“Nothing is more surprising than hearing a dialect spoken by a migrant.” This is how Prime Minister Winfried Kretschmann responded when he was asked if he recommended that refugees learn Swabian during his visit to the editorial team of tünews INTERNATIONAL on August 16, 2022, in the Tübingen district office. Kretschmann narrated his own experiences as a child of a family that had fled from the Soviet Armed Forces to West Germany in 1945. According to him, migration is not just a word “that you hear and that only affects others. I’ve already had some vivid experiences with it.” His advantage was that he was born here and was the first family member to “babble Swabian”. Using Swabian as an example, one can see how: “Speaking well is, of course, the key to integration.” He asserted saying again and again: “Learning the language where you are is very, very important!” Editor Wolfgang Sannwald continued the discussion in the editorial office of tünews INTERNATIONAL: “Jobcenter pays only for courses in standard German. Shouldn’t they have paid for Swabian courses instead?” The head of government put it into perspective: “That this dialect is no longer significant today. The Swabians themselves can no longer speak Swabian and the dialect is unfortunately decreasing.” But of course, you would be “totally involved” if you could speak Swabian.
Ministerpräsident Winfried Kretschmann zu Besuch bei der Redaktion von tünews INTERNATIONAL im Landratsamt Tübingen. Foto: tünews INTERNATIONAL / Mostafa Elyasian.