German word of the day: Die Mundart

The Local
The Local - [email protected] • 6 Mar, 2019 Updated Wed 6 Mar 2019 10:32 CEST
image alt text

Today’s word of the day can lead to many misunderstandings throughout Germany.

Even though in Germany, most people German, there still can be large differences in the ways people from different parts of the country speak.

That is because of the different Mundarten.

SEE ALSO: Grüß Gott, Moin, Hallo: The complete guide to regional dialects around Germany

Mundart means “dialect”, but directly translates to “mouth type” or “mouth manner.” Hence, it is a word for different regional manners of speaking German.

The word has been around for a while: First reports date back to the 17th century. Who exactly used the word first isn’t quite clear, but two of the earliest sources are from the German poet Philipp von Zesen.

It is said that von Zesen translated the Greek word for dialect (diálektos) directly into German – its previous German equivalent was Mundart.

Nowadays, the word Mundart isn’t all that common anymore, though. Most people just say Dialekt.

This video quiz asks "How good do you know the dialects (or Mundarten) of Germany"?


In der Bayerischen Mundart sagt man nicht “Hallo”, sondern “Servus.”

In the Bavarian dialect you don’t say Hallo, but Servus.

Die Sächsische Mundart ist für Nicht-Sachsen schwer zu verstehen.

The Saxon dialect is hard to understand for non-Saxons.


Do you have a favourite word you'd like to see us cover? If so, please email our editor Rachel Stern with your suggestion.



The Local 2019/03/06 10:32

Please keep comments civil, constructive and on topic – and make sure to read our terms of use before getting involved.

Please log in to leave a comment.

See Also