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What is standard German?

Historically and linguistically, standard German is a mixture of Middle German and High German (i.e. most Austrian dialects). It did not develop out of one regional dialect (as in Italian) but was artificially created by poets, philosophers and scholars.

Standard German: a mixture of Middle German and High German

This mixture refers to the historic development of German language. Some features of Middle German and some features of High German were blended for standard German. An example:

Middle German was responsible for vocal changes of certain diphthongs to monophthongs:

uo, ie, ui -> u, i, ü
bruoder   Bruder (brother)
guete   Güte (benevolence)

High German (Bavarian and Austrian varieties) added some diphthongs:

i, iu, u -> ei, eu, au
min   mein (my)
hus   Haus (house)

In all recommended language schools you are taught standard German. Acquiring some local slang and dialectal vocabulary is fun and adds excitement to your German learning experience. However, your main activities will be centered on standard German!

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