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Swabian dialect

Swabian is a dialect that is spoken in the middle and south-east of Baden-Württemberg, in south-west Bavaria and in the far north-west of Tyrol.

Swabian and High German speaking characteristics differ considerably from one another in terms of grammar, pronunciation and vocabulary. However, since Standard German was and is used as the umbrella language and since Swabian has not developed an independent standard and lingua franca, Swabian is a dialect, not a language.

From a linguistic point of view, Swabian belongs to the Alemannic dialects and thus to Upper German. It separated itself from the other Alemannic dialects through the implementation of the New High German Diphtonging. "My new house" therefore sounds in Swabian as "Mae nuis Hous" and not as in other Alemannic dialects than "Mi nüs Huus".

Linguistic history

Swabian is usually presented as a linguistic development from a presumed formerly common Alemannic language.[1] According to this view, it has developed from it over the course of many centuries. From a linguistic point of view, Swabian is now generally classified as one of the four or five subdialects of Alemannic. They seem too alamanni, as they were called by the Romans, to have been a later tribe (in the third century). The Roman historian Tacitus (* 58 AD) writes in his Germania, the Bari and Marsingi would have the suevi Similar language, from which it can be deduced that at least for Tacitus, Suevic was recognizable from other Germanic tribal languages.[2] Be that as it may, it applies regardless of the fact that "Swabian was already spoken when there was no general German language"[3]. This only came up more than a thousand years later with Luther German.

The traditional distribution area of ​​West Upper German (= Alemannic) dialect features in the 19th and 20th centuries. The Swabian dialects form one of the large Alemannic subgroups and are shown in light blue.

The incorporation of the Swabians in the southwest of today's German-speaking area into the Franconian Empire in 502 (and all other former West Germanic tribes up to the 8th century) prevented the development of completely independent languages ​​within this empire.[4] After all, in the 10th and 11th centuries Over a period of about 150 years the relatively independent Duchy of Swabia, whose historical borders coincide almost entirely with the Swabian-Alemannic language area to this day.

Phonological features

The sound stock of Swabian, especially vowels, is much richer than that of today's standard German. It includes considerably more monophthongs and diphthongs, plus a considerable number of nasal sounds and Schwa sounds, which go far beyond the comparatively small inventory of the standard German language. This is also the basic problem of every type of spelling in Swabian. "The 26 letters of our Latin alphabet are insufficient in front and behind to reflect the richness of Swabian vocalism"[5]. In order to do justice to the peculiarity of Swabian, it first seems necessary to grasp it empirically as a language of its own. Only then can it be compared appropriately with today's German.

Basic vowels

From an empirical point of view, the Swabian language has a total of seven basic vowels: a, e [e], ä [ɛ], i, o, u, å [ɑ̃ː] (similar to English water, warm or in Swabian Fråg = question etc.). They can all be combined with the vowels a, e, and o to form diphthongs.


The High German language knows three umlauts: a / ä, o / ö, u / ü. These three umlauts hardly appear in the Swabian language. The vocal Ä becomes very precise in Swabian from the vowel e and is usually used as an independent basic vowel. Only in a few exceptional cases does it serve as an umlaut a. The vocals ö and ü only formed in the course of the development of standard German as its umlauts O and u out. Swabian, on the other hand, has stayed with the old German umlaut system, in which the umlaut is usually zu O the e is, and to u the i (see the so-called vowel triangle).

Examples of different umlauts: German Oven / stoves = Swabian Ofa / Efa and Foot feet = Foot / barrel


The number of diphthongs is considerably higher than in standard German. In the course of the development of Swabian, as in the development of Standard German, both Middle High German monophthongs were diphthonged, and already existing diphthongs were further developed, the latter almost always in a different direction than in standard German. The development processes of the diphthongs and their results are so complicated in Swabian that reference must be made to the specialist literature for details.[6] For the sake of clarity, only a few details can be listed here.

a) The Middle High German long "i" [i:] became "ei", pronounced [aɪ] in Standard German. Example: Middle High German zīt and wīb became standard German too time and woman. In Swabian this old long "i" was also diphthongized, but not openly as in standard German, but closed, ie to [əi]. The New High German diphthongization was only half carried out in Swabian. This leaves a number of semantic differentiations that no longer exist in Standard German. For example, the Swabian makes a clear distinction in pronunciation between "Leib" [leib] and "Laib" [loaf], "Seit" (side) [since] and "Sait" (string) [sait] etc. Since the difference between " əi "from mhd. ī and" ae "or" oi "from mhd." ai "can mark a difference in meaning, these are real phonemes and not just allophonic pronunciation differences. Due to the enormous variety of vowels and diphthongs, Swabian is one of the languages ​​with the greatest number of phonemes, which enables very concise yet semantically precise word and sentence formation.

Exactly the same as for mhd. Ī applies to the Middle High German long "u", which remains unchanged in Alemannic ("Hus") and in Swabian only half to "əu" or more precisely [ʌʊ] (with an unrounded, half-open back vowel as the first component of the diphthong) was diphthongized. This difference is also phonematic in Swabian, the Swabian clearly differentiates in pronunciation between "doves" (= birds), [ɗʌʊbɛ̃] and "doves" (= deaf people) [ɗaobɛ̃]. For some words, the "u" is also retained, namely when the Middle High German long u was shortened before the diphthongization began. E.g. "write down" [ʊfʃraibɛ̃].

Where the long Middle High German long "u" is in front of n or m, for example in to = Fence, the diphthongization is complete, so the pronunciation is [tsaon] and not [tsʌʊn]. The same applies before mhd. Ī before "n" or "m", such as in "mīn", "wīn" and "līm" (glue): In Swabian, as in standard German, it initially became the openly articulated "ei" = "ai ", later there were even different developments within the Swabian-speaking area: In large parts of Swabia, the" ī "became [oi], [õi] or [ɑ̃i], thus" moi "[moi / mõi / mɑ̃i] and" Woi "[voi / või / vɑ̃i]. In the dialect continuum to the Alemannic language area, the "ī" was partially retained as a short i, e.g. [min] instead of [moi / mõi / mɑ̃i]. The Middle High German word "klīn" (small) developed instead of gloi [gloi / glõi / glɑ̃i] to glåã [glɑ̃ɛ̃] In recent times these sounds are often articulated again as "ae" by Swabians due to the printing of High German, while but mhd. ī continues to be articulated as "əi", for example "mae Zəendung" [maɛ̃ t͡seiɗung] instead of flawlessly Swabian "moi Zəidong" [moi / mõi / mɑ̃i t͡seiɗung] or "mi Zenung" [mi t͡seiɗung] The traditional Swabian The difference in the diphthong is retained because the actually correct High German pronunciation "maene Zaetung" still sounds extremely affected even in the ears of strongly assimilated Swabians.

b) Already Middle High German diphthongs have been changed differently.

Example: Middle High German or Low German vow and koufen become Swabian too Glaoba [glaobɛ̃] and kaofa [kaofɛ̃], standard German too Faith and to buy.

c) Some Middle High German diphthongs, which were monophthongized in the development of Standard German, were retained in the development of Swabian.

Examples: Swabian schiaf [ʃiɛ̃v̊] and miad [miɛ̃ɗ] standard German crooked and tired. These ancient diphthongs are on the decline.

d) Rather unusual for standard German ears (see, however, the interjection Pooh) sounds the Swabian diphthong ui. It was created by metathesis of iu to ui.

