Dialects in Tyrol

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The dialects in Tyrol belong to the Upper German dialect groups Bavarian and - only marginally - Alemannic . A large part of it is made up of South Bavarian, which in Tyrol includes the western and central part of North Tyrol as well as South and East Tyrol .

The Ötztal dialect , which represents the transition area between the Bavarian and the Alemannic continuum and also has borrowings from the Romansh spoken in the region and still today in parts of neighboring Graubünden , was included due to its peculiarity and because it represents a lively linguistic landscape October 2010 appointed intangible cultural heritage in Austria by the Austrian Commission for UNESCO .

general characteristics

Common features of South Bavarian, as opposed to Central Bavarian, are:

  • Distinction between voiced and unvoiced plosives , as in roof next Tåg ;
  • old k is loudly shifted to kch, as in kchlea (clover);
  • missing r and l vocalization , as in Håls and i will ( i.e. not Håis and i wui );
  • Preservation of the prefix ge, as in drunkchn ;
  • Preservation of the vowel in articles;
  • st is too scht (e.g. yesterday → schtern, funny → luschtig ).

However, these features do not appear in all speakers or are in some cases disappearing.


The Tyrolean shows some lexical similarities with the Alemannic ; this is how the Alm / Alp - Isoglosse runs through Tyrol (in the Inntal: between Ötztal and Imst).

Differences to the rest of Austria can also be seen in the vocabulary, as in:

  • ållm, ålli, olli - always
  • aniadr, aniedr / aniade - everyone
  • alsoi, aufi, alson, alsoa - up
  • aweck - weg, fort (see English away )
  • Fleischkas - meat loaf
  • Gegga - ugh, bad (children's language)
  • gleim (also in Carinthia) - close (together)
  • Gluuf, Gluufe, Glufa - safety pin, pin ( cf.Gufe in Swiss German and Glufa in Swabian)
  • lei (also in Carinthia) - only
  • losna, horchn - to hear (cf. Swiss German verb lose )
  • lipfa, lupfn - lift up
  • Marenda - snack (snack between meals)
  • Half-noon - morning snack (specific to South Tyrol)
  • marenda or unter - jausnen
  • Mosbeer - blueberries
  • oi, oui, euchi, öachn, ouchn, ocha - down
  • d - this
  • dear, dr - the
  • dia - the
  • semm, zem, detta, dert - there

The following terms are widely used; their meaning can vary slightly from place to place. Not all pronunciation variants are included in the list.

  • bekirnan, pekiengin - swallowed
  • real - nevertheless, yes
  • drlada, drloadn - bored, annoyed
  • dunta - below
  • endern - beyond the
  • furry, furry, furry - almost, almost
  • floka lossa, flicker - lie
  • Formas, Foarmos - breakfast
  • gahl, lobelat - slightly salted
  • ghilb, gehilbe - cloudy, foggy
  • glangla losa, glenggang - dangle, hang (loosely)
  • gliandi, gleanig, gluenig - glowing
  • Grantl, Gront, Grant, Troug - Trog
  • graschglan, grassplen - crackle, crunch, rustle
  • Griffl - fingers
  • huppm, happm - (hug a child)
  • Huudr, Hüdr, Hudo - rags, scraps of cloth
  • iatz - now
  • inrua lossa, unkeit lossn - leave unmolested, leave alone
  • Kallar, Schöpfa - ladle
  • kraaln, gralln - scratch
  • Kondla, Kondl - jug
  • Lulle, Lüllar, Luller - pacifiers
  • night - yesterday
  • nikarli mocha, nåpsln, nuagerle - an afternoon nap
  • Neunerlen - morning snack
  • Ora, Losar - ears
  • Patatti - Potato (Tyrolean Oberland)
  • plindara, plintern - move, change apartment
  • Pundl, Pundal - jug, container
  • Purzigogla, Puchzigoglar, Purzigagel - somersault
  • Riibl, Riiblar - a kind of rubble
  • roogl, rougl, rougla - loose, not solidified
  • Schiifara, Schiifer - wood splinters (in the skin)
  • schittla, naggln - wiggle, shake
  • Schmargala / stinka, Schmargelen - smell bad
  • schwenza - rinse
  • springea - run
  • Shrub, shrubs - cold, runny nose
  • Suur, Gilla - slurry, manure
  • taasig - dazed, beaten, limp
  • Taatl, Tootn - drawer, container
  • Teggn - ailments, damage
  • Tiisl - flu, illness
  • Troppl - trap
  • Tschippl, Schiipl - a (small) amount
  • Tschottn, Tschouttn, Schotta - quark, curdled milk
  • wiach, wiach - (very) fat
  • diligence, diligence - intentionally, in spite of it
  • Zeggr - hand basket, shopping bag
  • Zogglar - poorly dressed, tramp, useless
  • Notsch - pig
  • Ő - newspaper

The vocabulary of the Tyrolean dialects is recorded and described in the dictionary of Bavarian dialects in Austria .

