Burgenland-Croatian language

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Croatian gradišćansko-hrvatski jezik

Spoken in

SlovakiaSlovakia Slovakia , Czech Republic , Hungary , Austria
Czech RepublicCzech Republic 
speaker approx. 50,000–60,000 [1]
Official status
Official language in AustriaAustria Austria
Language codes
ISO 639 -1


ISO 639 -2


Locale / IETF

hr - AT

Ivan Čuković: Jezuš i Marija (Jesus and Maria), Burgenland- Croatian prayer book from 1916

The Burgenland-Croatian language ( gradišcansko-hrvatski jezik, gradišćanski jezik, Hungarian castle landi Horvát nyelv, őrvidéki Horvát nyelv, fehérhorvát nyelv, gradistyei nyelv ; formerly pejorative "Water Croatian") is a to the South Slavic languages belonging to language in the Austrian Burgenland ( Croatian Gradišće ) is recognized as a minority language of the Burgenland Croats. According to official information, it is spoken by 19,412 people in Burgenland (as of 2001). There are also larger speaker groups z. B. in Vienna and Graz .

The smaller Croatian minorities in western Hungary , southwest Slovakia and the southern Czech Republic are also often referred to as Burgenland Croats . They use either the Burgenland or the standard Croatian written language and are historically and culturally closely linked to the Croatians in Austria. The total number of speakers in all four countries as well as in migration is estimated by representatives of the Burgenland Croats at around 55,000 people.


Burgenland- Croatian came to its current area of ​​distribution through Croatian refugees who fled Croatia (especially from the military border ) during the Turkish wars and were settled in the west of what was then Hungary . Among the Burgenland Croats there are speakers of all three Croatian dialect groups ( Čakavisch , Štokavisch , Kajkavisch ). The speakers of Čakavian, who originally come from the northern Dalmatian coastal area of ​​Croatia or from the Zagora , form the majority.

In the 18th century the Franciscan monks Lőrinc Bogovich , Jeremiás Sosterich , Godfried Palkovich and Simon Knéfacz created the Burgenland-Croatian written language.

The Burgenland Croats were not involved in the development of a uniform Croatian standard language based on Štokavian in the 19th century. The writer József Ficzkó rejected the Serbo-Croatian language . Rather, a separate written language standard developed here, which is mainly based on the local čakavian dialects. Only the modern Croatian alphabet was adopted by the Burgenland Croats.

Written language

The Burgenland-Croatian written language is mainly based on the local čakavian dialects, but also contains influences from the other Croatian dialects spoken in Burgenland. It uses the Latin alphabet with the same special characters as Croatian (with the exception of the đ present in Croatian ). In the course of the expansion of the written language, a separate specialist terminology has developed which differs from that used in Croatia.

In Northern Burgenland and Central Burgenland, as well as in the neighboring Croatian-populated areas of Hungary , mainly Čakavian is spoken. Only in the located in the Hungarian shore of Lake Neusiedl places Hidegség and Fertőhomok is KAJKAVIAN (kajkavski) spread. In the south of Burgenland, the Burgenland Croats mainly speak Štokavian .

Due to the centuries of isolation from the motherland, for countless “modern” achievements, Hungarian and German words were often not borrowed from the dialect and integrated with Croatian accentuation. Examples of this are combine harvesters or Kiritof for Kirtag , in the Burgenland-German dialect Kiritåg .

Alphabet and pronunciation

Burgenland-Croatian has the following 30 letters in the currently valid spelling:

Capital letter lowercase letters
A. B. C. Č Ć D. Dj a b c č ć d dj
E. F. G H I. J K L. e f G H i j k l
Lj M. N Nj O P R. S. lj m n nj O p r s
Š T U V Z Ž š t u v z ž

Most letters are pronounced the same as in German and Croatian; the following deviations exist:

