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Dialect or Standard version of language (OPOL)

(9 Posts)
Inaminutenow Mon 10-Sep-12 23:06:32

Hi rote, this has been bothering me lately as well. I speak German, but have grown up speaking a form of dialect, not Hochdeutsch. Therefore, speaking to the DCs in Hochdeutsch does not come natural to me. I do make an effort speaking fairly properly, replacing words that are too much dialect, but compared to children growing up with Hochdeutsch, mine are a bit behind. So I was wondering should I make more of an effort now with the Hochdeutsch? But as I'm the only one speaking to them in German, I'm finding it hard to stick to it.
Sorry, don't mean to take over your thread.
Could you do both languages? Sorry, not much help, I'm afraid.

Tricycletops Sun 02-Sep-12 18:52:22

Hit post too soon! I meant to add that I suspect it would be easier to learn Hochdeutsch from an ability to speak Alemannisch than vice-versa - one only really acquires the dialect from speaking, I think.

Tricycletops Sun 02-Sep-12 18:51:30

I'd probably vote for dialect. My grandmother was German and my grandfather Swiss; I can speak German and feel at home in Germany, but in Switzerland I'm always conscious of my near total inability to understand the local dialect and it makes me feel very un-Swiss.

yumcha888 Sat 04-Aug-12 17:51:32

I would have a look at why you want to pass new languages down to your kids. I'm in the same position with 2 Chinese dialects. My family all speak Cantonese but Mandarin is the national language of China. It is also much easier to learn and more widely taught. I thought long and hard about it but realised that the reason I wanted to pass a language to my kids was so that they would be able to speak to their extended family and get to know Hong Kong like I have. So, we've decided on OPOL with Cantonese at home and, when it gets to the right time, I'll have a look into Mandarin weekend classes or something (not really planned that far yet).

Why do you want to teach your kids a new language? For a future career boost? To speak to your grandmother who only speaks in one dialect? So you can joke in the dialect you grew up in?

Good luck!

Engelsmeisje Tue 31-Jul-12 13:23:12

I would speak what comes naturally to you.

roteelefant Sun 29-Jul-12 14:51:05


My standard german is really (native standard) good (went to university in germany)


UptoapointLordCopper Fri 20-Jul-12 18:16:09

Dialect. I always regret not being able to speak all the dialects my parents speak. You can learn "standard language" at school.

sonniboo Fri 20-Jul-12 13:49:28

Depends how good your 'Hochdeutsch' is. If your German is really good and you feel completely comfortable speaking it exclusively to your children, then I'd think German was more useful than Alemannic.

However, if your Alemannic is much stronger then I'd say stick with that as learning any second language from birth is a huge advantage for a child, and they will no doubt pick up German easily later.

roteelefant Fri 20-Jul-12 09:58:48

I'm from Liechtenstein and so my first language is Alemannic (a dialect of German) but it is different from Standard German (which I learnt in school)

Me and DP have already decided to do OPOL but do I just forget the standard german and do Alemannic?

They are different and would it really be useful just to know one dialect compared to standard german (the german they will do in school if they don't do french)

Or do I just do standard german?

Or do I do one now and 'teach' the other when they are older?

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