Austrian German is the official language of Austria. It is used at the official level, as well as in schools, publications, broadcasting, and in public places. Austrian German is almost similar to the contemporary German used in Germany, with some variants. There are 26 alphabets in the German language and eight vowels. Five of the vowels are similar to those in English while the other three (ä, ö, and ü) have short and long variants. A vowel becomes long if it is followed by a single consonant but short if it is followed by two or more consonants.

The population of Austria is about 8.8 million. Fifteen percent of the population consists of foreigners. Approximately 88.8% consider German to be their mother tongue, 2.4% Serbian, 2.3% Turkish, 1.63% Croatian, and 0.73% English. A majority of the people are Roman Catholics, while 4.7% of the population are Protestants while Muslims make up 4.2%.

Although similar to the standard German, Austrian German consists of some vocabulary differences when compared to the standard German. “Jänner” (January) replaces “Januar”, “Stiege” (stairs) replaces “Treppe”, “Rauchfang” (chimney) replaces “Schornstein”. Standard German refer potatoes as “Kartoffeln” Austrian German call the same “Erdäpfel." Whipped cream “Schlagobers” is known as “Schlagsahne” in standard German.

Several minority languages are present in Austria, some of which are used in an official capacity. Serbian is used by 2.4% of the population and is the largest minority language. Turkish is used by 2.3% of Austrians. Burgenland Croatian is spoken by 2.5% of the population, a majority of whom live in Burgenland.

This page was last modified on May 1st, 2018

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