Sorbian languages

These are two Slavic languages spoken in Germany, in the region called Lusatia. Upper Sorbian has 13.000 native speakers, and Lower Sorbian has 6.000. There are some dialogs written in the language: National anthem of Sorbians: I do not know very much about this nation, but I'd like to find out more! How many people on Duolingo would like to learn them? P. S. Are there any native speakers on Duolingo?

May 25, 2016


I might be interested. I was in the area of Lusatia and it is truely intriguing minority nation. They had hard time at least in recent two centuries, facing German nationalism, discrimination and destructive mining. (I heard from one person that it is a "German Tibet" which nowadays is a bit exageration but maybe in the recent past).

Sorbians are the last Slavic nation that survived 1000 years of Germanisation. All East of Germany was once the Slavic speaking area, but now it can be visible in many local names. Even Berlin was a Slavic town and its name has Slavic origins, as well as Leipzig, Dresden, Lübeck, Rostock...

Lower Sorbian, spoken South-East to Berlin in area of Cottbus, is extremely endangered. Majority of them are Lutheran, which actually helped in germanisation. It is best preserved in the area north to the Cottbus city. Linguists suppose that around 5-10 thousand mainly elderly people can speak it, but there’s no village where it is in majority. In Lower Sorbian there’s one half-hour TV programme per month "Łužyca" and one hour a day programme in the RBB radio. There's only one newspaper (once a week) in Lower Sorbian – Nowy Casnik

Upper Sorbian spoken in the eastern part of the state of Saxony is in a bit better condition, because there's a Catholic area north-west to Bautzen, where majority of people speaks until today Sorbian (around 10-15 thousand people). Rest of the area is Lutheran and there situation is simmilar to Lower Sorbian – all native speakers are in the minority. Radio and tv situation with Upper Sorbian is simmilar, but there are more newspapers available, including one daily newspaper Serbske Nowiny. All together linguists estimate that up to 30-40 thousand people can speak it.

To save the language Sorbs started a Witaj immersion programme, but as far as I know no one knows how successful it is yet.

Contrary to the language, many Slavic folk traditions survived in the area.

Some links:

RBB Łužyca in Lower Sorbian:
Brandenburg Sorbian Radio:
Nowy Casnik:

Upper Sorbian radio programme:
Serbskie Nowiny:
Wuhladko TV programme in Upper Sorbian: – Witaj programme website – Serbski Sokoł athletic association


May 25, 2016

Very nice research, kudos to you. I would like to add

which is the link of my institute where you can study both Upper and Lower Sorbian. I would also like to point out that there are no reliable numbers with regard to the number of speakers and the numbers quoted in the net are mostly very much outdated and partly based on pure guesswork. Both Upper and Lower Sorbian are very much endangered, and therefore, it would be very important for us to be able to add our languages here.


January 23, 2017

how can I contact you?

July 22, 2019

July 24, 2019

Thank you very much for the links!

May 25, 2016

Well I am a bit fascinated by those tiny nations. There are few more sources though, I just gave some of the major ones. There are some cool music bands that sing in Sorbian, like Folksammen, Jankahanka, Berlinska Dróha, Wusmuž, etc.
Intriguing are also religious relations in the area, that break a bit stereotypes. I should add that near the village of Slepo/Schleife survived a mixed dialect, so some people claim there are three Sorbian languages now.

May 25, 2016

I would second the request, but I would suggest to start with Upper Sorbian. I am not native (btw, being a native speaker of a regional language does not automatically imply linguistic competence), but I do think I of myself as a competent speaker and language teacher (I have also written a primer for Upper Sorbian with a colleague) and I would be willing to contribute. I think many of my students (most of which are native speakers of Upper Sorbian) would contribute as well.

January 23, 2017

I don't know anything about them, would you please explain some about them?

May 25, 2016

Not natively fluent, but I'm one of the less than approx. 100,000 Sorbs left worldwide. I'd like to help create a course to help reinvigorate the language. And if people want to learn about culture or history, I can do that too!

January 16, 2018

I'm probably the most ambitiously ethnic of Slavic heritage I know in my area... I never have heard about this until now. Mind blown

May 26, 2016

Well, no one can know all nations of the world. There are thousends of them, and every one is unique, to some extent. Sorbs are interesting, because they are last remnant of the amazing past of the lands along Elbe river, often hidden or ignored.

May 26, 2016

There are many people of Sorbian descent in Texas. We are called Wendish here in Texas. There are almost no Sorbian:Wendish speakers left in Texas. There is a large cultural society though. I’m sure many more would be interested in learning on an app like this if they knew about it!

July 19, 2019

Thank you - our institute and myself would love to get active here because we also see the lack of internet resources for learning Sorbian. And I doubt that the demand would be lower than the demand for Klingon ...

July 20, 2019

I would love to learn Sorbian (preferably Upper Sorbian). I am a native Czech speaker, but I can also learn from English or may be even German. I come from Lusatian mountains in the Czech Republic, which are bordering the Upper Lusatia.

November 19, 2017

Count me in. I'm rather interested in learning Upper Sorbian. I actually discovered Duolingo while doing a search for resources about the language, heh.

Any word if this might actually happen here?

April 29, 2018

Oh, I've just seen this now.

I'm native Serbian and German and used to watch the Sorbian television programs in Germany: I once was able to speak and understand Sorbian, but today I've just forgotten everything. I'm really sad about it because I have nobody to teach me the language anymore. Thank you so much for reminding me to try learning it on my own.

June 21, 2018

I'm in favor of a course for Lower Sorbian. I have some textbooks and dictionaries, and took a class many years ago. There is virtually no material in English for learning either Sorbian language; almost all material is in German.

December 31, 2018

I would love to learn Sorbian. Maybe there could be a course for German speakers as well as English speakers?

February 21, 2019

I doubt Duolingo will get to Sorbian anytime soon due to low demand, but you can find exactly what you asked about on, so far there's Upper Sorbian from both German and English on A1 and A2 levels, B1 level, and Lower Sorbian A1-A2 only from German.

April 24, 2019

I'd definitely be interested, either from Engish or from German. If duolingo cares about minority languages, adding either of the Sorbian languages would be a great way to show it. ;)

April 12, 2019
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