What is the linguistic term for re-writing a written text from non-standard dialect to standard dialect of the same language?

Translation is the conversion of text from one language to another.

Since we keep the same language, and just change the dialect, I would rule out translation.

Transliteration is a type of conversion of a text from one script to another that involves swapping letters (thus trans- + liter-) in predictable ways (such as α → a, д → d, χ → ch, ն → n or æ → e).

We stay in the same script and don't swap letters, so this doesn't seem to fit either.

Is there a separate term at all, or do linguistics use a broader definition for translation in such a case?

  • 1
    You should give an actual example or link to examples of this rewriting. Otherwise we cannot say. For example there is Alemannic, and then there is just geschwobtes deutsch. Anyway technically it all still falls under translation (and in my work I say variant translation), but maybe there is also a more specific word. Jan 8, 2019 at 21:52
  • @AdamBittlingmayer Better? (I hope, the actual dialect or group of dialects doesn't matter.) - I have no clue, what geschwobtes deutsch means, never heard this before and couldn't find it. Could you please enlighten me? - And thank you for suggesting variant translation :)
    – Arsak
    Jan 8, 2019 at 22:13
  • Yes, better, although I would also include an example in a quote in the question. Jan 8, 2019 at 22:23
  • geschwobtes Deutsch is something like that produced by the Schwobifying Proxy, which is more of a superficial conversion, like a gloss. Jan 8, 2019 at 22:28
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    The examples you provided aren't of a dialect vs a language, but of a regional language vs a standard language. Bavarian doesn't have "an army and a navy" but that doesn't mean much linguistically. Your own Wikipedia link calls it "Bavarian language", not "Bavarian dialect". You probably wouldn't have any issues using the term "translation" if it came to turning Swedish into Norwegian, and yet Swedish and Norwegian (or some varieties of them, anyway) are much closer to each other than Bavarian is to Standard German.
    – LjL
    Jan 9, 2019 at 1:23

1 Answer 1


The distinction between "language" and "dialect" isn't always clear. See, for example, the Mandarin and Cantonese "dialects" of Chinese, which are far more distinct than the Serbian and Croatian "languages".

As such, I'd use "translation", whether it's dialects or languages involved.

  • This also has some currency: google.com/… Jan 9, 2019 at 5:37
  • The question specified standard vs. non-standard dialect in the same language. Mandarin and Cantonese clearly don't apply in those circumstances. They are clearly two languages. The question is asking about the use of language among non-dominant groups vs. the dominant group, such as in the use of English among minority groups vs what is considered standard dialectical English.
    – Karlomanio
    Jan 11, 2019 at 20:23

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