Hunsrückisch dialect

Hunsrückisch is a German dialect spoken in the Hunsrück region of Germany (Rhineland-Palatinate). This mountainous region of Germany has long been an exporter of emigrants to the United States, Brazil, Canada, Australia and other parts of the world.

Hunsrückisch was spoken in Edgar Reitz's acclaimed television series Heimat.

A poem in Mastershausen dialect
Wenn der Rapp bleht in Piddaschwald, a poem in the dialect of Peterswald-Löffelscheid


Hunsrückisch is a West Central German dialect and a sub-group of Moselle Franconian, which means that it did not undergo all phases of the High German consonant shift. For example:

  • Wat (English what, Dutch wat, German was)
  • Mudder (English mother, Dutch moeder, German Mutter)

French influence

Because of its proximity to France, the Hunsrückisch dialect spoken in the Hunsrück region has experienced unique influences from the neighboring French language through the centuries. During Napoleonic times the Hunsrück region was incorporated into France for a short period.

Brazilian dialects

There is a variation of this dialect in southern Brazil and in the northern state of Espírito Santo (counties of Marechal Floriano, Domingos Martins and Santa Leopoldina), named Hunsrik German.

Throughout its almost 200-year history in Southern Brazil and Espírito Santo, Hunsrückisch has been greatly influenced by other German dialects such as East Pomeranian, Swabian, and Austro-Bavarian, by other immigrant languages, and by Portuguese. Via Brazilian Portuguese, it has also incorporated Amerindian terminology, referring notably to fauna, flora and toponyms.

South-American Hunsrik is spoken in the states of Rio Grande do Sul neighboring state of Santa Catarina, in other parts of southern Brazil like Paraná, as well as in the Southeast region such as Espírito Santo and São Paulo, and to a lesser extent in other countries of the region, like Paraguay and Argentina.


  • Vilela, Soraia (April 20, 2004). "O alemão lusitano do Sul do Brasil". Deutsche Welle (in Portuguese). Retrieved 2006-10-20.
  • Rosenberg, Peter. "Deutsche Minderheiten in Lateinamerika". Europa-Universität Viadrina Frankfurt (Oder). Archived from the original on 2006-05-28. Retrieved 2006-10-20.

External links

Antônio Carlos, Santa Catarina

Antônio Carlos, Santa Catarina is a municipality in the state of Santa Catarina in the South region of Brazil.

Brazilian Portuguese

Brazilian Portuguese (português do Brasil [pohtʊˈɡez dʊ bɾaˈziw] or português brasileiro [pohtʊˈɡez bɾaziˈle̯ɪ̯ɾʊ]) is a set of dialects of the Portuguese language used mostly in Brazil. It is spoken by virtually all of the 200 million inhabitants of Brazil and spoken widely across the Brazilian diaspora, today consisting of about two million Brazilians who have emigrated to other countries.

Brazilian Portuguese differs significantly, particularly in phonology and prosody, from dialects spoken in Portugal and Portuguese-speaking African countries. In these latter countries, the language tends to have a closer connection to contemporary European Portuguese, partly because Portuguese colonial rule ended much more recently in them than in Brazil. Despite this difference between the spoken varieties, Brazilian and European Portuguese differ little in formal writing (in many ways analogous to the differences encountered between American and British English).

In 1990, the Community of Portuguese Language Countries (CPLP), which included representatives from all countries with Portuguese as the official language, reached an agreement on the reform of the Portuguese orthography to unify the two standards then in use by Brazil on one side and the remaining Portuguese-speaking countries on the other. This spelling reform went into effect in Brazil on 1 January 2009. In Portugal, the reform was signed into law by the President on 21 July 2008 allowing for a 6-year adaptation period, during which both orthographies co-existed. All of the CPLP countries have signed the reform. In Brazil, this reform has been in force since January 2016. Portugal and other Portuguese-speaking countries have since begun using the new orthography.

Regional varieties of Brazilian Portuguese, while remaining mutually intelligible, may diverge from each other in matters such as vowel pronunciation and speech intonation.

German Brazilians

German Brazilians (German: Deutschbrasilianer, Riograndenser Hunsrückisch: Deitschbrasiliooner, Portuguese: teuto-brasileiros) refers to Brazilian people of ethnic German ancestry or origin. German Brazilians live mostly in the country's South Region, with lesser but still significant degree in the Southeast Region. German dialects together make up the second most spoken first language in Brazil after Portuguese. A few Brazilian municipalities have Brazilian Hunsrückisch and Germanic East Pomeranian as co-official with Portuguese. They are located in Southern Brazil and Espírito Santo. In the year 2000 Brazilian census 12 million people in Brazil claimed to be of German descent. According to Born and Dickgiesser (1989, p. 55) the number of Brazilians of German descent in 1986 was 3.6 million.

Between 1824 and 1972, about 260,000 Germans settled in Brazil, the fifth largest nationality to immigrate after the Portuguese, the Italians, the Spanish, and the Japanese. The rapid increase in numbers is due to a very high birth rate, the highest in Brazil. In the 19th century the average number of births per German-Brazilian woman was 10.

The vast majority settled in the Southern Brazilian states of Rio Grande do Sul, Santa Catarina, and Paraná, as well as in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. Less than 5% of Germans settled in Minas Gerais, Pernambuco, and Espírito Santo.The state mostly heavily affected by German immigration is Santa Catarina, the only state where Germans were the main nationality among immigrants. Germans and Austrians were about 50% of all immigrants settled in Santa Catarina, and between 15–20% in Rio Grande do Sul and Paraná. In the rest of the country, Germans accounted for less than 5% of immigrants.


