Re: high and low German

You can write books about that subject.
I lived in Niedersachsen, Lower Saxony
Each town has it own dialect.
I believe when I traveled in Germany, Niedersachsen is very much high German. The reason I say that ,because the German we spoke in the G�ttingen area ,was the German that was taught in school and used in writings and official language.
In the past ,there were two main forms of German.High German was spoken in the south and central lands of Germany,Low german was spoken in the
northern plains.
Today ,the standard written and spoken form of German is based largely on High German. Low German is still spoken in farm areas,along with High German. German and English language have many close connections.
Both are related to an older Germanic,or Teutonic language once used by the tribes of north -central Europe.
In the German language all nouns are capitalized. Many words are formed by adding together two ore more words or part of a word.
For example: street car stop place-Strassenbahnhaltestelle.
German speech varies considerably from place to place.
Scholars recognized three stages of German:
Old High German was spoken in the central and southern regions between 750-1050.
Middle high German was used in the same region about 1050-1500.
When Marten Luther translated the bible into German in the1500's he
translated in the dialect of east -central German, then called Saxony.
This region became very important to the development of High German.
Low German sounds more like Dutch and English than High German does.
Some historian may not agree with me. But I believe that is what I learned about the German language in School.

I also learned what is known as "Hochdeutsch" in school. However I cannot for the live of me remember the German term for "low german". I was always under the impression that Hochdeutsch was the correct form of the language and everything else was a dialect.

Would you consider "Plattdeutsch" a dialect or a language?

Klaus Dieter Cook
Houston, Texas

Plattdeutsch is definitely not a dialect. As other languages, the German
language has undergone several changes which follow certain rules, e.g. "th"
became "d" etc. These changes happened gradually, but up to now there have
been three stages. Plattdeutsch is the German as it was spoken after the
second change, while today's Hochdeutsch has undergone yet another change.
Therefore the relationship between Plattdeutsch and English is much closer
than between Hochdeutsch and English, this is because the Germanic roots of
English are those of twelve hundred years ago and Plattdeutsch is some
fivehundred years old. Please check the dates before quoting me, I might
well be a couple of hundred years wrong, but the message still is that
Plattdeutsch and English have more similarities because of their relative
closeness in time. Dialects basically use Hochdeutsch with reginal
variations both in vocabulary and in pronounciation.

Hi Klaus Dieter,

you're right, "Low German" is "Niederdeutsch" or "Plattdeutsch" in High
German. In Low German, it's "Plattd�tsch".

Btw, your question re: "dialect" or "language" is explained in my message I
posted last night (subject: Germany and its various dialects and

Greetings, viele Gr��e,


Absolutely correct and greatly explained! Your posting really closes some
gaps in mine - thanks!