Have you ever wondered what language is spoken in Austria? Do they only use the German dialect? Let’s try to understand this issue in detail.
Children who study in schools learn to read and write in classical Austrian German. It acts as the language of business and government in Austria. Austrian German, which is the official language, is the most widely spoken throughout the country.
Given the fact that the Austrian “German” language has a lot of dialects, it is well perceived by the direct speakers of the “classics”, namely the inhabitants of Germany. Therefore, between those who live in Austria and Bavaria, there is no language barrier and problems in communicating with each other.
In the center, the Austro-Bavarian dialect will be understandable to speakers of the classic German language, but in the south, it is absolutely not clear to the inhabitants of Tyrol. Viennese, namely the Austro-Bavarian dialect of Vienna, is often used in Germany to personify the typical Austrian citizen.
The people who live in Graz (the capital of Styria) speak a different dialect, which is also understandable to residents of other Austrian regions.
What dialects are used in Austria
Austria, given its historical and cultural heritage, has long been and remains a multinational country (for example, it was the Austrian Empire, which included a large number of different lands where the inhabitants spoke different languages). Now Austria is not a completely German-speaking country, having its own dialects: Hungarian (Burgenland region), Slovene (Carinthia, Styria), Burgenland Croatian (Burgenland), Czech, Slovak and Romani.
In the variety of Austrian German, (in particular, to the maximum extent on the territory of Vienna), a number of words are used that are borrowed from the Hungarian language, Czech, Yiddish, as well as a number of South Slavic languages.
Therefore, if you live in Austria, or are going on a trip to this magical country, you should be prepared for the fact that you can experience some difficulties with explanations. In particular, if you visit the small villages of this state. At the same time, if you speak the official language of Austria, German, you should be understood in the center.
Minority languages in Austria
There are a number of languages spoken by different minorities in Austria, namely:
Turkish: About 2.3% of Austria’s population speaks Turkish, the most common language among minorities in the country.
Burgenland Croatian: It is spoken by about 2.5% of Austria’s population, especially in the Burgenland regions of Austria’s far east.
Hungarian: It is spoken by about 1,000 people in Austria, a language that is important despite the small number of speakers in Austria.
Serbian: It is spoken by about 2.2% of the Austrian population.
Slovenian: It is spoken by about 0.3% of the Austrian population, and is the official language of Carinthia.
English, French and Italian: It is one of the important foreign languages spoken in Austria.
What is the difference between Austrian and German language
Domestic linguists refer the national language in Austria to an independent version of the German literary one. European experts have a different point of view, believing that Austrian is just a kind of multinational language. What influenced such disagreements? Three factors: the history of the state, the presence of territorial dialects and lexical borrowings.
The main language groups are:
- Verkhnenetskaya has a special status and is part of the official language.
- Bavarian-Austrian is common in Bavaria and Austria, which is due to general historical processes.
- Common Austrian is the answer to the question of which language is used in Austria and is most actively used in Vienna. It includes the terminology of management and politics, some specific concepts from life and everyday life, characteristic of this country.
- Eastern – it is dominated by Bavarian dialects.
- Western – the population of Vorarlberg and partly Server Tyrol communicate in the Alemannic dialect, more similar to Swiss or Swabian.