Influence of other languages

The Tyrolean dialect was influenced by other languages ​​from previously resident peoples and settled peoples in the course of the migration. This is especially true of Romansh , which has been displaced in most areas over the centuries. This is particularly evident in Romanized terms such as B. Balla for Ballen (Tiroler Oberland) noticeable. In Pustertal and East Tyrol, as well as in Carinthia, there is also a Slavic influence, which is mainly reflected in a much softer pronunciation. In South Tyrol, some Italian loanwords have developed due to the affiliation to Italy .

Regional characteristics

In Tyrol, dialect borders run in the west to the Alemannic Vorarlberg, which forms a sharp border, and roughly east of Schwaz (without the Zillertal) to the central Bavarian transition area.

North Tyrol


While it is called ålm / åjm (Alpe, mountain pasture) or wīsn (meadow) in the south and east as well as in the central area of ​​North Tyrol , in the west with ålwe and wīse there is a transition area to Alemannic ( e.g. Vorarlbergs ), where further west also the -e dwindles ( alp , wīs ). Further characteristics of the Tyrolean Oberland are gsejt instead of gsågt (said) and it instead of nit (not). A typical Alemannic idiom is also used. So it is said in the rest of Tyrol z. B. I gea iatz swim (I'm going swimming now), but in parts of the Oberland I gea iatz ga schwimma . This is very similar to the Alemannic Etzt gang i ga schwimma .

In the Upper Inn Valley, diminutive forms are -le, -ele and -eli, while in the rest of the Inn Valley a -l is appended. The sound groups of the short el become al (Welt - Walt or Geld - Gald) in the Oberland .

Central room

The term “Tiroler Zentralraum” mainly refers to Innsbruck (districts Innsbruck-Stadt and Innsbruck-Land). The greater Innsbruck area is characterized by its dialect, which is relatively easy to understand for non-residents. It has all the characteristics typical of Tyrol, but is under a much stronger influence of High German, which is a balancing dialect , as it is also found in Vorarlberg in the Bregenz area (so-called Bödeledütsch ). A typical characteristic of the dialect of this region is the very hard pronounced k. Due to the high number of speakers ( 183,000 inhabitants live in the Innsbruck agglomeration alone ), this dialect is referred to as “Standard Tyrolean” and is therefore also used in films and television when text scenes in the Tyrolean dialect occur or when Tyrolean people are imitated. The Innsbruck language is expanding due to the noticeable escape from the city and pressures the dialects resident in the villages. This is particularly noticeable in the western low mountain range and the area between Telfs and Innsbruck.

Stubai dialect

The Stubai dialect belongs to the West Tyrolean language family and has changed over time, so that there are several dialects in the Stubai Valley . These variants are similar to the Ötztal dialect. Romansh was spoken in the Stubai until the High Middle Ages, and this still shapes the language today ( Hermann Ignaz Bidermann reported in 1877 that, according to tradition, the German-speaking population in the front valley area was not able to communicate with the Rhaeto-Romanic Stubai people in the rear valley area in the High Middle Ages ).

Differences within the valley are u. a .:

  • A mixture of the Innsbruck dialect and the Wipptal dialect is spoken in Schönberg im Stubaital .
  • A mixed dialect between the Stubai and the Wipptal dialect is spoken in Mieders .
  • In Fulpmes and Telfes the dialect is genuinely Stubai : The “r” is pronounced like in American English, which has become the “trademark” of Stubai.
  • In Medraz (Gemd. Fulpmes ) and Neder (Gemd. Neustift ) a transition from “Fulpmer” to “Neustifter” dialect is used.
  • In Neustift , the “r” is pronounced softer and the umlaut shifts. For example, guat becomes güat or hole becomes hole .

As an example, a quote from Heinrich Muigg:

A total lead be in heath
so gscheid, so ibergscheit,
that ouan's be loppat
a mear good.

Wipptaler and Gschnitzer dialect

The Wipptaler dialect is a mixed dialect with influences from all over Tyrol. The Wipptal dialect was shaped by all Tyrolean dialects, as the Wipptal was an important trade route.

A similar form is spoken in the Gschnitztal, but with the influence of the Stubai and Passeier .


Parts of the North Tyrolean lowlands , especially the districts of Kufstein and Kitzbühel as well as the Achensee area , have fixed pronunciation and you are transition features to Central Bavarian. In the Unterland it is also common to vocalize the sound "L". Example: "Alm" becomes "Oim". The "shovel handle" becomes a "showcase" and the "ball" becomes a "boi". The "K" is spoken very harshly in the Unterland. Compared to the Zillertal dialect, “ch” is often transformed into “sch”. For example, "fechtig" is known in Zillertal as "feschtig" in the lowlands. In High German, this means "finished". Another example of this is the Zillertal dialect word "hochte", which is pronounced "hoscht" in the Unterland. In High German this means something like “cumbersome”, “troublesome”.

