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Riograndenser Hunsrückisch German

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Riograndenser Hunsrückisch German

Riograndenser Hunsrückisch
Native to Brazil
Native speakers
3 million (2006, guestimated from WorldHeritage ethnic figures)[1]
Official status
Official language in


Language codes
ISO 639-3 hrx
Glottolog riog1239[3]

Riograndenser Hunsrückisch (Portuguese: hunsriqueano riograndense, English: Hunsrik, Hunsriker or Rio Grande Hunsriker), spoken in parts of Brazil, is a Moselle Franconian variety derived primarily from the Hunsrückisch dialect of the German language.

Riograndenser Hunsrückisch developed from the Hunsrückisch dialect when immigrants from the Hunsrück region of Germany (Rhineland-Palatinate) settled in southern regions such as Rio Grande do Sul.

While primarily based on the Hunsrückisch branch of the German language it has also been greatly influenced by other German dialects such as Pommersch-Platt and Plautdietsch and by Portuguese, the national language of Brazil and, to a lesser extent, by indigenous languages such as Kaingang and Guarani and by immigrant languages such as Italian and Talian.

Portuguese expressions and words are commonly imported into Riograndenser Hunsrückisch, particularly in reference to fauna and flora (which are different from that of Germany) and to technological innovations that did not exist when the original immigrants came to Brazil, leading to words like Aviong for airplane (Portuguese avião) instead of Flugzeug, Kamiong (Pt. caminhão, truck), Televisong (Pt. televisão), etc. Daily expressions are often literal translations of Portuguese, such as Alles gut? (literally "everything good?", modeled after the Portuguese "tudo bem?", instead of the German "wie geht's?").

Also common are the use of German suffixes attached to Portuguese words, such as Canecache, "little mug", from Portuguese caneca, "mug", and German diminutive suffix chen (che in Riograndenser Hunsrückisch); hybrid forms such as Schuhloja, "shoe shop", from German Schuh and Portuguese loja, and Germanized forms of Portuguese verbs: lembreere, "to remember"; namoreere "to flirt"; respondeere, "to answer" (Portuguese lembrar, namorar, and responder). However, regardless of these borrowings, its grammar and vocabulary are still largely German.

Although Riograndenser Hunsrückisch is the most common German dialect in south Brazil, the use of this language—particularly in the last three to four generations—continues to decrease.


  • Famous speakers 1
  • Phonology 2
    • Vowels 2.1
    • Consonants 2.2
  • Sample 3
  • See also 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6

Famous speakers

Recent Roman Catholic papal candidate Odilo Scherer[4] of Cerro Largo, located in the northwest of Rio Grande do Sul, like many from his native region grew up with this language, side-by-side with Portuguese, the national language.

Roman Catholic Cardinal Cláudio Hummes of Montenegro, Rio Grande do Sul (in the Altkolonie region of the state) grew up speaking Portuguese together with this regional variety of German.[5]

According to the famous world model

  • Os imigrantes alemães e a sua cozinha/German Immigrants and Their Cuisine (in Portuguese and German)
  • Deutsche Minderheiten in Latin America (Riograndenser Hunsrückisch) (in German)
  • Riograndenser Hunsrückisch article on Deutsche Welle (in Portuguese)
  • Katharinensisch (German - out of the various titles, seek the one titled Katharinensisch)
  • YouTube video interview with Hunsrückisch speaker from the town of Roque Gonzales, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil.
  • YouTube video conversation between two Hunsrückisch speakers from Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil.
  • YouTube video interview with Hunsrückisch speaker from the town of Biguaçu, Santa Catarina, Brazil.
  • YouTube video interview with a couple of Hunsrückisch speakers from the town of Biguaçu, Santa Catarina, Brazil.
  • Portuguese-Hunsrik online dictionary

External links

  1. ^ ISO change request
  2. ^ Instituto de Investigação e Desenvolvimento em Política Linguística - List of Brazilian municipalities with co-official languages, including Standard German as well as its dialects Hunsrückisch & Pomeranian
  3. ^ Nordhoff, Sebastian; Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2013). "Riograndenser Hunsrückisch".  
  4. ^ Aldeira de antepassados alemães torce para Scherer ser papaBBC BRASIL: March 11, 2013.
  5. ^ . Newspaper Rhein-Zeitung: Buch, Hunsrück, 07/05/2012Kardinal Hummes kehrt in den Hunsrück zurück
  6. ^
  7. ^ Ethnologue 18th Edition (2015)
  8. ^ Ethnic groups in Russia
  9. ^ U.S. Department of Commerce, Economics and Statistics Administration - Language Use in the United States: 2007
  10. ^ a b c Wiesemann, U. 2008. Contribuição ao desenvolvimento de uma ortografia da língua Hunsrik falada na América do Sul. Associação Internacional de Linguística—SIL Brasil, Cuiabá.
  11. ^ a b Altenhofen, C. V.; Frey, J.; Käfer, M. L.; Klassmann, M. S.; Neumann, G. R.; Spinassé, K. P. 2007. Fundamentos para uma escrita do Hunsrückisch falado no Brasil. Revista Contingentia, 2: 73-87.


