High German ('Oberdeutsch') and Middle German
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
Middle German and High German dialects have both taken part in the
second vowel change.
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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
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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