All about dialect

2nd Blog: by Giulia Stallwanger - Sunday, 15 January 2023, 6:13 PM
I really like the Swiss and the Austrian/ Vorarlberger dialect. Listening to this aesthetic sound is a variety to the boring and usual sound of language I’m used to.  Sometimes it's difficult to follow conversations because connective words or parts of a sentence are incomprehensible but by listening to the key words you can understand the context more easily.People are considerate when it comes to problems with their dialect. They adapt their way of expression and usage of dialect so that there can be no misunderstandings. My strategy to overcome communicative differences is to listen concentrated and to symbolize if I didn't get the point. 

With the time it's like learning vocabularies and pronunciation by just listening. There are moments when I found myself using the foreign dialect in kind of a mix with my normal German. As a result I got confused people who laughed at me because of the funny sound I made when trying to imitate the dialect. It gave me the sign that I should rather be a quiet listener than a spontaneous imitator of Swiss dialect. I thought about working in Switzerland and now I can say that I learned some specific words in the architectural vocabulary which are only used in this kind of area. Maybe that makes it easier for me in the future.

Speaking English at the university is not always the easiest thing for me. Sometimes my English skills have some holes because of missing words, the wrong pronunciation, false sentence structure or just confusion. Free presentations or writing fast summaries show the most problematic situations. In contrast to that, understanding English is very easy. I think over the first weeks my skills have improved though and I'm very happy that my small difficulties with language usage have never been a problem in context of work in class or at the studio. I think it's useful for me and of course necessary to communicate more in English, especially because I always tried to avoid it and to find ways to use German. I tried to challenge myself by the decision to choose an English speaking studio and now I'm even more glad to be there and act in a more professional way. 

With speaking ‚normal‘ German, I don’t feel like communicating with a foreign language - I just feel like having only the basic knowledge without variations like the Swiss dialect is one. However, using English to communicate gives me the feeling that everyone is able to understand what I want to say (… if I find the right words to express my thoughts). In this case my mother tongue is rather a barrier than a real help. In my studio the common way to discuss in the groups is English, because everyone can be integrated no matter which language they're used to. One big advantage is that the Swiss dialect doesn't play a big role, so it isn't difficult to follow conversations because of incomprehensible connective words or parts of a sentence.