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Austria, Germany, Switzerland

Linguistic and Cultural Differences and Similarities

Stefan Matthias Zucchi    Università Ca’ Foscari Venezia, Italia    



The germanophone area in central Europe is far from being homogenous, not only in political terms due to its (primary) division in three independent countries, but also in linguistic terms: besides its diatopic subdivision with dozens of different dialects from northern Germany down to South Tyrol, from east Belgium to Brandenburg, long-since German is considered a pluricentric language with three national standard varieties: German, Austrian and Swiss standard German. Its political and linguistic three-part division has yield three different (national) cultures as well, with distinct characters though joint to each other by an undeniable common thread. Within the context of intercultural communication, German as a foreign language teaching should point out these internal cultural differences as well as those between the learner’s cultural background and cultural items of the German-speaking countries.    

March 1, 2016