The Living Thing / Notebooks : Dialects

On the politics and practicality of speaking like a local.

See, e.g. Swiss German.

I love the Max Weiner quote, “A language is a dialect with an army and a navy”. Singularly apropriate since he said it about Yiddish which went on to be absorbed by Hebrew in the process of acquiring its army. I also like it as someone who lives in Switzerland, which has a whole lot of army and yet pretends to speak the language of its neighbours. Better buy a warship to sail about on Lake Constance is all I’m sayin’.