Burgenland Croatian
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Burgenland Croatian

Burgenland Croatian
gradianskohrvatski jezik
Native toAustria, Hungary, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia
Native speakers
19,000 (in Burgenland)
50,000-60,000 (all speakers)[1] (2001 census)[2]
Official status
Recognised minority
language in
Language codes
ELPBurgenland Croatian

Burgenland Croatian (gradianskohrvatski jezik; German: Burgenländisch-Kroatisch, Burgenlandkroatisch, burgenlandkroatische Sprache, burgenländisch-kroatischen Sprache, Hungarian: gradiei horvát nyelv) is a regional variety of the Chakavian dialect of Croatian spoken in Austria, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Poland,[] and Slovakia. Burgenland Croatian is recognized as a minority language in the Austrian state of Burgenland, where it is spoken by 19,412 people according to official reports (2001).[2] Many of the Burgenland Croatian speakers in Austria also live in Vienna and Graz, due to the process of urbanization, which is mostly driven by the poor economic situation of large parts of Burgenland.

Smaller Croatian minorities in western Hungary, southwestern Slovakia, southern Poland[] and southern Czech Republic are often also called Burgenland Croats. They use the Burgenland Croatian written language and are historically and culturally closely connected to the Austrian Croats. The representatives of the Burgenland Croats estimate their total number in all three countries and emigration at around 70,000.


Dialects of Burgenland Croats by J. Lisac
  • ?toj dialect: dialect of the Croatian folklore group ?toji (Güttenbach, Stinatz, Neuberg), is a Shtokavian-(south)Chakavian mixed dialect
  • Vlah dialect: dialect of the Vlahi, is a Shtokavian dialect in Weiden bei Rechnitz, Zuberbach, Althodis, Schandorf, Dürnbach, Allersdorf, etc., is Shtokavian (schacavian) ikavian dialect similar to Slavonian
  • Dolinci dialect: dialect of the Dolinci in Unterpullendorf, Frankenau, Kleinmutschen, etc. is a (middle)Chakavian dialect
  • Poljan dialect: dialect of the Poljanci near Lake Neusiedl, is a (middle)Chakavian dialect
  • Hac dialect: Chakavian dialect of Haci near Neusiedl
  • some Croats speak a Kajkavian dialect near Neusiedl
  • Grob dialect: a Kajkavian dialect, spoken in Chorvátsky Grob in Slovakia


Grgur Mekini?: Dusevne peszne (Spiritual songs), is one of the first Burgenland Croatian artworks (1609).

Burgenland Croatian was the language of Croatian refugees who fled Croatia during the Turkish Wars and settled in the western part of what was then Hungary, the area where they still live. Burgenland Croats included speakers of all three dialects of the Serbo-Croatian language (Shtokavian, Chakavian and Kajkavian), with the majority being the Chakavians. They originally came from the river Una valley.

A map depicting the Una River origin theory for the Burgenland Croats

Burgenland Croats did not take part in the shaping of the present standard Croatian in the 19th century. Instead, they constructed their own written standard based mainly on the local Chakavian speech and adopted the Croatian alphabet, a modified Latin alphabet, as their script.

It is still a matter of debate whether Burgenland Croatian should be classified as a Slavic micro-language of its own. Burgenland Croatian dialects are mostly viewed as isolated dialects of the Croatian.

Burgenland Croatian and the Prekmurje dialect of Slovene (in Prekmurje and Hungary) have influenced each other. The first Prekmurje Slovene works (for example, the Old Hymnal of Martjanci) was applied to the Burgenland Croatian books. A few of those that wrote in Prekmurje Slovene were of Burgenland Croatian descent (for example Jakab Szabár) and also Burgenland Croatian (József Ficzkó).

After the dissolution of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy in 1918 the areas in which Burgenland Croats lived were divided between Austria, Czechoslovakia and Hungary. After 1921 most of these areas became part of Austria, which established a new province of Burgenland, after which the Croatian minority was named. In 1922 Austria founded the Apostolic administration of Burgenland and began to abolish bilingual schools through the introduction of the teaching of German in all primary schools. This process was temporarily stopped after The National Education Act, that allowed the work of the Croatian elementary schools, was adopted. After Hitler Annexed Austria in 1938 this law was abolished. In 1955 the Austrian State Treaty was signed. It gave permission to the Burgenland Croats to use Croatian in education, judiciary and public administration. With the adoption of the Law on National Minorities in 1976 use of Croatian in public life became limited. After constitutional complaint was accepted in 1987 parts of the law were changed and Croatian was introduced as an official in 6 out of 7 districts of Burgenland.[3]

Written language

Burgenland Croatian written language is based mainly on the local Chakavian dialect with some influences from the other Croatian dialects spoken in Burgenland. It uses the Latin alphabet with the same diacritical modifiers as the Croatian alphabet. In the course of language development it acquired some of its own specialised vocabulary, sometimes different from that used in standard Croatian.

