https://www.duolingo.com/PhelanBavaria

Bavarian for English speakers

Hi everybody!

I'm a language enthusiast from Bavaria and learned to love duolingo. My native language (Austro-)Bavarian has sadly (or luckily) become recognized as vulnerable language by UNESCO. My dream is to take my part in saving the language by teaching it to people, raising awareness of it and clarifying the many misconceptions and falsities.

I already sent a request to duolingo, but haven't gotten a response yet. I wanted to create this discussion to hear the opinion of people and hopefully get positive response, which hopefully speeds up the process.

Thank you for reading and I'm excited to hear what you have to say :)

9/19/2015, 12:32:06 PM

34 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/PhelanBavaria

Thanks a lot for this great feedback so far! I see that lots of other languages didn't make it into the hatching process yet, but hope dies last :) Bavarian and Alemanic (Swabian and Switz German) are closely related, I can understand somebody from Switzerland (with a thick dialect) reasonably well, whereas most North Germans would have lots of trouble. There is no standardization for Bavarian yet, and even if there would be, it couldn't cover all the different kinds of pronunciations and varieties. For a long time I have been trying to write Bavarian how I actually say it, rather than most Bavarians who try to write it as closely to German as possible. My course and way of writing would cover the middle part of Bavarian on this chart: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/8a/Bairisches_Mundartgebiet.PNG It's my native dialect group and also probably the one with the biggest potential interest (Munich and Vienna are parts of it). On another note, there are approximately 12 million (according to Wikipedia) native Bavarian speakers, which makes it a more widely spoken language than for example Croatian or Swedish, and almost as widely spoken as Greek (13 million).

9/19/2015, 2:30:31 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/melagolden
  • 25
  • 13
  • 12
  • 12
  • 11
  • 8
  • 8
  • 6

Just out of curiosity, does standard Bavarian exist or is Bavarian a cluster of languages?

Don't get me wrong, but Germans, from Munich, told me that the Südtiroler dialect sounds strange to them even though it is classified as Bavarian. I don't know anything about Austrian Bavarian but I guess there are some differences. Do you think it is possible to get around this problem and to develop a satsifying Bavarian course?

Having said that, I am actually a fan of your idea.

9/19/2015, 1:18:36 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/pseudocreobotra

It's a cluster that can be divided into at least three groups and is not standardized. There is kind of a standard for transcribing it but still... Lots of differences. It would probably best to focus on one sub-dialect...

Just like if there were ever a Ripuarian course (probably not going to happen...), it would also have to focus on one version, probably Kölsch as it's the best known Ripuarian dialect and has more speakers than any other variety. (I used Ripuarian - a dialect group from Western Germany closely related to Limburgish - as an example because other than Bavarian, I know quite a bit about Ripuarian and also speak the Rhinelandic regiolect myself.)

9/19/2015, 2:08:37 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/NovaEuropa

I would love it! Another High German language would have my support. For those who don't know, it is spoken in Bavaria, Germany, and Northern Italy. I also hear it is close to the Swiss German languages. Anyway, hope that you can start this up. Good luck.

9/19/2015, 1:09:58 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/Franz9210

You meant Austria :)

1/19/2018, 2:38:58 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/Roman_Huczok
  • 22
  • 21
  • 19
  • 14
  • 11
  • 7
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 2
  • 33

I fully support the addition of this course.

9/19/2015, 3:03:29 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/SteveLando
  • 24
  • 20
  • 19
  • 18
  • 16
  • 15
  • 13
  • 13
  • 12
  • 12
  • 10
  • 10
  • 9
  • 9
  • 9
  • 8
  • 8
  • 7
  • 7
  • 6
  • 6
  • 6
  • 5
  • 5
  • 5
  • 4
  • 4
  • 3
  • 3

I fully support the creation of a Bavarian course!

9/20/2015, 4:16:39 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/Neptunium
  • 22
  • 17
  • 14
  • 11
  • 7
  • 6
  • 6
  • 4
  • 4
  • 3
  • 3

There's always the option of making a course in the forums. You could even make your own website.

