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Is Bavarian a language?

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asked Nov 16, 2015 in Writing and Speaking by anonymous
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Bavarian can be considered a language depending on how technical or specific a person chooses to get with the definition of "language." I don't mean to sound silly here, but consider that Chinese is considered a language, as are Cantonese and Mandarin, even though both are Chinese languages themselves.

Bavarian is a subset of the German language that covers three dialects: Northern, Central and Southern Bavarian. They are collectively spoken in southeast Germany, most of Austria and a tiny section of the Italian Alps.

answered Nov 16, 2015 by Topher (27,830 points)
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Yes, we do consider it a language. 

While the exact definition of what is a language is debated, in Bavaria we do refer to it as a separate language with its own poetry, literature and grammar rules. Its difference from regular German is so extreme, most non-Bavarians can not understand most of what is said and Bavarian language interviews or programs need to be subtitled in German. According to UNESCO it is an endangered and protected language. Also, within Bavaria itself, Bavarian has its own dialects and variations, primarily separated into north, middle and south Bavarian.


North, Middle and South Bavarian within Europe

As for origin, it developed alongside and separated from German and the many other dialects in the region. Like German and English it is of Indo Germanic origins and containing a lot of Latin elements. As such it contributed to the development of modern German. 

Think of it as Bavarian being to German, what Scottish is to English. 

answered Nov 18, 2015 by AlecCorday (5,810 points)
edited Nov 18, 2015 by AlecCorday

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