standard German) that you learn at school or university!
While exploring the university town of Tübingen, I came across many examples of Schwäbisch (Swabian), which is a dialect of German spoken in the city of Stuttgart and most of the south of Baden- Württemberg, as well as some far western parts of Bavaria. The couple I stayed with showed me a bench in the town, which had one of the most intriguing words I have ever seen written above it;
Standard German translation; da sitzen die, die immer da sitzen. (There sit those who always sit there.) Clearly the Swabians are even fonder of long words than the Germans! While in the South, I also enjoyed some Spätzle mit Sauerkraut und Speck. (A Swabian dish made of small, gnocchi-like pasta with sour cabbage and bacon.) Yummm!
After the long journey back to the north-west, I decided to take a four hour train to the East to visit a friend in Leipzig. From his German housemates I learned the Sächsisch (the dialect of Saxony) phrase, ‘käs’ dich!’, which is the Sächsisch way of saying, ‘beeile dich!’ (Hurry up!). My first reaction was of surprise, as I thought to myself, “Cheese yourself?” I was relieved to hear that although ‘Käse’ is the German word for cheese, it doesn’t mean cheese in this sense!
All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed getting a taste of some eastern and southern accents and look forward to learning even more about them! Until next time! Bis bald, Daniel.