It's hard to find a good Bavarian resource, but there only needs to be one good one for learners. If you really don't mind putting the time into making a good Bavarian course with audio and reading materials, you're website will be the first point of reference for anyone looking to learn Bavarian.

You can find lots of one page lists of Bavarian words and phrases on the internet. There are some websites that explain the differences between High German and Bavarian. There are resources for native speakers to read and listen to, but there's no structured resource designed to help a learner build up their listening and reading skills (and, with external practice, their speaking and writing) to a conversational level.

Of course, this is only if you a) have the time and b) want to. If you'd like, I can send you links to online resources for various languages to give you an idea of the different types of language teaching styles.

9/21/2015, 2:42:25 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/PhelanBavaria

Yes, I thought about that, I'm working on a structure with a friend already. Making my own website might not be such a good idea though, since I basically rebuild duolingo, unless you meant a website for random stuff and information about it, like news and shows or grammar rules in Bavarian. We are not quite sure how the preparations for putting it on duolingo will look like, but I think it would be a good idea to put them up once they are good enough.

9/21/2015, 2:53:47 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/Neptunium
  • 22
  • 17
  • 14
  • 11
  • 7
  • 6
  • 6
  • 4
  • 4
  • 3
  • 3

Duolingo is a great website for practising languages (or at least it was before they made nearly every exercise translating FROM the language you're learning...), but I consider it the modern equivalent of a workbook. Great for practice, but there are far more efficient ways to learn a language. Give me a minute and I'll send you those links I was talking about.

9/21/2015, 3:05:00 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/Jen_the_N
  • 17
  • 15
  • 8
  • 3

I would love to see a Bavarian course someday!

9/26/2015, 11:09:18 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/Syvar
  • 21
  • 11
  • 9
  • 8
  • 3

Nice idea. However ... I really don't want to disillusion you but chances for the course to be started in the next time would appear to be rather faint. I mean, there are lots of languages and important courses like "Arabic for English" are yet to be made and there are much more people who would take these courses. Also, lots of people requested e.g. Latin (for years!) and there is no corresponding course ...

On the other hand, there's "Klingon for English". So there is definitely a distinct possibility for a Bavarian course ;-)

Btw: I'm also from Germany and I simply adore the Bavarian acccent :D

9/19/2015, 12:54:22 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/-..--..-.-.-.-

Don't forget Finnish and how we've spammed Duo to add one

9/19/2015, 7:57:26 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/no100per
  • 18
  • 13
  • 7
  • 4

well, there is already one exception of a german dialect course: the english - dutch course (I am only partially kidding as any person from pre-1870 would agree :)

9/20/2015, 8:15:16 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/necronudist85

All those Klingons refugees now will have a chance.

9/19/2015, 1:34:05 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/ChristianofPeace

I always though Bavaria always spoke German.

9/19/2015, 12:54:14 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/miacomet
  • 22
  • 16
  • 13
  • 13
  • 12
  • 12
  • 11
  • 10
  • 10
  • 9
  • 8
  • 8
  • 8
  • 7
  • 7
  • 7
  • 6
  • 6
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 3
  • 2

The standard language there is still Standard German, but the actual language of the people is at the opposite end of a dialect continuum from Dutch and Standard German, and is different enough to be considered a different language (as I learned when traveling from Nuremberg to Munich). It's spoken in Austria and Bavaria (excluding Franconia which is politically but not historically part of Bavaria).

9/19/2015, 2:58:18 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/mizinamo
  • 20
  • 17
  • 16
  • 14
  • 14
  • 14
  • 13
  • 11
  • 10
  • 10
  • 9
  • 8
  • 8
  • 7
  • 6
  • 6
  • 4
  • 4
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2

Many people in Bavaria and Austria do speak German, but for a lot of people, a Bavarian dialect is their native tongue and what they use at home and with friends, and German their first "foreign" language that they learn at school or through watching television and can easily understand but not necessarily speak perfectly.