Examples: The specific feminine article singular was in Middle High German diu. This resulted in the standard German form through monophthonging theIn Swabian, on the other hand, the form is metathesis dui. In the same way arose from Middle High German siu and kniu standard German you and knee, Swabian against it sui and Gnui [gnʊi]. In some parts of Swabia, however, this phenomenon has already died out.

e) Of course, almost all diphthongs in Swabian can also be nasalized (which makes pronunciation of Swabian even more complicated for non-Swabians). After all, the differentiated Swabian nasalizations are almost always "only" allophonic, so - in contrast to the highly differentiated vowelism of Swabian - they do not mark any differences in meaning.

Example: Schwabisch ãẽkaofa [æɛ̃ɠaofɛ̃] standard German shop, because here this n has risen through nasalization in the diphthong.

Vowel equivalents

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Standard German Swabian example
(German = Swabian)
short aa Sach (en) = Sach (ã), make = macha
long aå (west) / au (east) Street = Schdrås / Schdraus, sleep = schlåfã / schlaufã
short eä (e before n, m) Human (s) = human (ã)
long eä, äa (e before n, m) Life = Läbbã
short Ää (e before n, m) change = endarã
long Ää, äa (e before n, m) Cheese = cheese
short OO Head = head
long Oau (west) / oa (east) high = hao (ch), ho / hoã
short öe can = kenna, heads = head
long öe nice = nice
short ii (e before n, m) in = en, sing = sengã
long i (ie)ia (ea before n, m) never = nia
short uu (o before n, m) and = ond
long uua (oa before n, m) good = good, hat = huãd
short üi (e before n, m / u before ch, ck) over = iber, kitchen = kitchen / Kuchã, bridge = Brugg, piece = stucco
long üia (ea before n, m) tired = miãd, hats = hiãd
eggoa / oi (best beforeegg) Stone = Ståã (west) / Stoi (middle, east)
egg (best beforeī) my = mai / mae / mi / moi woman = Wəib, time = time
ouchau (best beforeou) Smoke = smoke
ou (best beforeū) House = hous
euegg (best beforeü) German = deitsch [deit͡ʃ]
ui / ei (best beforeiu) new = nui / nuib / nei / neib
Ending -er er / short å German painter [malɛr] = Swabian Måler [mɑ̃lɑ̃]

Nasal sounds

A characteristic of Swabian is its somewhat nasal sound, because many vowels are nasalized in Swabian. Vowels before the sympathetic sounds m, n and ng are generally (slightly) nasalized[7]Even if they are short, at least they are articulated a little less clearly. According to international usage, nasal vowels are written with a tilde: ã, ẽ, õ etc. Such nasal sounds are particularly common in Portuguese. Swabians have fewer problems pronouncing French correctly than other German students, because they are at least approximately familiar with the four nasals of French.

Schwa lute

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German studies usually only recognize one Schwa sound, the so-called middle central vowel, written as ehow he z. E.g. as an infinitive ending -en (read, write, calculate) etc. occurs. Swabian, on the other hand, uses two very precisely differentiated Schwa sounds, which initially sound the same to High German ears and only become distinguishable after a period of getting used to it: on the one hand, it often gives way a tending Schwa sound. This comes as an infinitive ending -ã [ɛ̃] (läsã, writeã, rächnã) etc. before; continue as a plural ending in words like Farbã, Dabeda [ɗaɓeɗɛ̃], Lumba [lumɓɛ̃] (German Paints, wallpaper, rags) etc. The sound often occurs within words, mostly instead of e or a, but also instead of ei in the suffix "-heit". Furthermore, he provides the second part of the Diphtonge ua, ia, ea, äa, oa. This after a tending Schwa sound is clearly differentiated from the other, the one after e tends. This distinction is important for recognizing the singular and plural of the diminutive forms on the basis of their endings. Girl and S [ch] bäzzle is singular, Madlã and S [ch] bäzzlã (typical Swabian type of noodle!) is plural. The standard German diminutive ending -chen however, does not allow such a distinction.


a) k, p and t sounds: These three Fortis sounds are generally pronounced in Swabian as soft Lenis sounds: b, d and G. [ɓ, ɠ, ɗ]. A similar weakening is widespread in many areas of Germany as the so-called internal German consonant weakening.

Examples: Schdual instead of chair and Dabeda [ɗaɓeɗɛ̃] instead of wallpaper.

In the south of the Swabian-speaking area, the weakening is not so advanced and usually only affects the initial sound.

Examples: Dag instead of German Day but blanket instead of like in the north Degge. At the end of the syllable, Fortis and Lenis sounds are always pronounced hard (more precisely: voiceless) as Fortis sounds. This phenomenon of so-called final hardening is the rule in almost the entire German-speaking area.

Examples: Boscht and Fahrrat for German post and bicycle. In contrast to the standard language, the final -d remains roughly in wheel or wind but not breathed in and can therefore also be written with -d.

b) s-sounds: Like other southern German dialects, Swabian only knows voiceless s; a voiced s which penetrated from Low German into the standard German language (e.g. in rose or at the beginning of the word) does not exist. The special marking of a voiceless s for example by the letter "ß" is therefore superfluous in Swabian.

c) sch-Laut: This sound occurs much more frequently in Swabian than in German, and almost always occurs d / t and b / p, even inside a word. So z. E.g. grater and anxiety in Swabian as Raschbl and Angschd pronounced. In Swabian it tends to be more in the back of the tongue, in German it tends to be more in the front of the tongue. At the very eastern edge of the Swabian language, the sch sound is even in front g / k used, e.g. Cuscus For Pectoral muscle. The sound sequence "st" was added to / scht / in all positions in the German southwest including Switzerland and Alsace around the 11th century. The sound sequence / st / is therefore generally very rare in Swabian, but it does occur, especially in verb forms of the 3rd person singular like "he hois / he håst" or "s (i) e lesst" = he means she leaves. This is explained by the fact that at the time of development from st to scht these verb forms were still two-syllable ("he is called") and only later did the schwa in the second syllable disappear. For the same reason, one hears the name of the weekday from the mouths of genuine Swabians Sunday (from mhd. Saturday, written sameztac!) besides more frequent Saturday, in which the change was reproduced in a secondary and analogue way (no Swabian would Saturday say). However, in parts of Swabia, the weekday is not called Samschdag but Samschdig. This already seems to be a further development due to the ongoing German phonetic shift.

As a verbal ending of the 2nd person singular (in modern Swabian -sch, in classic Swabian -sht) this sound is one of the classic features of all Swabian speakers: You pussy (t), you write (t) etc., but also occurs in other dialects.

Grammatical Features

Swabian has its own clearly recognizable grammar. Outwardly, this marks a clear difference to standard German. Inwardly, it proves to be the uniform basis of the entire Swabian language area. Incidentally, Swabian shares many elements of its grammar (not phonetics!) With the other dialects of the entire Upper German language area. Only a few basic rules are shown below. For the sake of clarity, there are no exceptions or regional deviations.


