Bregenzerwald dialect

Individuality and dialectal diversity

Bregenzerwald poet Gebhard Wölfle is well-known for his saying: "We honor the old, welcome the new, and stay true to ourselves and our native land", and indeed, the "Wälder" are confident, independent people who are proud of their roots and open to new things. Solidarity is experienced within, and the expression of this bond is the language. You can recognize a genuine Bregenzerwald native by their dialect, and every place has its own distinctive one. For example, "Mädchen" (girl) is referred to as a "Motl" in the lower Bregenzerwald. Another dialect term used for this word here is "Schmelg". "Wälderisch" is an especially distinctive High Alemannic dialect that is often hard for Vorarlberg natives to understand.

Among the Bregenzerwald natives, the people from Schwarzenberg are considered an especially "stubborn" people as evidenced by the very old saying "As git Mändle, Wieble und Schwarzobergar" - "There are men, there are women, and there are people from Schwarzenberg". This saying probably originated during the time when Schwarzenberg was one of the richest villages in the Bregenzerwald.

Birgit Rietzler, a poet in the Bregenzerwald, points out some typical "Wälderisch" expressions:
"Ma ka vom Schöanschtognuogkrieogo"
You can't get enough of a good thing
"Ma kamehasmamoant"
You can do more than you think
"Ma kaka Wunder wirko, ma hat ned/nüddrüHind/Hönd"
Man cannot work miracles, he doesn't have three hands
"Ma ka'sguotmoano und schlehtartreaffo"
You can mean well but be perceived wrong

(Source: Reisemagazin Bregenzerwald, Summer 2015)

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SCHWARZENBERG tourist office
Vorarlberg, Austria
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