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What’s with this “Wren” thing?
The oldest extant version of the fable
are presenting here appeared in 1913 in the first volume of a two-volume anthology
Saxon folktales (Plattdeutsche
Volksmärchen “Low German Folktales”)
collected by Wilhelm Wisser (1843–1935). Read
(Standard German, “High German”)
German came to be propelled to unprecendented heights by
Minnesingers (troubadours) such as Walther von der Vogelweide
seen left) and
Süßkind von Trimberg (the first Jewish
seen right, wearing
Language information: German is the official language of Germany, Austria and Liechtenstein. In Luxembourg
it is official alongside French and Luxembourgish (Lëtzebuergesch), in Switzerland
alongside French, Italian and Rhaeto-Roman (Rumansch). German is an official
minority language in Denmark, Belgium and Italy. Furthermore, there are sizeable
German minority language communities in countries such as the Czech Republic,
Poland, Russia, Romania, Slovenia, Croatia, France, Israel, Australia, New
Zealand, South Africa, Namibia and throughout the Americas. German is the traditional
lingua franca of Central and Eastern Europe but as such is now being replaced
by English in those regions.
Nowadays, German is the only national language whose orthography requires that
capitalized (if we consider Luxembourgish a dialect of German despite its official).
letter. Under German influence most writers of Sater Frisian and
rule too, despite there being no official orthography for them.
All geographically neighboring languages that used to have noun
capitalization, such as Danish and
have abandoned this rule. In the early part of the 20th century, abandonment
of German noun capitalization was well underway, but it came to be fully reintroduced
during following nationalistic era, and consequent attempts have been unsuccessful.
During much of the 18th and 19th centuries
the nationalistic era of the 20th century, German was predominantly written with
the Latin alphabet, called Fraktur with reference to the printed version and
called deutsche Schreibschrift (“German Handwriting”), deutsche Kurrantschrift(“German Cursive Writing”) or Sütterlinschrift(“Suetterlin Writing”) with reference to the handwritten version. These scripts came to be outlawed
when German occupation forces found that they constituted a barrier for the occupied
these scripts were taught for secondary use
for some time after World War II, mostly for the sake of generating
reading comprehension of older text. Most Germans, Austrians and Swiss educated
since that time connot read such texts or can do so only with difficulties.
Fraktur type used to be used for Low Saxon and Sorbian and for neighboring languages such as Danish, Kashubian, Czech and Estonian.
Old (High) German is
the ancestor of today’s
German dialects. It flourished approximately between 500 and 1050 CE, to be
followed by Middle (High) German (ca. 1050–1350~1500 CE). Old German has no standard variety but has several dialects whose
features are clearly noticeable in the extant literature. Most striking among
German, especially of what are now Bavaria, Austria, Northern Switzerland and parts of
Alpine Italy. There were no indigenous Old German dialects in what are now
Northern Germany and the Eastern Netherlands. People in these areas spoke Old Saxon, though there appear to have been German-speaking minorities there with the
beginning of Frankish overlordship and Christianization, and most of these
probably spoke Rhenish dialects.
The Old German translation
presented here, though probably dialectologically somewhat mixed, is meant to
demonstrate some important features of Old German (OG) in comparison with those
varieties of roughly the same time. Note that for instance OG t corresponds to d, OG d to th and ð, OG z (with two kinds of pronunciation) to t, and -h to -k.
Frankish German consists of Central and Upper German dialects that belong to the Frankish continuum.
Represented among these in this project so far are Ripuarian as well as Saarland and Lorraine Frankish.
German, here represented by a Lower Bavarian version so far, comprises most dialects of Austria,
Southern Bavaria and German-speaking Northern Italy. They belong to the Bayuvarian
(“German-Austrian”) dialect group.
Yiddish began as a Middle German Jewish jargon in the Middle and Upper Rhine areas.
Strongly influenced by Hebrew, Aramaic and other languages, it developed into
in its own right and tends to be written with Hebrew script. Especially Eastern
Yiddish, the only surviving Yiddish dialect group, diverged strongly from German
proper in that it has been developing mostly in Eastern Europe and has been
as well. [Click here for more.]
Genealogy: Indo-European > Germanic > West (South?) > High
Historical Lowlands language contacts: Low Saxon, Low Franconian