Dialects


On the politics and practicality of speaking like a local.

See, e.g. Swiss German.

I love the Max Weiner quote, “A language is a dialect with an army and a navy”. Singularly appropriate since he said it about Yiddish, which went on to be absorbed by Hebrew in the process of acquiring its army. I also like it as someone who lives in Switzerland, which has a whole lot of army and yet pretends to speak the language of its neighbours. Better buy a warship to sail about on Lake Constance is all I’m sayin’.


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