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In Duisburg and Düsseldorf I have heard people talking a mixture of German and Dutch which really confused me! Can anyone please explain how similar to Dutch this so called Low German language is?

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  • There are dozens of local dialects all over the low country. Standard languages are for newspapers; what people actually speak is normal, but hardly standard. See the Rhenish fan for details.
    – jlawler
    Aug 31, 2021 at 15:52
  • Please note that there are quite a lot of so-called “Low German languages”, and “heaviness” of dialect can vary strongly at a given place Aug 31, 2021 at 17:38

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Stadard Dutch is different from Low German (Niederdeutsch) in being Low Franconian (Niederfränkisch). There is a Low German dialect in the Netherlands, Gronings, that is a recognised regional language. But when you look at this map on Wikimedia Commons you can see that the Low Franconian dialects also have some footing in Germany, namely Niederrheinisch (Low Rhenanian) coded with the number 12 in the image. Their range includes Duisburg and Düsseldorf. So the native dialect of those cities is indeed closer to standard Dutch than any other dialect spoken in Germany.

But be aware that High German acts as dachsprache upon the Low Rhenanian dialect drawing it away from standard Dutch over time.

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  • Beware that the linked map is a historical map and that it does not tell what dialects are actually spoken nowadays. For instance, Westphalian (number 2 in the map) is essentially a dead language. (The last conversation in Westphalian that I heard myself was in 1970 and the speakers were born around 1900.)
    – Uwe
    Sep 5, 2021 at 8:32

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