Bavarian (Boarisch)

Bavarian is a West Germanic language spoken in Bavaria, Austria, Italy and the Czech Republic. In the Free State of Bavaria (Freistaat Bayern) in the southeast of Germany (Deitschland), Bavarian is spoken mainly in the districts of Upper Bavaria (Obabayern) and Lower Bavaria (Niadabayern). In Austria it is spoken in the states of Lower Austria (Niedaöstareich), Salzburg (Soizburg), Carinthia (Karntn) and Styria (Steiamoak).

In Italy Bavarian is spoken in the Trentino-Alto Adige (Trentino-Sidtiroul) region of South Tyrol. In the Czech Republic there are Bavarian speakers in the regions of South Bohemia (Jihočeský kraj), Karlovy Vary, Plzeň, and Vysočina. There are also some Bavarian speakers in Grisons in Switzerland, and in Sopron in Hungary.

Bavarian at a glance

  • Native name: Boarisch [ˈbɔɑrɪʃ]
  • Language family: Indo-European, Germanic, West Germanic, Irminones, High German, Upper German
  • Number of speakers: c. 14 million
  • Spoken in: Bavaria, Austria, Italy and the Czech Republic
  • First written: 11th century
  • Writing system: Latin script

In 2005 there were about 6 million speakers of Bavarian in Bavaria, 250,000 in Italy and 9,000 in the Czech Republic. According to the European Commission, there were 7.8 million speakers of Bavarian in Austria in 2012. The total number of speakers is about 14 million [source].

Bavarian is mainly used as a spoken language and is rarely used in writing. Instead Standard German, which is known as Schriffdeutsch (written German), is used. There is no standard way of writing Bavarian and it is not taught in schools. There are, however, some written materials in the language, such as grammars, poetry and a translation of the Bible. Bavarian is also used in songs.

There are three main varieties of Bavarian:

Bavarian alphabet

A a À à Â â Å å Ã ã Ă ă Ä ä B b C c
D d E e È è É é Ê ê Ẽ ẽ Ĕ ĕ F f G g
H h I i Î î J j K k L l M m N n O o
Ò ò Ó ó Ô ô Ŏ ŏ Ö ö P p Q q R r S s
T t U u Û û Ü ü V v W w X x Y y Z z


Northern Bavarian pronunciation

Bavarian pronunciation

Details of Bavarian pronunciation supplied by Michael Peter Füstumum


Sample of Bavarian

Northern Bavarian

I bin in den Stadl gegangn, und do warn Taubn drinna, und do is om vo da Mühle aa is om Gedreide aufgschütt gwesd

IPA transcription

ɪç bɪn ɪn ʒdoːᵈl ɡɔŋə, ᶷn do βoən daːm drɪnə, ᶷn dao ɪz uəm və də mlʲ aː ɪz uəm troi̯t aːvɡʒit kβeːzd...

Standard German version

Ich bin in den Stadel gegangen, und da waren Tauben drinnen, und da ist oben von der Mühle auch ist oben Getreide aufgeschüttet gewesen...

English Translation

I went into the barn, and there were pigeons in it, and then, upstairs, there was grain heaped up as well, from the mill...


Sample videos in Bavarian

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Information about Bavarian

Bavarian courses Boarisch.htm

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Germanic languages

Afrikaans, Alsatian, Bavarian, Cimbrian, Danish, Dutch, Elfdalian, English, Faroese, Flemish, Frisian (East), Frisian (North), Frisian (Saterland), Frisian (West), German, Gothic, Gottscheerish, Gronings, Hunsrik, Icelandic, Limburgish, Low German, Luxembourgish, Mòcheno, Norn, Norwegian, Old English, Old Norse, Pennsylvania German, Ripuarian, Scots, Shetland(ic), Stellingwarfs, Swabian, Swedish, Swiss German, Transylvanian Saxon, Värmlandic, Wymysorys, Yiddish, Yola, Zeelandic

Languages written with the Latin alphabet

Page last modified: 21.03.23


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