Alsatian dialect

Native toFrance
Native speakers
900,000 (2013)[1]
Official status
Recognised minority
language in
Regulated byNo official regulation
Language codes
ISO 639-3gsw (with Swiss German)
Glottologswis1247  Swiss German[2]
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Flag of Alsace (historical).svg
Rot un Wiss, traditional flag of Alsace

Alsatian (Alsatian and Alemannic German: Elsässerditsch (Alsatian German); Frankish: Elsässerdeitsch; French: Alsacien; German: Elsässisch or Elsässerdeutsch) is a Low Alemannic German dialect spoken in most of Alsace, a formerly disputed region in eastern France that has passed between French and German control five times since 1681. A dialect of Alsatian German is spoken in the United States by the so-called Swiss Amish, whose ancestors emigrated there in the middle of the 19th century. The approximately 7,000 speakers are located mainly in Allen County, Indiana, with "daughter settlements"[Note 1] elsewhere.[3]

Alsace Dialects.PNG

Language family

A bilingual (French and Alsatian) sign in Mulhouse.

Alsatian is closely related to other nearby Alemannic dialects, such as Swiss German, Swabian, and Markgräflerisch as well as Kaiserstühlerisch. It is often confused with Lorraine Franconian, a more distantly related Franconian dialect spoken in the northwest corner of Alsace and in neighbouring Lorraine. Like other dialects and languages, Alsatian has also been influenced by outside sources. Words of Yiddish origin can be found in Alsatian, and modern conversational Alsatian includes adaptations of French words and English words, especially concerning new technologies.

Many speakers of Alsatian could, if necessary, write in reasonable standard German. For most this would be rare and confined to those who have learned German at school or through work. As with other dialects, various factors determine when, where, and with whom one might converse in Alsatian. Some dialect speakers are unwilling to speak standard German, at times, to certain outsiders and prefer to use French. In contrast, many people living near the border with Basel, Switzerland, will speak their dialect with a Swiss person from that area, as they are mutually intelligible for the most part; similar habits may apply to conversations with people of the nearby German Markgräflerland. Some street names in Alsace may use Alsatian spellings (they were formerly displayed only in French but are now bilingual in some places, especially Strasbourg and Mulhouse).

Other Languages
Afrikaans: Elsassiese Duits
Alemannisch: Elsässisch
العربية: لغة ألزاسية
asturianu: Alsacianu
brezhoneg: Elzaseg
català: Alsacià
čeština: Alsaština
Deutsch: Elsässisch
español: Alsaciano
Esperanto: Alzaca lingvo
euskara: Alsaziera
فارسی: آلزاسی
français: Alsacien
Gaelg: Alsaasish
한국어: 알자스어
հայերեն: Էլզասերեն
Bahasa Indonesia: Bahasa Elsass
íslenska: Alsatíska
עברית: אלזסית
Bahasa Melayu: Bahasa Alsace
Nederlands: Elzassisch
日本語: アルザス語
norsk: Elsassisk
Plattdüütsch: Elsässerdüütsch
português: Língua alsaciana
Simple English: Alsatian language
српски / srpski: Алзашки језик
suomi: Elsassi
svenska: Elsassiska
Taqbaylit: Talsasit
Türkçe: Alsasça