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Growing up, it was very common for my mother & other family members use the German particle 'die' in front of my given name in conversation, such as:

'Die Natascha war schon mal gestern im Kino," or: 'Die Taschi mag immer die dunkleschwarzen Schokoladen'.

Is this a regional practice? My mother and grandmother both came from Bayern.

6

Is this a regional practice? My mother and grandmother both came from Bayern.

Yes.

In Bayern, Baden-W├╝rttemberg and maybe some other parts of (southern) Germany personal names are (nearly always) used with articles.

People coming from the north of Germany told me that they were very confused about this.

There are other regions in (northern?) Germany where you use the article only when talking about cattle: In these regions a cow named "Natasha" would be named "die Natascha" and a person would only be named "Natasha".

People coming to southern Germany form such a region will be very, very confused!

Edit

"Nearly always" means that names like "Herr Schmidt" or "Professor Maier" are also used with article in southern Germany:

"Der Herr Schmidt", "der Professor Maier"

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  • And there is yet another level of confusion: In southwestern Germany, you might hear "Es Natascha", too.. – Annatar Aug 31 '17 at 6:19
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    I'm from Northern Germany and we certainly say die Astrid etc. And it's not cattle. – Janka Aug 31 '17 at 6:48
  • The article adds an expression fondness for the person. – aparente001 Sep 1 '17 at 6:30

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