Alsatian language

From Simple English Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Native toFrance
Native speakers
900,000 (2013)[1]
Official status
Recognised minority
language in
Regulated byNo official regulation
Language codes
ISO 639-3gsw (with Swiss German)
Glottologswis1247  Swiss German
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Alsatian (French: Alsacien, German: Elsässisch) is a Germanic language. It is spoken in Alsace (eastern part of France). It is used for a number of dialects, spoken in Alsace, Franche-Comté, and Jura. Linguistically, we are looking at a number of dialects, with common properties.

Most of the Alsatian dialects are Germanic. Alsatian is also used for a few dialects that are based on French, and that are spoken in the Vosges, Franche-Comte, territoire de Belfort, and Jura (on both sides of the border).

There are slight differences in the dialects, the one in the north have a sligtly different vocabulary and grammar to the ones in the south. The dialect spoken in the city of Strasbourg is also slighlty different from those in the sourrounding areas.

Statistics[change | change source]

In 2012, the Office pour la Langue et la Culture d’Alsace did a survey:[2]

  • 43% said they had a good knowledge of Alsatian, and they used it regularly.
  • 33% said they had a basic knowledge or understanding of Alsatian
  • 25% said they didn't know Alsatian.

Of those who speak Alsatian:

  • 96% speak it with their families
  • 88% speak it with friends
  • 48% speak it at the office

Those who speak Alsatian are generally older:

  • In the age group 60 years and older, 74% speak Alsatian
  • In the age group 44-59, 54% do
  • Of those 30-44, 24% do,
  • 12% of the 18-30 year old
  • only 3% of the 3 to 17 year old

In the three big cities of the region (Strasbourg, Colmar and Mulhouse), Alsatian is spoken less. There, fewer than a third of the adults say they speak Alsatian. Around Wissenbourg, Haguenau, and Saverne, over half the people answered they were good speakers.

Dominique, from Molsheim, speaking Alsatian. Note that Dominique has French as his mother tongue; he has a French accent. This file was done with project Wikitongues, in 2018.

References[change | change source]

  1. Alsatian at Ethnologue (19th ed., 2016)
  2. "Der Dialekt in Zahlen |". Retrieved 2023-05-18.