Swabian only knows three cases: nominative, dative and accusative. The genitive only appears in a few fixed formulations and is no longer alive[8]. In its place, Swabian (similar to English) uses two different constructions to express belonging. There are

  1. the dative paraphrase for people and animals: Maem Vaddr sae Hemed (My father's shirt = my father's shirt). Is more common
  2. the vo-genitive (English of-genitive) for things: D Rädor vo maem Audo (The wheels of my car = The wheels of my car)

Nominative and accusative are almost always the same for nouns. Clear differences[9] between nominative and accusative, on the other hand, in personal pronouns, e.g. Example (nom./acc.) i / mi, you / di, me / ons (dt. I / me, you / you, we / us) and with adjectives, as well as with the masculine singular forms of demonstrative pronouns z. E.g. där / denn, sällor / sälla (dt. this / this, that / that). The differences in the pronunciation of personal pronouns in the individual regions of the Swabian language area, e.g. E.g. ons / aos / aes, uich / eich (dt. us, you) are phonetic, but not grammatical variants.

Nouns: plural and diminutive

Plural forms are formed in four different ways. In the root of the word, umlauts are slightly more common than in German (Daag / Dääg (Day), Waaga / Wääga (Dare)).

a) Plural without ending: All words whose plural is German with -e and with -s is formed. If these words do not have an umlaut in the plural, the singular / plural are identical. This plural formation is particularly common with masculine nouns.

Examples (German -e): Disch / Disch (Table), Foot / barrel (Foot), Ebfl / Ebfl (Apple), Boom / Beem (Tree)
Examples (German -s): Audo / Audo (Automobile), Radio / radio, Eagle owl / eagle owl.

b) Plural with the ending -a (Schwa-Laut!): Here you will find those words that have German with the plural -en form. This plural formation is particularly common with feminine nouns.

Examples (German -en): Mrs. / Mrs., Sach / Sacha (Thing), Dasch / Dasha (Bag)

c) Plural with the ending -ena: This plural formation has no equivalent in German. It is consistent with some female words, but its use occasionally extends to other female words as well[10]. This may be facilitated by the influence of the feminine plural in words such as Beire / Beirena (Farmer's wife), Segredaries / Segredärena (Secretary) etc.

Fixed use examples: Kuche / Kuchena (kitchen), Schual / Schualena (school)

The two-syllable female words also belong here, the fixed ending in the singular (it is mostly endless in Swabian!) -e exhibit.

Examples: Schdregge / Schdreggena (Distance), Bråede / Bråedena (width), Leenge / Leengena (length), Fleche / Flechena (area) i.a. m.
Examples of inconsistent use[11]: Schduub / Schduuba and 'Schduubena (Living room), Dräbb / Dräbba and Dräbbena (Stairway)

d) Plural with the ending he / or: This plural formation corresponds to the German one -he. It sounds like in Swabian -or. This plural formation occurs particularly frequently with neuter nouns. It is a few more words in Swabian than in German.

Examples (German -he):: Wood / Helzor, Bridd / Briddor (Board), Roof / Dechor
Examples of further use: Hefd / Hefdor (Notebook), Hemed / Hemedor (Shirt)

e) Diminutive (not Swabian the, rather theDiminutive): It is made by appending the endings -le (singular) and -la (plural) educated. Thus, a distinction is made in the diminutive between singular and plural, while in standard German formations on -little or. -chen Singular and plural forms are undifferentiated. The ending is added directly to the root of the word. If the plural is formed with an umlaut in the word stem, then this is also retained in the diminutive.

Example (sg / pl / dim): Volg / Velgor / Velgle (People)

If the singular already has an ending, the diminutive ending is attached directly to the root of the word. With the singular endings on -l (German -el) and -a (German -en) a Schwa sound is also inserted between the stem and the diminutive ending.

Examples (sg / pl / dim): Bronna / Bronna / Brennale (Fountain); Schlissl / Schlissl / Schlissele (Key).

Nouns: Different gender

There are around 50 nouns that have a different gender in Swabian than in standard German[12], mostly male instead of female. The best known is the difference dor budder to the butter. But there are also other very common deviations such as dor chocolate, of the cola, of the Deller. As a rule, Swabian has received the original Old German gender, whereas Standard German has changed it.[13]

Numbers generally have male instead of female gender: Dor Oeser, Zwåeor, Dreior (the ones, twos, threes) etc. Likewise numbers when they are used as numbers, for example as the number of a bus line. Traditionally, letters had masculine instead of neuter gender: Dor A, dor B, dor C etc., which has largely disappeared due to the standard German language pressure.

Verbal forms

a) Present infinitive: It ends with the Schwa sound "a".

Examples: write a, macha, fenda (Find), halfa (help) etc.

Classic Swabian has also preserved some monosyllabic infinitives that existed in Old High German[14], but no longer exists in standard German. They are used in parallel to the corresponding two-syllable infinitives.
Examples: gao / ganga (go), schdao / schdanda (stand), dra / draga (carry), gäa / gäbba (give), lao / lassa (let).
The same short forms can also be found in Low German, e.g. E.g. as gahn (walk), stan (stand).

b) Personal endings: In the indicative they are: Singular 1st person - (endless), 2nd person -schd (classic) or -sch (New Swabian), 3rd person -d; the plural is the same for all three people -ed, here very similar to Low German.
Examples: I write / do, you write sch (d) / masch (d), ar / sui / s write / machd, me / ir / se write / mached.
Change of the stem vowel in the singular: In German, the stem vowel of some verbs in the present tense changes from e to i, e.g. help - ind I help, you help, he helps and imp help! In Swabian, the whole thing changes with the corresponding verbs ind sg the stem vowel, while in the imp sg preserved. Examples: ässa (eat) - ind i eat, you are, ar issd, imp äss !; halfa - ind i help, you help, you help, imp half!
Some common verbs form their plural forms uniformly -nd, (German only with be pl 1st and 3rd pers "are").

These include general Swabian: hao (to have) pl hend, sae (to be) pl send, doa (do) pl dend, lao (let) pl lend.
Regional can be added: gäa (to give) pl gend, wella (want) pl wend, gao (go) pl gend, seldom säa (see) pl säand.
In some (not all!) Of these forms the vowel also varies regionally after a and o, i.e.: hend, hand, hond; gend, gand, gond etc.

In the subjunctive, differentiated regionally, there are other personal endings.

c) Past participle: It ends with weakly inflected verbs -d (regionally too -ed). The ending applies to strongly inflected verbs -a (Schwa-loud).
Examples of weak diffraction: gmach (e) d (made), grächned (calculated).
Examples of strong flexion: gläasa (read), gschriba (written).
It is noticeable that in Swabian the formation of the participle perfect using the prefix ge (Swabian g-) only partially enforced. It is omitted for all verbs that start with the sounds or letters b / p, d / t (also with z = ts), g / k (also qu = kw) start. This also applies to Alemannic and Bavarian[15]. The English can do without this prefix, largely also the Low German. With the introduction of this prefix, Standard German took a special development that separated it from other Germanic languages.
Examples (swab. / Engl. / Dt.): Dao / done / done, danzd / danced / danced, bråchd / brought / brought.


a) Compound perfect: The composite form of the past is the regular form of the past in Swabian. It also completely replaces the simple past (simple past); the latter does not exist in Swabian. The question of whether it is from the verb be also the simple past was give, and this is not only due to new German influence, is controversial.[16].
Examples (swab. / Dt.): I hao gläasa / I read, I read, i hao gmachd / I did, did, i be z´ Reidleng gwäa / I was in Reutlingen, I was in R.
Verbs of movement and rest form the perfect with be and not with as in German to have.
Examples: I be gschdanda / I confessed, i be gsässa / I sat.

b) past continuous (Pre-past): It is formed according to the following rule: present tense of to have or. be + Past participle of the main verb + past participle of to have or. be.
Examples (swab. / Dt.): I hao des Audo edd gsäa gheed / I hadn't seen this car, i be ao there bliba gwäa / I stayed there too.

c) Conjunctive: The indicative imperfect tense is completely absent in Swabian. The imperfect subjunctive, on the other hand, is present in auxiliary verbs and modal verbs.
It is very noticeable for non-Swabians that the subjunctive of the auxiliary verb become entirely through forms of to do is replaced. The verb to do has the function of an auxiliary verb in Swabian; it is not a main verb.
Examples of forms of the imperfect subjunctive (swab. / Dt.): i hedd / I would have, would / would, däd / would, sodd / should, keed / could, geeng / go, wiisd / knew u.a.m.
Example sentences: I keed des edd / I couldn't; i hedd des edd kenna / i couldn't have done that.

