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High German ('Oberdeutsch') and Middle German ('Mitteldeutsch')

There exists another isogloss in German usage, even though it is less drastic than Benrath line. It is known as Main line (marked blue on the map) as it largely follows Main river. This isogloss is often referred to as 'Weißwurst equator' with Weißwurst being a sausage typical for Bavaria.
Between Main line and Benrath line Middle German is used, south of Main line (in Bavaria and Austria) High German is used.
Middle German and High German dialects have both taken part in the second vowel change.

Click on the map to find out more about German varieties!

Deutsche Varietäten, Dialekte, Hochdeutsch, Benrath Linie Switzerland High German Main-Linie Middle German Benrath-Linie Low German

German dialects in Bavaria share a large number of characteristics with German usage in Austria, regarding pronunciation as well as vocabulary. High German dialects are pronounced very melodiously and are pleasant to the ear. There are hardly any grammar variations. Some vocabulary (culinary mostly) is unique to Bavarian and Austrian regions.

When Austria entered the European Union it was a matter of national pride to insist on a unique Austrian language being recognized by EU officials. The attempt failed as the differences between standard German in Austria and the German used in Germany south of Benrath line are largely neglectable. The result of the ensuing discussion was a list of some 80 words, most of them referring to food, cooking ingredients and plants.
The differences of the national standards of German are often exaggerated!

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