The popular The Little Prince has also been translated into Burgenland Croatian (1998), specifically the Standard version by Ivan Rotter.[4]

Spoken language

Croats living in the south of Burgenland speak mainly the Shtokavian-Chakavian dialect, those in the central part the Chakavian dialect with a hard Kajkavian influence, and in the north (close to Vienna) the Chakavian dialect.

Differences between Standard and Burgenland Croatian

Example words

English Standard Croatian Burgenland Croatian
black crna ?rna
word rije? ri?
Jesus Christ Isus Krist Jezu? Kristu?
lower donji dolnji

First books written in Burgenland Croatian

The beginnings of literacy are linked to: Klimpu?ki misal (Klimpu?ki Missal) (1501), S. Consul Histrianus and Antun Dalmatin's Postila (Fasting) (1568), Dusevne pesne (Du?evne pesne, Spiritual songs) (1609) and Grgur Mekini? Pythiraeus's Druge kniige dussevnih peszszan (Druge knjige du?evnih pesan, Other books of the Spiritual songs) (1611). Until the mid-19th century, the literature in Burgenland Croatian had religious character and was intended mostly for peasants. Main writers were priests and nuns. In the second half of the 19th century teachers began to write. Thanks to that, many school textbooks and calendars were written.

Newspapers written in Burgenland Croatian

Newspapers of the Burgenland Croats are: Crikveni glasnik (Church Gazette), 1946; Na?e selo (Our village), 1947; Na? tjednik (Our weekly), 1947; Na?a domovina (Our homeland), 1952; Glas (Voice), 1957; Novi glas (New Voice), 1969; Put (Way), 1981).

Writers writing in Burgenland Croatian

Most popular Burgenland Croat writers are: J. Mulih (1694-1754), Godefrid Palkovi? (1714-78), L. Bogovi? (1719-89), E. M. Kragel (1725-88), M. Laáb (cca. 1746-1823), J. Ficko (1772-1843), M. Drobili? (1808-91), T. Jordan (1815-93), G. Glavani? (1833-72), M. Nakovi? (1840-1900), I. Mu?kovi? (1848-1930), M. Boreni? (1850-1939), Ivan ?ukovi? (1865-1944), P. Jandri?evi? (1879-1938), I. Bla?evi? (1888-1946), Mate Mer?i? Miloradi? (1850-1928), Ignac Horvat (1895-1973), Martin Mer?i?, A. Blazovi? (1921-2004), Franz Probst (1919-93), N. Ben?i? (b. 1938), Ivan (Lav) Su?i? (b. 1938), Mathilda Bölcs (b. 1949), J. ?enar (b. 1956), P. Tyran (b. 1955) and H. Gassner (b. 1955).[3]

The Lord's prayer in Slovene, Burgenland Croatian and Standard Croatian

Slovene Burgenland Croatian[5] Croatian
O?e na?, ki si v nebesih,

posve?eno bodi tvoje ime,
pridi k nam tvoje kraljestvo,
zgodi se tvoja volja
kakor v nebesih tako na zemlji.
Daj nam danes na? vsakdanji kruh
in odpusti nam na?e dolge,
kakor tudi mi odpuamo svojim dol?nikom,
in ne vpelji nas v sku?njavo,
temve? re?i nas hudega.

Otacz naß, ki szi na nebeszi!

Szvéti sze jime tvoje.
Pridi kralyesztvo tvoje.
Budi volya tvoja,
kako na nébi, tako na zemlyi.
Kruh naß szakidanyi dai nam ga denasz.
Odpuszti nam duge naße,
kot i mi odpuschamo duzsnikom naßim.
I ne zapelyai nasz va szkusavanye,
nego odszlobodi nasz od zla.

O?e na?, koji jesi na nebesima,

sveti se ime tvoje,
do?i kraljevstvo tvoje,
budi volja tvoja,
kako na nebu tako i na zemlji.
Kruh na? svagdanji daj nam danas,
i otpusti nam duge na?e,
kako i mi otpu?tamo du?nicima na?im,
i ne uvedi nas u napast,
nego izbavi nas od zla.

See also


  1. ^ "Geschichte der kroatischen Volksgruppe in Österreich". hrvatskicentar.at.
  2. ^ a b Bevölkerung 2001 nach Umgangssprache, Staatsangehörigkeit und Geburtsland.
  3. ^ a b "gradianski Hrvati - Hrvatska enciklopedija". enciklopedija.hr.
  4. ^ AngieWebDesign, Angie Sandoz. "Antoine de St Exupery - The Little Prince / Croatian Burgenland dialect / 1998, Hrvatsko Stamparsko Drustvo, Eisenstadt". petit-prince-collection.com.
  5. ^ The pater-noster in Kroatisch der Raaber Diöcese, vulgo Wasserkroatisch, in: Franz Sartori, Historisch-ethnographische Übersicht der wissenschaftlichen Cultur, Geistesthätigkeit und Literatur des österreichischen Kaiserthums nach seinen mannigfaltigen Sprachen und deren Bildungsstufen. In skizzirten Umrissen bearbeitet. Erster Theil, Wien, 1830, p. 436 (digitalised):

External links

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