Dialect is defined as "a language's variety." As is well known, Hibernate is database-independent. It is compatible with a variety of databases. However, databases have their own native SQL variations, proprietary extensions, and subsets of the mainstream SQL implementations. Hibernate must therefore occasionally employ SQL that is particular to the database. To determine which database you are using, Hibernate uses a "dialect" configuration, which enables it to switch whenever/wherever necessary to the SQL generation code particular to that database.