DrComedy duo Badesalz, Hesselbachs, Heinz Schenk im Blauen Bock or Bodo Bach and Martin Schneider: Most people in Germany have heard Hessian before – “Media Hessian”. At least that’s what linguist Lars Voorberger calls his new book Hessch. From chatter and snooping.”
The language is not so simple, because Hessian is not only Hessian. According to the linguist, anyone navigating this linguistic landscape is in “the most complex dialect region on German soil”.
Äppler and “ahle Worscht”
According to Vorberger, it would have taken thousands of books to list all the burlap forms of the word. So he chose single examples such as “ppler”, “ahle Worscht” and “Chatten” as Ur-Hesse.
In short, using some sort of dictionary, he explains why it’s called “At Grandma’s” and not “At Grandma’s”, why the Frankfurt Folk Festival is called “Dippemess” and that the music is not played with manual cheese, but that “a beautiful description of the physical consequences of consuming onions”.
“At the dialect level, we distinguish four main regions: Northern, Eastern, Central and Southern Hessian,” wrote Furberger. Dialect areas extend beyond the federal state borders. “But not only are there many different dialects in the federal state of Hesse, the dialects used there are also very diverse.” In any other region of Germany there wouldn’t be so many dialect areas in such a small area.
Rude words don’t sound bad
“Dabbes”, “Hannebambel”, “Labbeduddel”: In the Vorberger dictionary, you learn that Hessian swear words don’t sound so bad. This is also related to the fact that there is not always a clear translation into the standard language. He explains why environmental activist Greta Thunberg’s first name sounds more like Crete, that Hessian does not have the genetic condition, that Goethe may have spoken Hessian and that dialects are “ear-friendly”.
However, languages and dialects are dynamic — and the fact that so many people no longer speak the old dialects doesn’t mean they will die, according to the linguist. Instead, it will change, evolve, and integrate into new forms of regional discourse.
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