Other features

  • The (standard language) endings "-eln" and "-ern" (in roll the dice, gripe) become "-lâ" and "-râ" (wirflâ, mäggrâ)
  • man is spoken in Swabian "mâ" or "mr"
  • The personal pronoun of the 1st person Pl. Nom. is "me" (German "we"). The Swabian continues an old German form of the pronoun.[17]. This form is also in Bavarian ("We are who we are") and in the Rhine Franconian region ("Wolle mer se roilossa?") receive.
  • The same shift from “w” to “m” can be seen in the inclinable relative pronoun Where, the Swabian as is spoken. It corresponds to the also indeclinable relative pronoun so in Luther German.
  • To enable a better flow of language, a hiatal 'n' is often inserted between two monosyllabic words in Swabian. 1. Example: In classic Swabian, "må i" (dt. "Wo ich") becomes "må-ne" (the tone is on "må", which means that the trailing personal pronoun instead of the stressed form "i" becomes the unstressed form "e" assumes). 2. Example: Similarly, in “wia-n-i” (Eng. “Like me”), a hiatal n is inserted.
  • Different cases for certain verbs, e.g. B. Dative instead of accusative: "I leit dr aa" (I'll call you).
  • Verbs that are reflexive in standard German are used in Swabian z. Partly replaced by non-reflexive paraphrases: sit down, lie down, stand up becomes "nâsitzâ" (sit down), "nâliegâ" (lie down), "nâschdandâ" (stand), z. B. "D'kansch dahannâ nâsitzâ" (you can sit down here). Swabians who speak 'standard language' often continue to use these forms in the standard German sound, which seems a bit strange in northern Germany.
  • "Wo" as an always unchangeable relative pronoun instead of "der, die, das, which, which, which". ("Dui Frao, må (also" der må ") i ân kiss gäbâ hann, ...", also "gea hao, ..." - 'The woman I gave a kiss to ...')
  • The times "vierdl (three)" and "dreivierdl (fenfe / feife)" mean "quarter past ... (two)" and "quarter to ... (five)" in other language regions. This way of speaking occurs (or occurred) in other regions too, e.g. B. in Berlin, Saxony and Saxony-Anhalt.
  • Numbers:
1 oes, regional oas; (see "Note on number 1")11 ålf
2 two (see "Note on number 2")12, 20 twelve; twenty
3 three (see "Note on number 3")13, 30 dreizäa; threesome
4 vir, regional viar 14, 40 virzäa, virzich
5 faef [spoken like engl. "five"]15, 50 fuffzäa, fuffzich
6 seggs 16, 60 sächzäa, sächzich
7 siba 17, 70 sibzäa, sibzich
8 oh, oh 18, 80 achzäa, achzich
9 nae 19, 90 naezäa, naenzich
10 zäa 100, 1000 hondord, daused
  • Note on number 1: The Swabian language distinguishes between the indefinite article and the numerical word: The indefinite article is "a", the numerical word, however, is "oe" [like English "a" and "one"]. For example: "a Mã, a woman, a Kend" (generally a man, a woman, a child) and "oe Mã, oe woman, oe Kend" (1 man, 1 woman, 1 child). The German language can only express this difference through different intonations.
  • Note on number 2: Regionally, differentiation is made according to gender: "Zwee Manne, zwoa / zwo Fraoa, twoe Kend (or)" (2 men, 2 women, 2 children).
  • Note on number 3: The time is "em drui" (at three o'clock).
  • In order to express an activity to which one goes directly, the particular word “ge” is used (originated from the word “gen”, which in turn originated from “against”). For example "i gang ge schaffa (I go to work)" or "mir goant ge metzga (we go to slaughter)"
  • Southwest Swabian has other peculiarities: The subjunctive I for the reproduction of a verbatim speech is used very often compared to the spoken Standard German (e.g. "Sie hot gsait she comes on the eighth" for "She said she would come at 8 o'clock) . In contrast to Standard German, it also has an auxiliary subjunctive I: “därâ” (e.g. “Se hond gsait se därât am neine kommâ” for “You said you would come at 9 o'clock). Likewise, "have" with "häbâ" has its own subjunctive I-form (e.g. "Se hond gsait se häbât koâ Zeit" for "You said you had no time"). Thus, the subjunctive can be clearly distinguished from the subjunctive II (Se hettât koâ time when ...; Se dätât am neine come when ...)
  • When comparing, instead of the standard language “as” the “how” (“I am taller than you”) or even the combination “as like” (“I am taller than you”) is used.
  • There are big differences to standard German in the formation of the articles and demonstrative pronouns.
casemale Female neutrally Plural
Nominativea Mã a Frao a Kend - Suffering (German people) 
accusativeonn / ann Mã a Frao a Kend - Suffering
dativeemma Mã era Frao Emma Kend - Suffering

The pronunciation of the indefinite article is still very different from region to region, although the grammar is basically the same. This has to do with the fact that all forms of the indefinite article are unstressed and therefore the swallows vary greatly in their appearance and timbre.

case male Female neutrally Plural
Nominative accusative d (o) r Mã d Frao s Kend d sorrow (People)
dative em Mã d (o) r Frao em kend de sorrow
case male Female neutrally Plural
Nominative där Mã dui Frao dees Kend dia sorrow
accusative because Mã dui Frao dees Kend dia sorrow
dative demm / däam Mã da Frao demm / däam Kend denne / däane suffering

The demonstrative pronoun I is almost always used in conjunction with a trailing då (German here) used, so: där Mã då, dui Frao då etc.

case male Female neutrally Plural
Nominative sällor Mã sälla Frao säll kend there is sorrow
accusative sälla Mã sälla Frao säll kend there is sorrow
dative sällem Mã säll (o) ra Frao sällem kend sallen sorrow
case male Female neutrally Plural
Nominative äner / eaner Mã äne / eane Frao änes / eanes Kend ane / eane sorrow
accusative äna / eana Mã äne / eane Frao änes / eanes Kend äneean / eane sorrow
dative ä (ne) m / ea (ne) m Mã änârâ / eanârâ Frao ä (ne) m / ea (ne) m Kend ane / eane sorrow


False friends false friends

The designation False friends is used for words from different languages ​​that are written or aurally similar, but each have a different meaning. Wrong friends easily lead to translation errors.

  • A well-known example of such false friends is the German / English word pair Peace / freedom. At first glance, these two words seem to mean the same thing. But engl. freedom does not mean peace rather freedom. Who the German word peace want to translate into English, you have to use the word peace to take.
  • There are also numerous in the relationship between German and Swabian false friends. A well-known example are the German / Swabian word pairs lift / heba or. hold / halda. German hold does not correspond to Swabian halda, rather heba, German to lift does not correspond to Swabian heba rather lubfa.

