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Central German or Middle German (German: mitteldeutsche Dialekte, mitteldeutsche Mundarten, Mitteldeutsch) is a group of High German dialects spoken from the Rhineland in the west to the former eastern territories of Germany.
|Central German, Middle German|
|Western and Central Germany, southeastern Netherlands, eastern Belgium, Luxembourg and northeastern France|
Central German is distinguished by having experienced the High German consonant shift to a lesser degree than Upper German. It is spoken in the linguistic transition region separated from Northern Germany (Low German/Low Franconian) by the Benrath line isogloss and separated from Southern Germany (Upper German) by the Speyer line.
Central German is spoken in large and influential German cities like the capital Berlin, the former West German capital Bonn, Cologne, Düsseldorf, the main German financial center Frankfurt, Leipzig, and Dresden.
The area corresponds to the geological region of the hilly Central Uplands that stretches from the North German plain to the South German Scarplands, covering the states of Saarland, Rhineland-Palatinate, Hesse, Thuringia and Saxony.
The East Central dialects are the closest to Standard German (chiefly as a written language) among other German dialects. Modern Standard German thus evolved from the vocabulary and spelling of this region, with some pronunciation features from East Franconian German.
- West Central German (Westmitteldeutsch), part of the Franconian language group
- Central Franconian (Mittelfränkisch)
- Rhine Franconian (Rheinfränkisch)
- East Central German (Ostmitteldeutsch)