See also

(23 Then the whole company of them arose, and brought him before Pilate. 2 And they began to accuse him, saying, "We found this man perverting our nation, and forbidding us to give tribute to Caesar, and saying that he himself is Christ a king." 3 And Pilate asked him, "Are you the King of the Jews?" And he answered him, "You have said so." 4 And Pilate said to the chief priests and the multitudes, "I find no crime in this man." 5 But they were urgent, saying, "He stirs up the people, teaching throughout all Judea, from Galilee even to this place.")

23 Do sin di ganze Leit ufgestie, hon Jesus bis Pilatus genomm un hon angefang anzegewe un sage: 2 Mier hon do de Mann angetroff unser Volk am ufhetze. De is degege em Kaiser Steier bezahle und saat wär er de Messias und Kenig. 3 Do hot de Pilatus gefroot. Bist du de Jude seine Kenig? Is wohr, hot Jesus geantwort. 4 Do hot Pilatus fer de Hochepriester un zum Volk gesaat: Ich kann kee Schuld an dem Mann finne! 5 Awer di hon angehal und hon gesaat: De dut Unordnung anrichte unnig em Volk mit sein Untericht iwerall in Judäa. In Galiläa hot er angefang un jetz is er do bei uns.

The same text in a spelling based on Standard German spelling:

23 Too sin ti kanse layt uf kextii, hon Yeesus pis Pilatos kenom un hon aan kefang aan se këwe un saare: 2 Mëyer hon too te man aan ketrof unser folek am uf hëtse. Tee is te keeche em khayser xtayer petsaale un saat wëyer te Mësiias un Kheenich. 3 Too hot te Pilatos kefroot: Pixt tu te Yute sayne Kheenich? Is woer, hot Yeesus keantwort. 4 Too hot Pilatos fer te hooche priister un tsum folek kesaat: Ich khan khee xult an tëm man fine! 5 Awer tii hon aan kehal un hon kesaat: Tee tuut unortnung aan richte unich em folek mit sayn untricht iweraal in Yuteeya. In Kalileeya hot er aan kefang, un yëts is er too pay uns.

Yeesus un Pilatos

Chapter 23, 1–5 of Luke's Gospel in Riograndenser Hunsrückisch, according to Dr. Ursula Wiesemann's[10] orthography:


The contrast between plosives is not of voice, but of articulatory force, a phenomenon observed in some other dialects of German.

Orthography between plain angle brackets follows Wiesemann's[10] orthography and between italic angle brackets follows Altenhofen et al.'s[11] orthography.

Bilabial Labiodental Alveolar Postalveolar Palatal Velar Uvular Glottal
Plosive ‹ph› ‹p› /pʰ/, ‹p› ‹b› /p/ ‹th› ‹t› /tʰ/, ‹t› ‹d› /t/ ‹kh› ‹k› /kʰ/, ‹k› ‹g› /k/
Affricate ‹ts› ‹z, tz› /ts/ ‹tx› ‹tsch› /tʃ/
Fricative ‹f› ‹f, v› /f/, ‹w› ‹w› /v/ ‹s› ‹s, ss› /s/ ‹x› ‹sch› /ʃ/ ‹ch› ‹ch› /ç/ ‹ch› ‹ch› /χ~x/ ‹h› ‹h› /h/
Nasal ‹m› ‹m› /m/ ‹n› ‹m› /n/ ‹ng, n› ‹ng, n› /ŋ/
Approximant ‹l› ‹l› /l/ ‹y› ‹j› /j/
Rhotic ‹r› ‹r› /ɾ/


Spelling (Wiesemann) [10] A AA AY AU E EE Ë EY I II O OO OY U UU
Spelling (Altenhofen et al.) [11] A OO EI AU E E, EE, EH E EE I I, IE O O, OH EU U U, UH
Pronunciation /a/ /ɔː/~/aː/ /ai̯/ /au̯/ /ə/ /eː/ /e/~/ɛ/ ei̯ /i/ /iː/ /o~ɔ/ /oː/ /ɔi̯/ /u/ /uː/



Approximate distribution of L1 speakers of German or a German variety outside Europe(according to Ethnologue 2015[7] unless referenced otherwise)
Note: Numbers of speakers should not be summed up per country, as they most likely overlap considerably; table includes varieties with disputed statuses as separate language.
Argentina Australia Belize Bolivia Brazil Canada Chile Israel Kazakhstan Mexico Namibia New Zealand Paraguay Russia South Africa Uruguay United States Sum
Standard German 400,000 79,000 N/A 160,000 1,500,000 430,000 35,000 200,000 178,000 N/A 22,500 36,000 166,000 394,138[8] 12,000 28,000 1,104,354[9] 4,744,922
Hunsrik/Hunsrückisch N/A N/A N/A N/A 3,000,000 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 3,000,000
Yiddish 200,000 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 215,000 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 150,000 565,000
Low German/Plautdietsch 4,000 N/A 6,900 60,000 8,000 80,000 N/A N/A 50,000 40,000 N/A N/A 40,000 N/A N/A 2,000 12,000 302,900
Pennsylvania Dutch N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 15,000 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 118,000 133,000
Hutterite N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 23,200 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 10,800 40,000

During an interview in 2011, renowned Brazilian writer, translator and International Relations professor Aldyr Schlee talked in detail about having been an eyewitness to the repression of the German language in his native state of Rio Grande do Sul during World War II.


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