  • c : as in German "z" as in "zaubern" or "Zelt"; Examples: cesta (street), cimet (cinnamon), Cindrof ( Siegendorf )
  • č : as in German "tsch" as in "Czech Republic"; Examples: čer (yesterday), čudakrat (often), čuvar (guardian)
  • ć : has no equivalent in German, is spoken softer than č , for example "tj", but very similar to č in southern Burgenland ; Examples: ćemo (we will), ćutilo (feeling)
  • dj : has no equivalent in German, is spoken softer than , like "gy" in "Magyaren", but very similar to in southern Burgenland ; Examples: djundje (pearl necklace), rodjak (relative), sadje (fruit)
  • : like English "j" in "joke"; Examples: narudžba (order), svidodžba (certificate), udžbenik (textbook)
  • h : like German "ch", is not spoken in many dialects for some words; Examples: hlad (shadow), hrana (food, nutrition), Hrvat, Hrvatica (Croatian, Croatian)
  • lj : like German "ll" in "Wolle", is spoken in some dialects as "lj"; Examples: bolje (better), ljubav (love), Željezno ( Eisenstadt )
  • nj : like French "gn" in "cognac" or Italian "gn" in "signora"; Examples: njegov ( pronoun to be), nježan (tender), njoj (her)
  • r : rolled tip of the tongue-r ; Examples: raca (duck), radio (radio), roža, rožica (rose, little rose or, in popular literature, a nickname for the beloved)
  • s : like "ss" / "ß" in Austrian German (voiceless); Examples: salata (lettuce), sin (son), svojčas (at that time)
  • š : like German "sch"; Examples: šansa (chance), širok (broad), šlager (hit)
  • v : like German "w" in "Wien"; Examples: hvala (thank you), večer (evening), volja (will)
  • z : as in German "s" (voiced); Examples: zač (why), znak (sign), zora (dawn)
  • ž : like French "j" in "journal"; Examples: žalost (mourning), želja (wish), žito (grain)

"e" and "o" can be pronounced as "ie" and "uo" in some dialects (especially with monosyllabic words).

The sound "r" can form syllables, for example " krt " (mole), " smrt " (death) and " vrt " (garden); In colloquial language, a connecting vowel (e or o) can be inserted.

The German letters "q", "w", "x", "y" and "ß" do not exist in Burgenland-Croatian; they are reproduced with "kv", "v", "ks", "i" and "s", and words taken from other languages ​​are usually set according to the Burgenland-Croatian spelling rules, for example: dijet (diet), kompjutor ( Computer), kvalitet (quality), žurnalist (journalist).

As in standard Croatian, English and French, only proper names are given capital letters within a sentence.

Many Burgenland-Croatian surnames are spelled according to Hungarian or German orthography: Bencsics (instead of: Benčić), Mihalits or Michalitsch (instead of: Mihalić), Resetarits (instead of: Rešetarić), Zsivkovics (instead of: Živković).

See also


  • Benčić, Nikola, Csenar-Schuster, Agnes, Kinda-Berlaković, Andrea Zorka et al .: Gramatika gradišćanskohrvatskoga jezika . Znanstveni institut Gradišćanskih Hrvatov / Scientific Institute of Burgenland Croats, Željezno / Eisenstadt 2003. ISBN 3-901706-11-9 [grammar in Burgenland-Croatian language]
  • Karall, Kristina, Hrvatski akademski klub / Croatian Academic Club (ed.): Gradišćanskohrvatski glasi / Burgenland- Croatian language course . Provincial Publishing House. Weitra undated ISBN 3-85252-185-8 .
  • Kinda-Berlakovich, Andrea-Zorka: The Croatian language of instruction in Burgenland - bilingual compulsory education from 1921–2001 . Lit-Verlag, Vienna 2005, ISBN 3-8258-8432-5 .
  • Siegfried Tornow: The origin of the Croatian Vlahen of southern Burgenland (publications of the department for Slavic languages ​​and literatures of the OEI at the FUB, volume 39). Berlin 1971.
  • Siegfried Tornow: Burgenland-Croatian dialect dictionary. The vlahish localities (Balkanological publications 15.1). Harrassowitz Verlag, Wiesbaden 1989.
  • Siegfried Tornow: Burgenland-Croatian dialect texts (Balkanological publications 15.2). Harrassowitz Verlag, Wiesbaden 2011, ISBN 978-3-447-06412-5 .

Web links


  1. Federal Law Gazette No. 231/1990
  2. ^ Peter W. Thiele: Investigations on acculturation among the Croats of the Austrian Burgenland . Free University of Berlin, 1968, p. 279; Erwin Koschmieder: Die Welt der Slaven , Volume 25. Böhlau, 1980, p. 190; Franz Palkovits: Symposion croaticon . Braumüller, 1974, p. 214; Kapiller Sarolta: A másokról alkotott kép a Pannon térségben . 2006, p. 53; A. Trstenjak: Slovenci na Ogrskem. Maribor 2006, ISBN 961-6507-09-5 , p. 50.
  3. Karall, Kristina, Hrvatski akademski klub / Croatian Academic Club [ed.]: Gradišćanskohrvatski glasi / Burgenland- Croatian language course. Verlag der Provinz, Weitra 1997, ISBN 3-85252-185-8 , p. 89-90 .