The following list contains examples from several authors for German / Swabian false friends.

  • For body parts: the leg up to the thigh is referred to as the “foot”, the “Kreiz” (back) encompasses the entire back; In extremely rare cases, the hand, forearm, elbow and upper arm up to the shoulder joint are also summarized as the “hand”, and the “belly” encompasses the entire body. A Swabian is able to get a cramp at the point “where the foot meets the stomach”. (Or also: "I have a wad cramp on my feet.")
  • for animals: a housefly (Musca domestica) is called in Swabian "Mugg" (or also "Fluig"), a mosquito (Culicidae) is called "Schnôg" (Schnake); For the mosquito family of the (non-stinging) Tipulidae, which are usually referred to as Schnaken, there is the term “Mugg” (in Stuttgart often also called “Grandfather”, harvestmen are called “Habergoes”). The change in meaning of the word "Schnake" has meanwhile spread colloquially beyond Swabian. The fly swatter is called in Swabian "Fluigabätschr" or "Muggabatschr" (Mückenbatscher). “Muggle sail” is used for something unimaginably small or generally for “a little”. Literally, "Muggle sail" means the reproductive link of a fly.
  • for verbs of movement:
    • "Gângâ" or "gâu" (to go) is only used to describe the change of location - walk as a type of movement is called "run" in Swabian, to run is called "springâ" (jump means "hopfâ" or "hopsâ"), leap means "sprengâ" but also "juggâ" (itch on the other hand means “bite”); fast running means "rennâ" or "sauâ" (see standard language "whiz"). When the Swabian calls his wife “Alde, sau!”, He does not refer to her as a female pig, but instructs her to run quickly. The term “Alde” or “Aldr” is not particularly friendly, but it is quite common among long-married couples. In addition, young people often use the terms “Alde” or “Aldr” when they talk to one another about their parents; such as B .: “Mei Aldr hat des au gsaidt.” (My father said that too). If they talk about their parents, meaning father and mother, they usually refer to them as "[their] leaders" (people), e. B. "Sen your Leit au dâ?" (Are your parents there too?)
    • "Gângâ lâu!" Or "Gâu lâu!" (Let it go! / Imperative) is not to be understood in the sense of a change of location, but comes from "letting the dough rise", ie "letting it rest". When a Swabian says: “Oh dear, if it's so, ôifach gâu lâu”, he means: “What a bummer, if that's the case, just leave it alone.” And when a Swabian says: “Lame gâu.” He means: “ Leave me alone."
    • On the other hand: "I must now gâu gâu!" Here the first means "gâu" = "same", the second = "go". So: "I have to go right now!"
  • “Bald” takes on the meaning of the standard German “early” and can also be increased. A Swabian woman can say: "I must morgâ fei aufschdandâ ond mai Mâ no bäldr soon!" (I have to get up early tomorrow and my husband even earlier!)
  • "G’schwend" (speed) is not used in Swabian to define a speed, but to clarify a time interval: z. B. "Komsch du (or 'dâu‘) mol gschwênd? "=" Are you coming for a moment? "
  • hold means in Swabian "hebâ" (this applies to "hold" in the sense of "hold on" as well as in the sense of "be durable, do not spoil" and also in the sense of "be stable, do not collapse under stress")
  • to lift is called "lupfâ" (a nail in the wall "lifts" the picture while the chair "glupfd" on the table.).
  • Uffhebâ means both keeping a thing and lifting an object from a lower level (floor) to a higher level. The combination of the term in the dialectical abolition could only be formulated in this way by the Swabian Hegel.
  • To sit means "hoggâ" in Swabian and comes from the standard language "squatting" (meaning "crouching down")
  • The Swabian calls the standard-language jam "G'sälz", while he underlines "dr (= den) Buddr" (the butter, note the different genus in Swabian from standard German).
  • work means in Swabian “schaff” and create "Machâ", while doa / dua (to do) is often used for doing.
  • In some regions there is also dedifferentiation of color attributes: light orange, ocher, and light brown often become too "Gäal" (Yellow) summarized, dark orange, red, pink or violet mean on the other hand "Roâd" or "Rood" (Red), analogously, gray tones are referred to as "black" even at medium brightness levels.
  • we means in Swabian “mir”: “Mir kennât älles, only koe Hochdeitsch” (we can do everything except High German) - “Mir kennad au Hochdeitsch, mir welled only ned” (notable Swabian: we can also speak High German, we just don't want to).
  • for household items: “Debbich” (carpet) is also used to describe a (wool) blanket that is suitable for covering.
  • n / A (Pronunciation closer to 'a') stands for in Swabian down (from, to"); z. B. Gugg net long, gang nâ! - Don't stare at the air, go there !. Furthermore stands n / A (Pronunciation between 'a' and 'o') for “then”, “because”, and in other meanings. It is therefore a particularly common and characteristic word in Swabian. This results in a finely graduated chain from 'a' to 'o': n / A= down, n / A= there, n / A= then, = still.
  • longâ is used as a verb and means “to touch something with your hands”; z. B. Chat long, long nâ! - Don't talk long, grab it!
  • Another meaning of longâ is "hit" i. S from "One smear": "I long dr glei Oina"
  • But 'hitting' is just as common, e.g. B. "I'll hit you on the head": "I sleep and battrie nâ!" (Literally: "I'll hit you on the battery!")
  • Finally can longâ "Sufficient" also means: "'It's enough!" ("But that's enough!")
  • schmeggâ can also mean “smell” in addition to “taste”.
  • There are also reinterpretations regarding the state of mind of individuals. So becomes a g’schuggde (Form of Meschugge) Person also as ned quite bacha (half-baked).
  • Midday in Swabian is from 12 noon to 5 or 6 pm, as the terms “morning” and “afternoon” do not exist. So there is only the morning (en dr Fria), noon, evening and night.[18]
  • fai (fine) reinforces a statement or emphasizes an aspect. You could sometimes replace it with “really” or “but” in the standard language. So “Des gôht fai et, was Sia dô tastierat!” Would correspond to the standard German sentence “You can't do what you're trying to do!”. Fulfilled in the sentence "Der isch fai z’schnell gfahrá." fai on the other hand, it has an emphatic role: If the question of guilt were unresolved in a car accident, for example, this sentence would combine the statement “He drove too fast” with the implicit indication that this has an influence on the question of guilt. A further increase then results from the combination with "really": "That isch but fai really fast gfahrá".
  • ha noi is spoken like a word and should correspond most closely to “Ha, no” in standard German. The transmission with “Oh, no” would be imprecise because it cannot precisely reproduce a kind of half-terrified astonishment.
  • Denotes the Swabian the guy's, so he does not mean a coarse "guy", but in the meaning of "boy" a "boy": "Guys, ..." expresses concern like a standard German "Mensch Junge" or "Junge, ...". A "guy" is also not a "Mâ" in a corresponding demarcation: "Bish yes koi guys meh, bisch'a en Mâ." Is demarcation.
  • The adjective naughty is stronger in Swabian, means (still) "outrageous". The at least possible attenuation in standard German to characterize an approximately sympathetic rascal is not present in a comparable way.

Independent vocabulary in Swabian

A large number of Swabian words / vocabulary (mainly used by the older generation) have no equivalent in the standard language. (Hence the dictionaries "Swabian - German"). Of the following numerous examples, however, a larger number are not spread throughout the Swabian-speaking area, but only regionally. The following list can only represent a small selection of the independent Swabian vocabulary.