The Zillertal knows some language peculiarities. For example, as in the Ötztal , the word åft (pronounced how often ) or oftang is used instead of then . In addition, in the Zillertal in contrast to surrounding Inn Valley instead senn (which are means) hen used. Example: “Oftang henn mia huam gongen” means “Then we went home”.

Except far

The centuries-long affiliation to the Swabian diocese of Augsburg shaped parts of the Ausserfern (in the Reutte district ) that belong to the Swabian- Alemannic dialect group, which have similarities with the dialects of the neighboring Allgäu (especially around Vils , Reutte and in the Tannheimer Tal ). This is also where the Swabian-Bavarian main border runs, which is delimited by Daag , Wasser against Doog , Wåssa and däät against daat (= do).

The upper Lech Valley and the Lermoos Basin are more strongly influenced by the Upper Inn Valley dialect. In the upper Lech Valley there was and still is a close relationship with Vorarlberg, especially Walser and Forests ( Walser , Vorarlberger , Wälderisch , Holzgau ).


In South Tyrol , around seven tenths of the population are German as their mother tongue. Much of it uses the local dialect frequently. Oral use of the high-level language is mainly limited to schools and the media. In writing, the dialect is rare; it is used by dialect poets and often by young people when writing SMS and especially in social networks . The South Tyrolean dialect is not a separate branch of the Tyrolean dialect, especially since the dialect of some areas of South Tyrol is more similar to those of neighboring places on the other side of the state border than that of other South Tyrolean areas. The fricatives f and s are pronounced weaker in South Tyrol than in North Tyrol, e.g. B. kafn or kaffn (buy) and hoaßn or hoassn (called). According to J. Schatz, the gg sound occurs in all of Tyrol, but only in South Tyrol as an initial sound; it sounds like c in French “cognac”.

After the First World War , the German-speaking minority in Italy was exposed to a policy of Italianization pursued by Rome , which also included a ban on German schools. Nevertheless, the mother tongue was passed on orally. After the Second World War there were again schools with German as the language of instruction. From the 1960s onwards, cultural contacts with the rest of the German-speaking area increased again - largely due to tourism and the media - and led to an enrichment of the dialectal vocabulary, but also to a better command of the standard language.

Recent influences from the Italian language are particularly noticeable in the vocabulary, but mostly only in oral use. A typical example can be the term Targa , which is used for the license plate of a vehicle. In this particular case, the Italian root comes from the old Franconian "targa" (shield), ie from the Germanic language area. The word magari (“possibly, maybe”) is heard very often . The term hydraulic engineer for the installer, which goes back to the Greek, is sometimes used in writing. Other typical examples are tipo (type) or the translation of the Italian term casino (brothel), which is used in South Tyrolean as well as in Italian for "disorder" and also for "puff". There were peculiar Romanesque influences even before the 20th century, and not just south of the Brenner Pass . So in is Grantn ( cranberry ) the similarity with the Ladin "granëta" (cranberry) and its root, the Latin "granum" (grain) to recognize. Even in pronunciation one occasionally hears tendencies towards Italian; for example, some people pronounce ignore as ignore .

Similar to the rest of the German-speaking area (Germany, Austria, etc.), English also shows its effect on everyday language.

There are many local variants of the South Tyrolean dialect. These are part of larger dialect groups, which are named after the valleys or valley portions (z. B. Pustrerisch , Vinschgerisch , Sarnerisch , Unterlandlerisch , Pseirerisch ...). A rough division into three dialect groups (eastern, central and western) is possible, but precise boundaries cannot be drawn.

The eastern group is most clearly separated from the rest of South Tyrol and includes the Pustertal with its side valleys. There the Middle High German uo (e.g. muoter, i.e. mother) has become ui ( Muito ), in other parts of South Tyrol it has become ue or ua ( Muetr, Muatr ). This last example also shows the typical vocalization of the ending -er. The Middle High German ei (stone) appears in the east as a long a ( Staan ), elsewhere as ue or oa ( Stuen, Stoan ). In the Pustertal , partly also in the Eisack Valley , the ending -en is omitted from the verb in some cases, e.g. B. take (take). Feminine nouns that end in e in the east of the country do not have this in the south and west, e.g. B. Fraide or Fraid (joy), soup or Supp or Suppm , even in the most noisy some nouns on -e: Pame (trees) in contrast to Pam . The Middle High German iu is pronounced ui in the south and west and oi in the east: Fuier / Foia .

