Low Lusatian German
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Low Lusatian German
Low Lusatian
Native toGermany
RegionBrandenburg, Saxony
Language codes
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Low Lusatian German (in German: Niederlausitzer Mundart (also English: Low Lusatian dialect)) is a variety of Central German spoken in northern Saxony and southern Brandenburg within the regions of Lower Lusatia (Cottbus) and the northern part of Upper Lusatia (Hoyerswerda). It is well-defined from the Low German dialects around and north of Berlin, as well as the Saxon dialect group of present-day Saxony and the Slavic language of the Sorbs.

Both regions were strongly influenced by different dialects, especially after World War II. Refugees from East Prussia and Silesia settled there after their dispossession from former German areas. After the foundation of the German Democratic Republic and an economical development because of a stronger extraction of lignite people from Mecklenburg, Thuringia, Saxony, and Saxony-Anhalt moved to the Lusatia region to benefit from the development. Due to this influence of other German dialects, Low Lusatian never formed a too strong variation from standard German. For people moving now into this area, the dialect is easy to learn and influences their spoken language quite quickly.[]


Low Lusatian German lacks region-specific words. It contains syncopes and apocopes, which are used in nearly every German dialect. The only somewhat different articulation is the guttural ⟨r⟩, where Standard German's ⟨er⟩ [?] ending is instead ⟨a⟩ [a]:

English Standard German Lower Lusatian German
spelling IPA spelling IPA
water Wasser ['vas?] Wassa ['vasa]
hammer Hammer ['ham?] Hamma ['hama]
sister Schwester ['?v?st?] Schwesta(r) ['?v?sta]

At the beginning of a word, the ⟨r⟩ is always spoken, but it is nearly inaudible within a word. The same effect can be seen on the letter ⟨e⟩ [?] which also mostly vanishes in the endings, the changing of ⟨au⟩ [a?] to ⟨o(h)⟩/⟨oo⟩ [o:], and the stretching of ⟨ei⟩/⟨ai⟩ [a?] to ⟨ee⟩ [e:]:

English Standard German Lower Lusatian German
spelling IPA spelling IPA
to rake harken ['ha?kn?] haakn ['ha:kn?]
to work arbeiten ['a?ba?tn?] abeitn ['abe:tn?]
to buy kaufen ['ka?fn?] kohfn ['ko:fn?]
as well auch [a?x] ooch [o:x]
on auf [a?f] ohf [o:f]
one ein (m.)
eine (f.)
eines (n.)
small kleine ['kla?n?] Kleene ['kle:n?]

The short ⟨i⟩ [?] is spoken similarly to the Standard German ⟨ü⟩ ([y] or [?]):

English Standard German Lower Lusatian German
spelling IPA spelling IPA
table Tisch [t] Tüsch [t]
church Kirche ['kç?] Kürche ['k?a?ç?]

(in smaller villages the word Kerke is used.)

cherry Kirsche ['k?] Kürsche ['k?a]

Another sign is a different form of the perfect:

English Standard German Lower Lusatian German
spelling IPA spelling IPA
it was switched off es wurde abgeschaltet [?s 'vd? 'apalt?t] es wurde abgeschalten [?s vua?d? 'apaltn?]


  • Astrid Stedje (1987). Deutsche Sprache gestern und heute. Universitätstaschenbuchverlag
  • Columns of regional newspapers written in Low Lusatian German (http://www.lr-online.de)

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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