Celebrating the local dialect

The weekend before last was the Mundart Festival in Regensburg. Apparently this is something that happens here, periodically, but we’ve never noticed it before.

Check out the announcer guy in the video below: this is the flavor of Bairisch native to Regensburg. That’s what you hear at work (to a certain percentage) and what you hear on the street, at the markets, and among neighbors. It sure ain’t what you learn at the Volkshochschule.

I’ve painstakingly translated that into Hochdeutsch — at least, as much as I could. I suggest you play the video and read along with the text.

…wäre eigentlich auf dem Programm der Herr Rader.

Der Herr Rader kommt extra aus Berlin angefahren, habe ich gerade angerufen, er steht im Stau, dann ist der Stau aufgelöst, dann ist ihm der Auspuffer weggefallen.

Also…Wir werden sehen. Es kann jetzt noch durchaus möglich sein, dass wir das Programm kurz umdrehen, dass nach den Gsindl ah nach den doch nach den Gsindl gleich die Chiller spielen, und dann der Rader. Und dann kommen wir zum absoluten Höhenpunkt des heutigen Abends, dann werden es diese Ur-Gesteine der Mundarte gell auftreten nämlich das Leberkas-Duo, die Raith Schwestern, und die Kapelle Josef Menzl. Jetzt werden wir sie fragen, wie passt sowas zusammen?

Da drüben, in der Klappe, wird ein mal im Jahr der Drescher-Fasching gefeiert. Es ist laut, es ist krachert, es werden unge- also mir hat der Menzl gesagt es kommen zehn Blasmusiker, vier Rockgitarristen, und die zwei Raith Schwestern, vielleicht ist der Blaimer auch noch mit dabei. Diese Mischung spricht für sich. Werden wir mal schauen, was die mit 17, 18, 19 Leuten daran machen, vielleicht fühlt sich der andere oder der eine Musiker auch noch bemüht, mitzuspielen.

Dann brechen wir so richtig runter, und dann ist der heutige Abend auch gelaufen. Also, es gibt noch einiges zu sehen, viel Spaß noch mit den Gsindl. Danke.

We love where we live, and also have come to appreciate the occasional linguistic challenge — but it’s so REFRESHING to visit another part of Germany now and then, where the words sound like what you learned their letters make them sound like (uh…does that make any sense?).

We’ve got a trip to the Northwest coast of Germany coming up soon and then WEBMU after that. It’s about time to hear native German spoken again.

What does the local dialect where you live sound like?

It doesn’t sound like this here (warning — some loud angry technology frustration ensues):

11 thoughts on “Celebrating the local dialect”

  1. CN Heidelberg

    I like the Regensburg accent. :)
    Here’s Kuerpfaelzisch:
    Thankfully there’s hella Hochdeutsch in Heidelberg.

    1. cliff1976

      That was hard — I was grateful for the subtitles!

      I’ve found that when someone is emotionally passionate about something, the dialect comes out stronger. I assume this is true for all languages, but I never noticed it before in English. I wonder what an angry Hanoverian sounds like, then … extra Hochdeutsch?

      1. Yelli

        In English? I can tell you that no one can understand me when I am tired/too much wine and my true Chicago accent comes out. My friend from Boston has the same problem. The more beer he drinks, the less I understand him. ;)

        As we have lived in so many places now, my accent is pretty mellow but give me eine Maß and my a’s and i’s are said through my nose. ;)

    2. cliff1976

      Speaking of high-emotions dialect stuff, how about this one? I just remembered it — a coworker played it for me to mad gales of laughter. (See the player above in the body of the post.)

  2. Harvey Morrell

    Apropos Gsindl:

    Here in Bawlmer, Murlun, it sounds like dis, hon: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=usdPPHUgC-s

    1. cliff1976

      That Bawlmer stuff sounds quaint at first, but I’m not sure I could handle it auf Dauer.

  3. Oliver

    If you are interested in german dialects, maybe the special Asterix-series is an option. From kölsch to sächsisch: everything there.

    1. cliff1976

      Thanks Oliver!

      Germans’ fascination with Asterix and Obelix is a thing I have never understood. May as well put it to good use.

  4. Mandi

    Respekt! That makes me so thankful my time in Germany has mostly been spent in the North — Hamburg, Bremen, and Berlin. There’s definitely some dialect going on in these cities too, but it’s nothing I can’t parse out. But I hope that doesn’t leave me unprepared for possibly living in a heavy dialect area someday. :)

    1. cliff1976

      Hey Mandi,

      There are plenty of transplants up* here from down there. One of my best work buddies of yore is from Bremen (aside: and she has moved on to Zürich, where trying to convince her local colleagues not to switch into what they think is Hochdeutsch around her has proved a feat years in the making). I firmly believe that human languages are equally difficult to master relative to one’s experiences — meaning I get all steamed when someone broadly claims Language X is “harder” than Language Y without considering impacts from one’s native language or previous foreign language study — but I am not sure whether the same principle applies to dialects within a language, especially when we can clearly rule out an even exposure from common media sources. We get the national news and ads in the South in the same variant you do in the North, and you hear that variant in common use, too.

      We only get that when we go on vacation. :-)

      Did you meet Jentry at WEBMU in Hamburg? Her variant is Oberpfälzisch as well, but more of a North-Upper-Palatinate-Czech-Border variety, and her accent is very impressive. When you talk with local Regensburgers about dialects, and mention areas like Cham or Weiden, they all suck in a deep breath through their teeth as their eyes widen and nod respectfully at the thought of having to learn that as a foreign language.

      *Tammy knows what I’m talking about with regard to the Z-axis and altitude-vs.-elevation.

  5. […]  Celebrating the local dialect – I have immense respect for anyone who has to decipher heavy German dialects.  German speakers should check out this video in the Bairisch dialect of Regensburg over at das Regensblog, and see if they can understand. […]

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