Apprendre l'alsacien

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About Alsatian

The Alsatian language, also known as the Alsatian German dialect and the Alsatian dialect, is the traditional language of the Alsace region in north-east France. It is a Germanic regional language of France, similar to and largely intelligible with standard German. Speakers of Alsatian, called Alsacien in French, declined in numbers after the Second World War when French was favoured at the expense of the Alsatian language. Alsatian has since undergone a revival supported by the Collectivité européenne d’Alsace and other community associations. Local variations of the language mean that Alsatian speakers from different areas sometimes use different spellings as well as different words or phrases. uTalk recorded a male native Alsatian speaker from the north of the region and a female from the south. 

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Planet Earth

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Le saviez-vous — Alsacien

  • Although there are many variations of the Alsatian language, they are generally considered mutually intelligible.
  • A bird reputed to deliver children to expectant parents is a famous emblem of Alsace and translations of its name ‘stork’ include ‘Stork’, ‘Cigogne’ and ‘Storig’.
  • If you drive a car badly, you can be accused of ‘driving a car like a pig’- fahre wie e Söj - and if you’re very hot you can say you are ‘hot like a dog’ - heiss wie e Hund.
  • The expression ‘it’s sausage to me’ - ‘s’esch wir Wurst - means someone does not care about something.
  • The phrase ‘s’esch eso’ meaning ‘it’s like that’ expresses the stoic fatalism of many Alsatian speakers.
  • The capital of Alsace is Stråsburg - Strasbourg - which is also the headquarters of the European Parliament. 

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