One sentence. Twelve German dialects.

German is a difficult language to learn as it is, but there are more than 12 German dialects spoken within the country. Some don‘t sound like German at all. If you‘re studying German, think twice!

YouTube comments:

“Fun fact: Plattdeutsch is so far from Hochdeutsch that it is considered as a language of its own. Also, there are many variants of Plattdeutsch itself – some of which I cannot understand, although I grew up with Plattdeutsch. Often, it takes less than 50 kilometers to find a place where you hardly understand the dialect.”

“As an American who learned hochdeutsch fluently. It took me forever to understand what people were saying in Bayern.”

“As someone who can speak the dying Lorraine dialect, I appreciate the inclusion of Letzeburgisch. It is not exactly the same, but closer then any other dialect.”

“Fun fact. In Baden we alone have dozens of dialects, sometimes significantly varying from village to village.”

Funny side of the German language

False friends, ridiculous grammar and never-ending nouns. German is by no means an easy language, but it has its funny side too, as we find out in this week’s episode of Meet the Germans.

YouTube comments:

“I love all the ‘thing’ words we have: Feuerzeug = fire thing (lighter) Fahrzeug = driving thing (vehicle) Spielzeug = play thing (toy) Werkzeug = craft/labour thing (tool) Or some of our animals: Nilpferd = nile horse (hippo) Nashorn = nose horn (rhino) Stachelschwein = spike pig (porcupine) Waschbär = wash bear (raccoon) Faultier = lazy animal (sloth) Schnabeltier = beak animal (platypus)”

“Yeah german gets a lot easier when you understand that most of these long words are just two short words connected.”

“I’m german and i got the impression that mostly negative things about the german language circulate the web, like it sounds rough, unfriendly, is difficult to learn and overly complicated. It’s really nice seeing it in a positive, funny and native way and i hope it helps foreigners to see it in a different light. We are and used to be famous for our writers and poets, so the language has to be fit for that kind of work and those people also benefitted the language in that regard. On the other hand we are famous for our engeneering and our scinetists so another major part of our language is logical, accurate and descriptive. Our language has multiple different layers which are often overlooked, quite understandably to be honest, and I think the german language is beautiful in its own, rough mantled way. :D”

anecdote

From Merriam-Webster: a usually short narrative of an interesting, amusing, or biographical incident. Synonyms: story, tale.

The artful placement of an anecdote is key to being persuasive in the American culture. Stories are convincing. They speak to our experience. Storytelling. Great leaders in business, politics, culture know how to speak to the imagination of their audience. Listen to former President Bill Clinton speak at the funeral service for Aretha Franklin:

The Byzantine official Procopius wrote three historical works in Greek. In the first two, he dealt with wars and public works projects, but the third was something of a departure from this kind of history. Referred to as “Anekdota,” from the Greek a-meaning “not,” and ekdidonai, meaning “to publish,” it contained bitter attacks on the emperor Justinian, his wife, and other notables of contemporary Constantinople. 

Clinton’s nominating speech at the 2012 Democratic Convention nominating Barack Obama for a second term as president is considered a masterpiece in persuasion. It is full of fascinating anecdotes.