Another, less pronounced, border separates the Vinschgau , and in some respects the Ulten and Passeier valleys as the western part. Typical of the West is the use of sui for “they” (plural) and “them”, dia as demonstrative pronouns for “they” or “these”, and also a Readl (for a while). Also restricted to the west is onni (over), which faces an eastern and southern ummi , umi or umme . In addition to these and other special features in the vocabulary, there is a clearer shift from “k” to “kch” in the West. A grammatical peculiarity of the Vinschger dialect is the unusual use of the dative pronoun: Du hosch miar drleast "You redeemed me".

In the South Tyrolean Unterland the stretching of the vowels is particularly noticeable; for kejmen (to come), for example, the vowel length is the same as for nejmen (to take).

In the second half of the 20th century, many places in South Tyrol still had a distinguishable typical dialect that could be geographically assigned; in some places this still exists at the beginning of the following century. The increasing foreign language influences and the increasing mobility worked and are working towards leveling the local language variants.

East Tyrol

With many other Tyroleans, the inhabitants share expressions such as B. Unterdåch (attic), Langes / Langis (spring), Tschurtsch (cones of the conifers), Pei (bee), Patschn (slippers). As in South Tyrol, blueberries are called blackberries because of their color. Gitsch (e) (girl) (rather called Diandle in Salzburg ), sem / selm / zem (there) and (Hai) schupf (e) (Almstadel) are also used in both countries.

The Pustertal is South Tyrol and East Tyrol in common; therefore, what has already been said in the section "South Tyrol" applies to this valley. However, further to the east and in the catchment area of ​​the Isel, some things are different. There it is not called Pui (Bub) as in the Pustertal, but Püe (the long / oː uː / are palatalised to / øː yː / and partially diphthongized) or Pue ; instead of fogun and modestly (vouchsafe and shame) said one fogunen and schomen ; Staan (stone) becomes a nasal stoan . The adverbs up, in and down are aufn, aini , öhin , and not augn, innne, ogn as in the western neighbors. Many East Tyroleans differ from most other Tyroleans by the vocalization of the "r": Joa, wean, toia (year, to be, expensive), as is typical for the neighboring Carinthian region .

Small-scale differences

Some small regions show the formation of the vowels ö and ü, such as geköfet , höech , güet in Ötztal or Cöca Cöla in Zillertal .

The Nauderer dialect is a special dialect. It is very similar to the dialect of the upper Vinschgau and was created by the Germanization of the language of the local Romansh in the 14th / 15th centuries. Century. This dialect is based on the one hand on the dialect of the Innsbruck area, but retained a Rhaeto-Romanic accent. It is thus very different from the dialects in the neighboring municipalities of the Oberland. So it is called z. B. in Innsbruck dialect I am no nit hoam gongen, because I raised the Schoof no nit gschehrt , in the Oberland I am nou it huam gonga, because i 'd Schoof nou it gschoara honn , in Nauders I am no nuicht hoam gongen, because i raised the Schouf nou nit gschourn (in High German: “I haven't gone home because I haven't shorn the sheep yet”). In addition, there is no accusative in Nauders and in the upper Vinschgau: one says z. B. instead of I honn di like (I like you) in Nauders I liked you (I like you).

Border regions

The Tyrolean dialects also influence regions close to the border, such as:

Other influences

Original forms of Tyrolean can be found in the language islands of Welschtirols ( Fersental , seven municipalities ) and among the Hutterites in North America. Also in Pozuzo (Peru).


  • Karl Kurt Klein, LE Schmitt (Ed.): Tirolischer Sprachatlas , arr. by Egon Kühebacher , Tyrolia Verlag, Innsbruck.
  • Johann Baptist Schöpf, Anton J. Hofer: Tirolisches Idiotikon . Innsbruck: Wagner 1866, ( complete view in the Google book search)
  • Heidemaria Abfalterer: The South Tyrolean special vocabulary from a pluricentric point of view . Innsbruck University Press, Innsbruck 2007, ISBN 3-901064-35-4 (= Innsbruck contributions to cultural studies, German series , volume 72).
  • Josef Schatz : Dictionary of Tyrolean dialects , Schlern writings No. 119–120, 1955/56.
  • Josef G. Mitterer: Lienzer Grammar. A dialectological introduction to the dialects of the Lienz valley floor. CreateSpace 2018. ISBN 1986792404

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Statistics Austria: Directory : Tirol. 2001. Entries Haiming p. 36 resp. Roppen , p. 44 - the locations Alm and Alpe are listed separately here, see explanations: 7. Almen, Alps, Berggüter and Vorsäß , p. 14 ( pdf , statistik.at).
  2. ^ Hermann Ignaz Bidermann: The novels and their distribution in Austria . Graz 1877, p. 108 http://www.archive.org/stream/dieromanenundih00bidegoog#page/n7/mode/2up