Cimbrian is a Germanic language spoken by about 2,230 people in northeast Italy in the Sette and Tredici Comuni (Sieben and Dreizehn Gemainde) south of Trent, in some towns of Giazza (Glietzen, Ljetzen), Roana (Rabam), Lusern and in Venetia Province.
Cimbrian is taught in primary schools, but it is in danger of becoming extinct because it is being displaced by the neighbouring Venetian language, which is increasingly used as a domestic language and by Italian, which is used in public.
The first text written in Cimbrian, a religious hymn, appeared at the end of 16th century. The first evidence of Cimbrian presence in northern Italy dates back to 1287. The Cipolla brothers picked up and transcribed some local tales and songs. Local legends attribute the modern Cimbrians' lineage to the Cimbrian marauders that the Roman general Gaius Marius defeated in 102 BC at Campi Raudii, near Vercelli, however it is more probable that today's Cimbrians are descended from Lombard invaders, who invaded northern Italy in 588 AD.
Christus ist au gestanden
Von der marter alle,
Daz sollen bier alle froalich sayn
Christus bil unser troast sayn.
Christ is risen again
from all the tortures,
so we are rejoicing
Christ will be our consolation.
(Early Cimbrian hymn)
Information provided by G. Garella with corrections and additions by Michael Peter Füstumum .
Online Cimbrian course (in German and English)
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Page last modified: 14.05.21
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