German dialects – Fränkisch

German dialects - Fränkisch

In our 8th blog post of German dialects and second part of Upper German we look at the Franconian language – Fränkisch.

Wikipedia says:”Franconia (German: Franken, also called Frankenland) is a region in Germany, characterised by its culture and language, and may be roughly associated with the areas in which the East Franconian dialect group, locally referred to as fränkisch, is spoken. It commonly refers to the eastern part of the historical Franconian stem duchy, mainly represented by the modern Bavarian administrative districts of Lower, Middle, and Upper Franconia, the adjacent northeastern parts of Heilbronn-Franken in Baden-Württemberg, parts of Thuringia south of the Rennsteig ridge, and small parts of Hesse. However, there is no fixed area that is officially defined as Franconia.”

So, how does it sound?

Watch some of the following videos and enjoy understanding everything …. or not ☺

I have also found a ‘dictionary’:

Fränggisch – Hochdeutsch

If you ever manage to go to the Nürnberg Christmas Market you might hear “Mengs a Schdiggla Schdolln zu ihrm Gliehwain?”

Any guesses what it means?

“Would you like a piece of stollen with your mulled wine?”

Of course I would ☺

9 thoughts on “German dialects – Fränkisch”

  1. O/T but of possible interest to your students if you haven’t covered them before. At this current moment i am in the middle of some extreme personal stress- the sort that might cause me to start drinking again and The Bestes Frau In The World to be sectioned again. The details are not relevant, suffice to say if I have to sit through many more hours of Handels Water Boarding Music I may just swing for someone (Exkurs fuer Ange: a lot of English people don’t know that that phrase actually means ‘i may murder someone and be hanged for it’ not ‘to punch someone.)

    Anyways I have been discussing the problems with various English speaking friends in English and as is oft the case for those who speak another language all day other than their mother tongue, I have found myself using German sayings -roughly translated into English.

    For example today I found myself saying ‘where the dog is buried’ (“Wo der Hund begraben liegt“) which means ‘where the problem lies’. Another phrase was ‘Paint the devil on the wall’ (“der Teufel an die Wand malen” ) which means ‘to assume the worst/worst case scenario’. I also slipped in a word in German “GAU“. No not “der (or das) Gau” meaning ‘area’ or ‘region’ but GAU which stands for “größter anzunehmender Unfall” or the ‘worst case scenario/maximum credible disaster’.

    Just thought those sayings might interest some here, as they are probably not found in basic textbooks I should imagine. Especially ‘GAU’ which is usually reserved for nuclear disasters and ironic comments.

    • Yes, it can become a problem when we get too fluent in another language and use a lot of idioms. I ionce said to my German relatives ‘das ist nicht meine Tasse Tee’ and for a minute could not understand their blank faces.
      Good luck with your phone calls, ‘mit Geduld und Spucke’ you will get through it!

      • “‘das ist nicht meine Tasse Tee’”, LOL yes I bet that did…funnily enough The Bestes Frau has used that very one on the phone to her relatives before now too! I have in the past said to English speakers “Not my building site ” (nicht meine Baustelle) which means roughly the same thing and also to Germans, the English idiom “nicht meine Tasche” (‘not my Bag’).

        Another German idiom i find myself using in English is ’08/15′ …which , for any learners reading, means ‘bog standard’

        Best of all was I once found myself saying “I understood only ‘Train Station’ or ‘it is all little Bohemian villages to me” -which again for any readers -both mean ‘it was all double Dutch to me’!

        • ps. I always wonder about the origin of the phrase ‘with spit and patience’…..i hope it doesn’t come from where i think it might!

          • “According to a German website it’s how you thread a needle.”

            Wer glaubt’s wird selig….

            But (finally) on topic, I fell in love with Nürnberg when i hitchhiked around Germany aged 17 and ended up spending a month with family friends there at the end of November. A real ‘In Brugge’ (younger readers will know the film) feeling to the place, the walled medieval city. Didn’t speak more than a word of German let alone understand the Frankish dialect but I remember two things stuck in my mind (along with the aroma of fresh baked Lebkuchen), the N’ers ROLLED their ‘R’s and they said ‘Gruess Gott’ unlike the folks i had couch surfed with in Northern Germany. I also recall people seemed to drink almost as much wine as they did beer and Milk came in tetrapaks (back in the UK it was still bottles or plastic bags).

            Oh and to my delight I learnt that the town of ‘Cadolzburg’ wasn’t fictional, hadn’t been made up by the authors of my German school textbook ‘Vorwaerts’, but was just down the road from N. I really meant to go see if there was a boy named ‘Hans Schaudi’ there who really liked Schnitzel, had a dog name of ‘Lumpi’ – and if Liselotte looked as sexy in real life as she did in her bikini pic.
            Been back to NB several times since, and if i had to live anywhere in Germany then that would be my Number 1 place.
            Years later I lived just up the road (A3) from Aschaffenburg and took great delight in reminding my work colleagues (when they referred to me, good naturedly, as an “Inselaffe”) that they were ‘just plastic’ or ‘wannabe’ Bavarians!

            Whilst looking for the Schnitzel pic I found this (in French but the meaning is pretty clear)


        • Reminds me of when an I selaffe asked me for directions, I couldn’t remember station in English. Quite literally Ich versteh nut bahnhof. That’s when you know you’ve been in Germany too long

          • I know that feeling. I’ve been in the UK now for over 40 years and if it wasn’t for my German teaching I would have forgotten a lot more than I do. And I bet, the Inselaffe shouted the sam question again when you didn’t understand, right? 😉

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