11

Consider the phrase

… sprachen wie alle Einwohner des Dorfes Dialekt

Would you say sprechen mit einem Dialekt or rather sprechen Dialekt?

PS: This is my first day on this stackexchange, in case I forgot some tags or used the wrong tags, please feel free to edit it.

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  • 3
    The only feedback I'd give on the question is that it's usually best to include a whole sentence for context. The meaning is still clear in this case, but for future reference a single phrase may not be enough to get the intended meaning.
    – RDBury
    Feb 27 at 19:52
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    Fwiw, from experience living in Switzerland (Zürich canton), Mundart would be more commonly used in that context: Mundart räde; Mundart reden. Feb 28 at 9:54

2 Answers 2

7

Both are possible and correct. I would use either.

If I had to choose, "sprechen mit einem Dialekt" sounds a tiny tad, almost indiscernibly, more negative to my ears, in the direction of implying that the population isn't able to speak "proper" German, but only "German with a dialect".

"Sie sprechen Dialekt" is more parallel in grammar to "Sie sprechen Französisch" or "Sie sprechen Chinesisch", it values the dialect a bit more as a language of its own right.

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    As noted in the other answer, and particularly the comment to it, the prepositional use is, at least by some, considered incorrect, since a dialect is a form of language – something you speak, not something you speak with. This is in opposition to an accent, which is a phonetic ‘adjustment layer’ applied to whatever language/dialect is spoken, and is something you speak with; you can speak a dialect with an accent, but you cannot ‘speak with a dialect with an accent’. Conflating the two is common, but for learners, I would advise distinguishing them. Feb 28 at 13:41
18

"Dialekt sprechen" is correct, as well as "einen Dialekt sprechen".

"Mit einem Dialekt sprechen" doesn't sound quite right to me, as if you are confusing "Dialekt" and "Akzent".

Duden confirms at least the correctness of "Dialekt sprechen".

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    Well put! The incorrect use of "Dialekt" (i.e. regional language variety) to mean "Akzent" (i.e. mere phonology/phonetics) is very common. Often this mix-up is evident, as in "Sie spricht gut Deutsch, aber mit einem spanischen Dialekt", which is a non-starter, since Spanish is not a regional dialect of German...
    – marquinho
    Feb 28 at 5:59

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