Nouns (f= female, m= male, n= neuter, pl= plural)

  • Afdrmedig = Tuesday (only regional, especially in the Augsburg area), see Zaischdig below
  • Bäbb = glue; but is also used as a paraphrase for "nonsense" ("Schwätz koin Bäbb!") [19]
  • Bäbber (m) = Sticker, sticker, adhesive label
  • Batsch (m) = (Hand) blow
  • Bebbeleskehl = Brussels sprouts
  • Behne = attic (from stage)
  • Bed bottle (a) f = Hot water bottle
  • Blafó (m) = Ceiling (from French le plafond)
  • Blätzla = Christmas cookies
  • Blôdr = bladder, especially pig's bladder, swear word
  • Bulldog = tractor (the one from the product name Lanz Bulldog Derived generic name for tractors is still partly used in Swabian, but is increasingly being replaced by Schlebbr = tractor, the word "tractor" is unusual).
  • Butzawaggerle = little toddler, flattering or scornful
  • Butzastenkl = somersault
  • Breedla (n) = Biscuit / Christmas biscuits
  • Bräschdleng (m) = Strawberry, strawberries
  • Brockela / Brogala = peas
  • Debbich (m) = Blanket (to cover) (from carpet); even used for tablecloths
  • Dreible n, pl Dreibla = currant (from "Träuble" → small grape)
  • Droid = grain
  • Dolkâ m, pl = Ink stain
  • Dullâ m, pl = (Alcohol) intoxication
  • Flädlessubb f = A special type of pancake soup that is widespread in Swabia
  • Foot m, pl Fiaß = leg (s), including feet
  • Gaudi = fun
  • Giggle = small paper or plastic bag, plastic bag
  • Gluf f, pl Glufa = pin, safety pin (Glufâmichl = somewhat dumb male person)
  • Glump / Glomp = junk, scrap, unusable, inferior quality (from "Gelumpe")
  • Grädda / Gradda / Kradda m = Wicker basket with 1 handle (with 2 handles see Zonn)
  • Grend = head
  • Grom = reg Gift, souvenir
  • Grombir / Äbir f (also nasalized Grombĩr / Äbĩr) = basic pear / earth pear = potato
  • Gruuschd m = Stuff, stuff
  • Gschnuder = cold
  • Gschpei = phlegm, sputum
  • Gsälz n = Jam, accordingly a "Breschdlengsgsälz" is a strawberry jam (see above "Breschdleng")
  • Gugg / Guggâ f, pl Gugga / Guggena = bag, according to the Grimm dictionary (Vol. IX Sp. 1030) "look, f., paper bag, a primarily obd. (Upper German) word"
  • Gutsle / Gutzlê n, pl -la = Christmas cookies (regionally also bonbon / candy)
  • Haägamarg n = Rose hip butter (as a sweet spread)
  • Hafa m, pl Häfa = pot; derived from: Häfele n = Potty; Kochhafa = saucepan; S (ch) dogghafa = (stick pot) flower pot
  • Häggr = hiccups
  • heidenai! = the screamer!
  • Heedscha, Heedsched, Heedschich m = Glove
  • Hengala = raspberries
  • Hoggâdse or Hoggâde (f) = Street festival (lit. "(there) they squat")
  • Holga = pictures (v. Holy pictures)
  • Hoob = cleaver, see Hippe
  • Hugo m, pl as well = Fart (which is why it would be better not to give a child the first name Hugo in Swabian!)
  • Joomer (m) = woe, see mhd. jamer with long "a"
  • Kadárr m = Cold
  • Sofa n, by franz le canapé = Sofa, couch
  • Kandl m = Gutter
  • Kehrwisch (New Swabian, traditional :) Kaerawish m = Broom, hand brush
  • Kobbr = burp
  • Kries (e), spoken: Gries (e) = cherries
  • Kuddr = rubbish
  • Kuddrschaufl = shovel for picking up the rubbish
  • Maurochen = morel
  • Meedâle = peculiarity, make, tick
  • Medich, Medig = Monday
  • Meggl m = Head
  • Migda, Michda = Wednesday
  • Muggle sailsn = smallest Swabian measure of length (literally "fly penis")
  • Poader (m) = Sphere
  • Poadranuschter (m) = Ball chain (lat .: paternoster; rosary)
  • Pfutzger = fart
  • Quadde, spoken: Gwadde = cockchafer larva
  • rode Fläggâ = measles
  • Schässlo (partial stress on the first syllable) = sofa (French chaise longue)
  • Schranna f = Beer set
  • Nonsense m = Nonsense, nonsense
  • Suddrae / Suddrä m = Cellar (French sous-terrain)
  • Schietê (n) = large basket, usually a wooden basket (from "pour" in the meaning of "empty")
  • Schlägle = (non-fatal) stroke, stroke (lit. "Schlägle")
  • Schleck m = Candy
  • Trottwar, Droddwar n, from franz. le pavement = Sidewalk
  • Zaischdig / Daeschdich m = Tuesday
  • Wegga m, regionally too Away n = Bun
  • Wäffzg f, pl-a = wasp
  • Zibéb f = Raisin (from Arabic zabiba[20])
  • Zonn / Zoana / Zoina f = Wicker basket with two handles (with one handle, see Grädda), see German-Swiss Zaine = Laundry basket and got.tains = Basket.


  • äschdemierâ = respect highly, honor
  • bäbbâ = to stick
  • batschâ = clap, applaud or hit. I bathe you oine also means "I'll hit you."
  • bampa = go to the toilet / poop (expression is mostly used with children)
  • seinâ (n) = to stack (from the beige, the pile)
  • bledla = to be funny
  • blegglâ = to fall
  • blodzâ = to fall down, to fall (e.g. as a question to a child: "Bisch nâblodzd?" = "Did you fall?")
  • bogglâ = to fall, bump, rumble
  • bronzâ = pee / urinate
  • bruddlâ = roughly "to scold yourself in a low voice" (cf. Luxembourgish: "braddelen")
  • driâlâ = drool, triel, transmit also: dawdle
  • drillâ = turn, turn in a circle
  • firbâ = to sweep
  • flag (â) = lie down, lie there
  • flatierâ = flatter, ask, beg
  • fuâßlâ = run briskly (slower than "schbrengâ")
  • gambâ = to waver, to rock. Especially moving the legs back and forth. Can also be done while sitting. Special case: stepping from one foot to the other (usually with a full bladder). Sometimes also: jump, see folk song [21]
  • gigampfa = rocking on the chair
  • gruâbâ = rest, relax
  • gugga, part. perf. gugg (e) d = look; nãgugga = (closely) to look; gugg romm! = look here!
  • hebâ = hold something, Not to lift! (cf. lupfâ)
  • hoschdubâ = gossip
  • hudlâ = to hurry (from "Hud (d) el", a damp cloth used in the bakery to wipe the wood stove to remove the glowing charcoal residues before putting the loaves of bread; this was of course not allowed to burn and was accordingly moved quickly)
  • hurglâ = balls
  • keiâ = to throw
  • kobba = burp
  • loiba = to waste, to leave (food) behind
  • losâ / losnâ / losânâ / lusâ = (to) listen / to listen, cf. Engl. to listen!
  • luaga, part. perf. gluag (e) d = to look (southwest Swabian and generally Alemannic; related to Engl. to look
  • lupfâ = (up) to lift (cf. to lift)
  • nuâlâ = to dig
  • sauâ = run (in Swabian language, the trainer can shout a "pig!"
  • soichâ = rain, urinate, drip (also used for leaking vessels)
  • Schaddra = to laugh
  • schbrengâ = to run, "to jump" means hobfâ in Swabian
  • schdräâlâ = to comb (sträâl = comb)
  • schlotzâ = to lick (e.g. an ice cream schlotzâ), drink
  • schnäddrâ = rattle, to sound
  • schuggâ = to push
  • chat = talk, speak, chat
  • dribelierâ = (jmd.) to get on the nerves
  • wargla = turn, roll; balls. See also hurgla