Bavarian and German are very similar but also have differences.

9/19/2015, 2:58:44 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/no.name.42
  • 25
  • 25
  • 25
  • 18
  • 14
  • 12
  • 10
  • 10
  • 8
  • 8
  • 7
  • 6
  • 6
  • 6
  • 4
  • 3
  • 3
  • 3
  • 3
  • 1623

Help to enlighten an ignorant American. Isn't Bavarian a dialect that is mutually intelligible with High German? unless it has an army and a navy I don't know about.

9/19/2015, 2:31:21 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/Neptunium
  • 22
  • 17
  • 14
  • 11
  • 7
  • 6
  • 6
  • 4
  • 4
  • 3
  • 3

I talked to an Austrian girl who said that every time she goes to Germany, she tries speaking Austrian German (which falls into the Bavarian group) for the first few hours, but eventually has to 'switch' to High German.

Interestingly, the same girl says she only ever talks to her Dutch cousin in German and her cousin only talks back in Dutch, and they can understand each other perfectly despite neither of them knowing the other's language. She didn't mentioned whether it's High or Austrian German that she speaks to her cousin.

9/19/2015, 2:36:31 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/miacomet
  • 22
  • 16
  • 13
  • 13
  • 12
  • 12
  • 11
  • 10
  • 10
  • 9
  • 8
  • 8
  • 8
  • 7
  • 7
  • 7
  • 6
  • 6
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 3
  • 2

Probably high German. Austria-Bavarian is at the opposite end of a dialect continuum from Dutch.

9/19/2015, 3:00:26 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/Neptunium
  • 22
  • 17
  • 14
  • 11
  • 7
  • 6
  • 6
  • 4
  • 4
  • 3
  • 3

Interesting. So I take it that knowing Bavarian, High German and Dutch will help greatly in understand all the variants of the dialect continuum in-between? High German and Dutch together have bothed helped my understanding of Low German. Are there any other 'corners' of the dialect continuum I should know about?

9/19/2015, 3:12:40 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/miacomet
  • 22
  • 16
  • 13
  • 13
  • 12
  • 12
  • 11
  • 10
  • 10
  • 9
  • 8
  • 8
  • 8
  • 7
  • 7
  • 7
  • 6
  • 6
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 3
  • 2

I think the other major "corner" (I like that way of putting it) is the Swiss German and Allemannic dialects in the southwest, which are closer to Bavarian, but also very divergent. So-called Low German dialects (e.g. Plattdeutsch and Pennsylvania Dutch) are also noteworthy and are intermediate between Dutch and Standard German.

9/19/2015, 7:25:46 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/frankk1m
Plus
  • 16
  • 16
  • 16
  • 15
  • 15
  • 14
  • 14
  • 13
  • 12
  • 12
  • 11
  • 11
  • 11
  • 11
  • 10
  • 10
  • 9
  • 9
  • 9
  • 7
  • 7
  • 7
  • 6
  • 6
  • 6
  • 4
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2

Plattdeutsch is indeed Low German, but Pennsylvania Dutch is a variety of High German closely related to the variety spoken in the Palatinate or Pfalz region in Germany today. It is closer to the southern varieties.

6/9/2016, 12:55:33 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/PhelanBavaria

It's less mutually intelligible than Swedish and Norwegian, of course it is easier for a German to learn Bavarian than it is for a Spaniard, but it also is easier for a Spaniard to learn Italian than it is for a German. Curiously enough though, it seems that Spaniards and Italians have an easier time pronouncing Bavarian than Germans. Bavaria was independent for about 1400 years, and has just recently been subdued. Also, a language doesn't need to have it's own country (well, technically Austria is Bavarian speaking and they are independent) to be recognized.

9/19/2015, 2:38:45 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/mizinamo
  • 20
  • 17
  • 16
  • 14
  • 14
  • 14
  • 13
  • 11
  • 10
  • 10
  • 9
  • 8
  • 8
  • 7
  • 6
  • 6
  • 4
  • 4
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2

Except for the far west of Austria (Vorarlberg) where they speak Alemannic ("Swiss") - the mountains there maintained the dialect/language border from the Bavarian dialects in the rest of the country.

