Learning German – Swabia

So the area that I will be moving to is not only in the state of Baden-Wuerttemburg but also in a cultural area of Swabia (or in German: Schwabia. You can almost look at this like a county (or parish – depending on what part of the US you live). However, it is not determined by….well however our counties were divided. These regions were established because of their historical, cultural, and linguistic significance.

Modern Map of Germany with Swabia highlighted.
Modern Map of Germany with Swabia highlighted.

 

That’s right; Swabia has its own dialect.  According to other Germans, Swabians have a VERY distinct dialect compared to the others:

"We can do everything - except speak High (standard) German."
“We can do everything – except speak High (standard) German.”

This causes me to have flash backs to my time in Spain when I had to learn the Andalusian dialect.

When I was in Ravensburg last November, I knew that a lot of my co-workers were speaking this dialect but it didn’t really register that it was a different form of German. Honestly, there are times when my brain shuts off and all foreign languages sound like gibberish. However, once T and I are living in that region we will both start picking it up.

The name Swabia comes from the Suebi (or Suevi) who were an Elbe Germanic tribe. They originated near the Baltic Sea around the time of the Roman Empire and they eventually migrated to what is now Swabia in the lower west corner of Germany.

There are quite a few famous Swabians in his history. They say that the Charlemagne’s family originated in Swabia as well as the Hapsburgs Dynasty (Emperor Franz Josef of Austria).

It’s amazing how much these countries the size of individual states in the US can have such a variety of cultures and languages.  I can’t wait to start delving into these cultures and more and learn!

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