Adjectives, adverbs and modal particles

  • âfangâ = meanwhile
  • änâwäâg, oinâwäg = anyway, however
  • därâtwäâgâ (t) = therefore, therefore
  • fai = but, really
  • gotzig / gotzich = unique
  • ferment = steep (see Swiss German gärch and high German suddenly)
  • läg = gently rising
  • häälengâ = secretly
  • griâbig = leisurely, comfortable
  • hee / heenich = broken (it is (there)down)
  • pääb / b'häb = very close, very close (also: crooked)
  • shabbs = crooked
  • zwär (ch) = across, see high German diaphragm, actually "transverse skin", mhd. fur = Skin, fur
  • gau = soon
  • gladd = funny, funny, strange (cf. English "glad" = "happy") - can be increased with the prefix "sau" ("De'sch [j] a saugladd!" = "That's very funny!" ")
  • äbber / äpper / jäapper = someone from still early. sther, see. something
  • äbbes / äppes / jäappes = something
  • wisawí = opposite (from French: "vis à vis")
  • derbies = as soon
  • (uf) z'mol (s) = all at once, suddenly
  • diemol = recently, recently
  • sällmol = then
  • omanand (r) = around, around each other
  • schains = apparently
  • probabilities = likely
  • reng = little, little
  • nah (r) sch, narred = angry, angry (to be)
  • liâdrig = dissolute
  • soddige, sogâte, sonige = such
  • wonderfitzig = curious

Prepositions, places, directions

Sign in Swabian: "We are not allowed to go down (ride) the Way of the Cross"
  • aa / ah = from; derived from this: naa / nah = down, raa / rah = down, (n) abe = down, down
  • ae = a; derived from this: nae = into it (not to be confused with Swabian nei = New!) and rae = in
  • off = out; derived from this: naus = out, out = out
  • iib (â) r = above; derived from this: nib (o) r = over, rib (o) r = over
  • obâ = above; derived from it: doba = up there, hoba = up here
  • omm = around; derived from this: nomm = all around, (omm ...) romm = (around
  • ondâ = below; derived from it: donda = down there, honda = here below
  • ondâr = under; derived from it: drondor = underneath, nondor = down, rondor = down
  • uff = on; derived from this: nuff = up, ruff = up, uffe = upwards
  • ussâ = Outside; derived from this: dussa = outside, hussa = out here
  • hent (â) râ = backwards
  • hentârsche = backward
  • fiare, ferre = Forward
  • fiarasche = forward
  • dur = by
  • durâ = through
  • äll häck (southwest Swabian), äll ridd (middle Swabian) = constantly (e.g. "Där guggd äll häck / ridd over" = "He keeps dropping by (and annoys me with it!)")
  • äll (â) mol / äml / älsâmol = sometimes
  • (any) oimâ / ammâ / ommâ / wammâ = (somewhere
  • Näânâ (ts) (southwest Swabian), närgâds, Näâmârds (central Swabian) = nowhere
  • ällaweil / äwe / äwl = always
  • allat (Allgäu / Vorarlberg) = always
  • ge (direction indication; Swiss German gi / go) = after / against / gen (e.g. "I gang ge Dibeng" = "I'm going to Tübingen")
  • z (location, German once to) = in (e.g. "I be z Dibeng" = "I'm in Tübingen")

Dialect groups and regional

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Dialect groups:

  • Lower Swabian (Neckarschwäbisch, Unterschwäbisch) in the upper and middle Neckar valley and the adjacent areas (Swabian Alb, Eastern Black Forest): Gwä, Gwäâ
  • Upper Swabian in Baden-Württemberg south of the Swabian Alb and in the Bavarian administrative district of Swabia (southern transition to the Lower and High Alemannic Gsi above Gsai, "Gsei" or "Gse")
  • East Swabian in the East Wuerttemberg region and in the Bavarian district of Donau-Ries (between Ulm, Donauwörth, Dinkelsbühl and Schwäbisch Gmünd; Lower Swabian with transition to Upper Swabian)
    • Rieser Swabian - a dialect form that has clear echoes of Neckar Swabian, but is clearly different from it: the Rieser does not say “Do hanna”, but “do dranna” when he means “there there”.
  • Allgäu (Tyrolean Swabian) in the districts of Upper and Ostallgäu, also used in neighboring areas of Tyrol (Lechtal, Ausserfern), Vorarlberg and Upper Bavaria (Lechrain); clearly separated from the Lower Alemannic Allgäu of the southern district of Oberallgäu and the district of Lindau by the Wiib-Weib line
  • Enztal Swabian, partly also as Enztal Franconian one speaks in the upper Enz valley south of Pforzheim and in the lower Nagold valley from Calw downwards. It is an originally Franconian settlement area that has been strongly remodeled Swabian. The Franconian origin is still exemplified in formulations such as "I haa gsaa" (Swabian "I hao gsaed", German "I said"). The old historical borderline between Swabian and Franconian dialect in this area can be found with Karl Bohnenberger[22]
Classification from west to east:
Standard German west Central east
Street (old high German ā) Strôß Strôß ostrich
big (long o) great great large / large
Snow (long e) Sniff Sniff Schnea
Stein (Old High German ai) Stoa Stoe Stoe
Division from north to south:
Standard German north south
Bottle (e-ending for nouns) Bottle Bottle
asked (ending in the perfect tense) gfrôgt gfrôgat
new (Old High German iu) no nui
Not ned (a) / ed (a) it (a)

Regional origin:
Swabian experts can surprisingly reliably assign the origin of a person from the Swabian Alb to exactly one place (Swabian "Fleggâ") thanks to their dialect. It plays among other things. the pronunciation of “not” as “nedd”, “nedda”, “edd”, “edda”, “nitt”, “idd”, “idda”, “itt” or “itta” play a role. These subtleties are disappearing more and more in the language culture of the younger generations. The differences can also be seen in the fact that even native Stuttgarters hardly understand a sentence when a so-called one Older really gets started. Albschwäbisch is characterized by a melodious singsong in the language. A characteristic of Albschwäbischen is partly the use of the subjunctive instead of the indicative: “mir habe” (next to hand); "Siâ sêie" (next to send) - high German: we have; you are. In this context, the different coloring of Swabian depending on the religion of the speaker is also interesting. In the old Württemberg = Protestant (Lutheran) places the pronunciation of some words is different than in the Catholic places. Th. Troll attributes this to the pastor's style of preaching. Examples:

  • cath .: teacher, soul, honor - evang .: Lährer, Sähle, Ähre
  • cath .: Vaddr with a short A (for father) - evang .: Vahder with a long A

Transition to Lake Constance Alemannic:
In Upper Swabia, but especially on the Baden shores of Lake Constance, the Alemannic influence is growing stronger. In this region one often finds the lack of the New High German diphthongization (e.g. "Ziit" instead of "Zeid" = high German). time) and a lot in common with the South Baden and Swiss German. As already mentioned, "gse", "gsei" or "gsai" are used here instead of the Lower Swabian term "gwäã". Due to the dialect continuum, characteristics of the counterpart have also been adopted at other dialect boundaries. This applies, for example, to the dialects of the Allgäu, which largely belongs to Bavaria. The dialect spoken in the Tyrolean Ausserfern region around the district town of Reutte largely corresponds to the Oberallgäu dialect and is also mostly called Swabian by the locals (Tyrolean Swabians).