9/19/2015, 2:59:53 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/samstankie

so have you made something yet? the website memrise.com might be worth looking at and most people make and post on YouTube.

1/2/2018, 10:11:16 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/PhelanBavaria

By chance I saw that somebody posted here, I can't believe it's been two years. I have indeed continued with this project and have worked on a language standard which is easy to learn but still expressive. Currently I am working on creating a website to preserve and teach languages like Bavarian. It's far from being done, but you can have a look here: www.servare.org. Please don't hesitate to contact me directly ;)

3/6/2018, 8:39:28 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/M.v.Wagnon

Bairisch has about 3500 words that are unique in the German family of dialects, of which there are 144 documented. The two primary forms of Bairisch are Oberbairisch and Niederbairisch - which should be self explanatory. Oberbaierisch can be heard in Munich, for example. Many differences involve pronunciation such as flattening of the Umlaute, but not allways. None of the above is completely inclusive or exclusive. One may hear as many of five, shall we say, versions of Bairisch in Munich - depending upon the quarter.

3/5/2018, 7:37:10 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/PhelanBavaria

Where do you have this number 3500 from? Oberbairisch and Niederbairisch are not considered "forms" of Bavarian, the traditional distinction is between North-, Middle- and South Bavarian. Bavarian has a completely different vowel system compared to German, so I wouldn't call them "flattened Umlaute". You are lucky if you hear only one version of Bavarian in Munich these days...

3/6/2018, 8:42:07 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/skylakas
Plus
  • 23
  • 13
  • 13
  • 6
  • 2
  • 46

Bavarian is spoken only in a smaller part of Bavaria close to the Alps. There are several totally different dialect in Bavaria and from my point of view Franconian (spoken in the north and middle of Bavaria) is more important than Bavarian ;-) just to bring a very local discussion to the international world of Duolingo....

9/20/2015, 3:31:14 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/PhelanBavaria

I'm not sure if you are trolling or not :P Bavarian is spoken in about half of Bavaria (by area) and almost everywhere in Austria and also in some other places like Tirol and some other minor communities around the world. Franconian may be more important for you personally, and that is fine. I really like Franconians though, so you are good ;)

9/20/2015, 4:21:34 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/skylakas
Plus
  • 23
  • 13
  • 13
  • 6
  • 2
  • 46

You are right saying that Bavarian and a high number of dialects from Austra and Tyrol all belong to the Bavarian Language Family. But in day to day use, there are huge differences and there is nothing that closely resembles something like a standard. Even in different areas of Ober- and Niederbayern, the dialects are very different. If you throw in somebody from Tyrol in the mix you have like a gazillion different versions. If you teach Munich-Bavarian in Dualingo, a lot of people will be offended and ask for the personal valley version. The same holds for Franconian :-)

9/21/2015, 2:12:18 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/PhelanBavaria

I think I can write a standard which is satisfying enough for middle Bavarians and perhaps even Northern Bavarians. The biggest difference are slight pronunciations, I have friends from the middle Bavarian speaking part of Austria, and I keep being fascinated how similar our dialects are (except for a few words). Perhaps you have a point though and the course should have the word "middle" before "Bavarian" written in parentheses. Also, the words that are really different (e.g. the word "Corn" in my dialect is "Mais", whereas in Austria you would say something like "Guguruz") could be all go into the dictionary with a comment saying in which region it is used. To give an example, watch Hubert von Goisern - Brenna tuats guat (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l-XYBJOKNMg) (which by the way is horribly written, not at all how you say it). He is Austrian, but if I were to sing it in my dialect, I would sing it almost exactly the same way, except for a very few words such as money, which is said like "Geid" in my dialect and he says it like "Göid".

9/21/2015, 3:08:51 PM
Learn a language in just 5 minutes a day. For free.