The official language in Liechtenstein is standard German. Of the four countries in Europe that have the majority of German speakers, Liechtenstein is the smallest. Liechtenstein’s local German dialect is called Alemannic and belongs to the highly divergent Swiss-German majority of Liechtenstein. It is important to note that the younger generation are with more frequency speaking Swiss German, partly due to the influence of the primary school teachers speaking Swiss German as well as Swiss German media. Alemannic is derived from the ancient German alliance of tribes known as the Allemani, meaning all men.
Highest Alemannic is spoken to the south of the country while high Alemannic is spoken in the rest of the country. However, the spoken Alemannic slightly differ from one region to the other. These differences are mainly pronunciation and speaking speed. In Triesenberg, the dialect borrows from Old High German while the rest are close to upper German. The sound "ei" for instance is maintained in its original form in Triesenberg while it is spoken in many different ways across the other parts of Liechtenstein.
In Liechtenstein, "gruss gott" means hello, while the most familiar greeting is "Hoi". You bid people goodbye by saying "wie der sehen" (pronounced as vee-der-zane). With friends, the familiar goodbye is "ciao" while you say "bitte" when saying "please".
Italian and Turkish are the two most popular minority languages spoken in the country.
This page was last modified on May 1st, 2018
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