The directions of movement and location in Swabian:

When something is close to someone or moves away When something is distant or moving
dô = there / herede (r) t = there
dô hanna = here / right heredet danna / dranna = on there / right there
nab / nah = downrab / rah = down
nondr = downrondr = down
honna = down / down heredonna = down there / down there
nuff / nauf = upcall / up = up
hob / hoba = up here / up heredob / doba / drob / droba = above / up there
herna / hiba = over here / over herederna / diba / driba = over there / over there
nomm / niibr = overromm / riibr = around / over
no = inrei = in
henna = in here / in heredenna / drenna = inside / inside there
naus = outout = out
huss / hussa = out / out hereduss / dussa = outside / out there

For example, if person A is inside a house and person B is outside, then A says: "I bee henna, ond du bisch dussa", while B in the same situation says: "I bee hussa, on du bisch drenna."


Advertising in Swabian: "Keep to the left if you want to go to Stuttgart."

The idioms and sayings listed in this section usually belong to joke and joke literature. That means that they do not belong to the actual everyday language, but are artificially made up and want to amuse or confuse. Alliterations, tongue-twisting word combinations or playing with the numerous Swabian vowel variations that go beyond the vowels of standardized German are preferred as stylistic devices. There are no rules for writing them. A few formulations, on the other hand, do occur in everyday language and are varied according to the situation.

Formulations from everyday language:

  • "Send d´ Henna henna?", Alliterating ("Are the chickens accepted? (Means:" In the barn? "))
  • "Da Abbarad ra tra", alliterating ("Carrying the apparatus down")
  • "En a Gugg nae gugga", alliterating ("looking into a bag")
  • "Må ganga-mor nå no nã?", Onomatopoeic ("Where are we going then?")
  • "Mål amål a Mãle nã!", Onomatopoeic ("Draw a male!")

Traditional folk formulations:

  • "Schället se edd to sällere Schäll, sälle Schäll schall edd. Schället se edd to sällere Schäll, sälle Schäll schall."
  • "'S lead a Klötzle lead same with Blaubeura, same lead with Blaubeura lead a Klötzle lead."[23] ("There is a block of lead right next to Blaubeuren, there is a block of lead right next to Blaubeuren")
  • "In Ulm, around Ulm and around Ulm". (A standard German[24], not a Swabian tongue twister).

Formulations from fun literature:

  • "Dr Babschd hôt s’Schbätzlesbschtegg zschbäd bschdelld." (The Pope ordered the spaetzle cutlery too late.)
  • "S’Rad ra draga ond s’Greiz õschlaga" (carry the wheel down and post the cross. pronounce the õ nasally - roughly in the direction ö and ä - i.e. Albschwäbisch)
  • “I han âmôl oen kennd khedd, who knows hôdd oene. Dui hôdd a Kend khedd, dees hôdd se abbr edd vo sällam khedd. Där hot namely nemme kennd khedd. Se hôdd abbr no an andârâ kennd khedd. Där hôdd no kennd khedd. Ond Wenns se deen nedd khennd khedd hedd, nô hedd se koe Kend khedd. ”(I once knew someone who knew someone. She had a child, but she didn't have that from him could no longer [had]. But she [had] also known someone else. He was still able [had]. And if she had not known this one, she would not have had a child.)
  • "Hitza hodse, saidse, häbse and at night so schwitza miasdse, saidse, dädse." (She has the heat, she says, has it and at night she has to sweat so much, she says, does it.)
  • “Is it the case? Who was do do? (Is that all all [empty]? Who was there? [An advertisement for honey])
  • "Oi Oi!" (An egg!)
  • "Hosch au a oâhgnehm grea âhgschdrichas Gardadierle?" (Do you also have an unpleasant green painted garden door?)
  • "Do hogged die mo (wo) emmer do hogged" (Here sit those who always sit here) Ownership of a regulars' table in the pub, usually written continuously to confuse people.
  • "Schuggschdumi schuggidi" (you push me, I push you)
  • “Moisch d'mõgsch Moschd? Mõgsch Moschd, mõgsch mi. "(Do you think you like (apple) cider? If you like cider, do you like me.)
  • "Källerätälle?" ("What time is it?", French source heure est-il?)

Mixed forms

What earlier than Notable Swabian which was called mannerism, is now a widespread adaptation of Swabian to standard German. In many situations, mixed forms are used that mix written German, colloquial German and Swabian in different proportions. Typical situations are those in which pure Swabian is not understood, but the standard language would not be appropriate or in which the speaker has the feeling that he is not understood, even if the other side does understand Swabian, or in situations in which he Wants to give particular emphasis to what has been said. For example, mixed forms are often used in conversations with Swabian children (“So, now muâsch du dô press. "" I'll tell you that once again. ". "Sascha," Don't go there! "Instead of" Gang ed there! ").

In terms of a dialect continuum, there are both differences within the Swabian language area and smooth transitions to the neighboring dialects. Likewise, in the sense of a dialect-standard continuum, Swabian and High German elements are usually linked in different ways depending on the speaker situation, which results in smooth transitions between pure local dialect, regional dialect forms, regionally colored High German and pure High German.

Newer tendencies

  • In the last few decades, as with other German dialects, there has also been a strong change towards standard German. Many traditional pronunciation features and vocabulary are only found in older speakers in rural regions or have already died out.
  • Particularly small-scale phenomena (e.g. “Keed” for “child”) disappear, while features that have a large radius remain alive (e.g. “sch” before “t” or the shortening of the prefix “ge” zu "G").
  • Furthermore, it can be observed that regional peculiarities are being replaced by larger-scale pronunciation features, especially if these are closer to the standard language. For example, the West Swabian oâ sound is gradually being replaced by the spacious East and Central Swabian “oi” (for High German / ai / like something in “both”).
  • There are also developments that cannot be traced back to the influence of standard German. So you can sometimes differentiate between a traditional and a newer Swabian form. For example, “I hau” (“I have”) becomes “I han” (originally Alemannic / Rhine Franconian). The omission of the Schwa-â in many positions is also New Swabian (e.g. "du hedsch" instead of "du hedâsch (t)" for "you would have" or "hendre" instead of "hendâre" for "to the rear")
  • In Bavarian Swabia, Swabian is pushed back by the influence of High German as well as Bavarian, especially there, as the Bavarian form is closer to the standard language. So say younger speakers there rather z. B. “you have it” as “your hand”.

Swabian legend

Although Swabian is also often spelled, no standard for transliteration has emerged. This can be seen in the example of the sound [ɑ̃]. This sound is international due to the Danish å Are defined. Nevertheless, it is considered by dialect authors and poets aa,oo,oa,ââ,O,òò,ôô or in East Swabia also as ao and ouch circumscribed because it comes closest to the corresponding Latin sound. A relatively uniform spelling, on the other hand, exists for the nasal sounds, mostly as a (or less often than e be circumscribed). According to international standards, this sound should be accompanied by a ã be circumscribed.

Swabian dialect poets and dialect authors