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'n ganz normaler Tag
'ne Suche gibt es nicht

Could anyone tell me what these abbreviations 'n and 'ne mean?

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See also – Loong Feb 10 at 13:38

Both are abbrevations of forms of ein/eine

  • 'n ganz normaler Tag - ein ganz Normaler Tag
  • 'ne Suche gibt es nicht - eine Suche gibt es nicht

Note that both abbreviations are very colloquial and only used in everyday speech in some parts of Germany.

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What parts of Germany would that be? – hiergiltdiestfu Feb 10 at 13:39
Certainly the southern parts of Germany, but I had the impression that this shortening was used everywhere. – Austinh1 Feb 10 at 13:54
@Austinh1 actually, I would say that the southern regions of Germany do not use these abbreviations but people from northern parts do. Southern parts - I am thinking of Bavaria - and Austrian dialects rather use a [ein, eine] and an [einen] – jera Feb 10 at 14:04
@Loong already posted a link to maps showing the (approximate) current regional distribution. – Crissov Feb 10 at 15:42
True, I didn't live in the dialect heavy part of south Germany, just in the city Munich. So that may be why I have a skewed impression. – Austinh1 Feb 10 at 16:58

It is not an abbreviation, this is slang or dialect, used in northern parts of German spoken area (you rarely will hear it in Austria).

"N" stands for "ein", "ne" stands for "eine":

N ganz normaler Tag.
Ein ganz normaler Tag.

Dat is ne Kuh.
Das ist eine Kuh.

In southern regions (Bavaria, Austria) people use an other slang word for those articles. It is "a" for both, "ein" and "eine":

A ganz normala Tåg.
Ein ganz normaler Tag.

Des is a Kua.
Das ist eine Kuh.

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If it’s slang, they can still be considered abbreviations: Northern slang uses the last part and Southwestern slang uses the first part of standard ein(e) (it’s more obvious if spoken or transcribed phonemically: /ˈaɪ̯n(ə)/). A perfect example of how a Dachsprache works. If it’s dialect, however, we may consider separate but synonymous words. Interestingly, ’n is extended to nen by some speakers (which resembles ’nen from einen of course). Also, spoken language tends to shorten further, e.g. /das.nə.ku:/ (when ist is not emphasized). – Crissov Feb 10 at 15:54

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