The Hunsrück (German pronunciation: [ˈhʊnsʁʏk]) is a low mountain range in Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany. It is bounded by the river valleys of the Moselle (north), the Nahe (south), and the Rhine (east). The Hunsrück is continued by the Taunus mountains on the eastern side of the Rhine. In the north behind the Moselle it is continued by the Eifel. To the south of the Nahe is the Palatinate region.

Many of the hills are no higher than 400 metres (1,300 ft) above sea level. There are several chains of much higher peaks within the Hunsrück, all bearing names of their own: the (Black Forest) Hochwald, the Idar Forest, the Soonwald, and the Bingen Forest. The highest mountain is the Erbeskopf (816 m; 2,677 ft).

Notable towns located within the Hunsrück include Simmern, Kirchberg, and Idar-Oberstein, Kastellaun, and Morbach. Frankfurt-Hahn Airport is also located within the region.

The climate in the Hunsrück is characterised by rainy weather, and mist rising in the morning. Slate is still mined in the mountains. Since 2010, the region has become one of Germany's major onshore wind power regions, with major wind farms located near Ellern and Kirchberg. Nature-based tourism has increased in recent years and in 2015, a new national park was inaugurated. Culturally, the region is best known for its Hunsrückisch dialect and through depictions in the Heimat film series. The region experienced significant emigration in the mid-19th century, particularly to Brazil.

Languages of Brazil

Portuguese is the official language of Brazil, and is widely spoken by most of population. Brazilian Sign Language is also an official language. Minority languages include indigenous languages and languages of more recent European and Asian immigrants. The population speaks or signs approximately 210 languages, of which 180 are indigenous. Fewer than forty thousand people actually speak any one of the indigenous languages in the Brazilian territory.Language is one of the strongest elements of Brazil's national unity. As time progresses, fewer people speak dialects drastically different from Portuguese to make it easier for people to communicate with one another from one location to the next. Plenty Brazilians do speak their dialect. On top of that, within Portuguese between states there is a moderate regional variation in accent, vocabulary, and use of personal nouns, pronouns, and verb conjugations. Variations are beginning to diminish as a result of mass media, especially national television networks that are viewed by the majority of Brazilians.

The written language is uniform across Brazil, and follows national rules of spelling and accentuation that are revised from time to time for simplification. With the implementation of the Orthographic Agreement of 1990, the orthographic norms of Brazil and Portugal were made virtually identical, with some minor differences. Brazil enacted these changes in 2009, and Portugal enacted them in 2012.

Written Brazilian Portuguese differs significantly from the spoken language, with only an educated subsection of the population adhering to prescriptive norms. The rules of grammar are complex and allow more flexibility than English or Spanish. Many foreigners who speak Portuguese fluently have difficulty writing it properly. Because of Brazil's size, self-sufficiency, and relative isolation, foreign languages are not widely spoken. English is often studied in school and is increasingly studied in private courses. It has replaced French as the principal second language among educated people.

In 2002, Brazilian Sign Language (Libras) was made the official language of the Bennidorm deaf community.

Outline of German language

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to German language:

One of the major languages of the world, German is the first language of almost 100 million people worldwide and the most widely spoken native language in the European Union. Together with French, German is the second most commonly spoken foreign language in the EU after English, making it the second biggest language in the EU in terms of overall speakers.

Região das Hortênsias

The Região das Hortênsias, in English "Hydrangea Flower Region", is a tourist destination in the Serra Gaúcha region of the state of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. The cities in this region are: Nova Petrópolis, Gramado, Canela and São Francisco de Paula.

The Região das Hortênsias was created in 1989 to foment tourism in the area; However, the Região das Hortênsias is officially a "sindicato" or union established to help business development in the hospitality sector throughout the region.

Some in the region still speak German or the Brazilian variation of the German Hunsrückisch dialect called Riograndenser Hunsrückisch.

Riograndenser Hunsrückisch German

Riograndenser Hunsrückisch, spoken in parts of Brazil, is a Moselle Franconian variety derived primarily from the Hunsrückisch dialect of West Central German.

Riograndenser Hunsrückisch developed from the Hunsrückisch dialect when immigrants from the Hunsrück region of (Germany) (Rhineland-Palatinate) settled in southern regions such as Rio Grande do Sul, starting by imperial designs in 1824 (these later became projects controlled by states and finally by private European investment enterprises).

While primarily based on the Hunsrückisch branch of the German language it has also been greatly influenced by other German dialects such as East Pomeranian and Plautdietsch and by Portuguese, the national language of Brazil and, to a lesser extent, by indigenous languages such as Kaingang and Guarani and by immigrant languages such as Italian and Talian.

Portuguese expressions and words are commonly imported into Riograndenser Hunsrückisch, particularly in reference to fauna and flora (which are different from that of Germany) and to technological innovations that did not exist when the original immigrants came to Brazil, leading to words like Aviong for airplane (Portuguese avião) instead of Flugzeug, Kamiong (Pt. caminhão, truck) instead of Lastwagen, Tëlevisong (Pt. televisão) instead of Fernseher, etc. Daily expressions are often calques (literal translations) of Portuguese, for example alles gut (“how are you”, literally “all good”) is from Portuguese tudo bem.

Also common are the use of German suffixes attached to Portuguese words, such as Canecache, "little mug", from Portuguese caneca, "mug", and German diminutive suffix chen (-che in Riograndenser Hunsrückisch); hybrid forms such as Schuhloja, "shoe shop", from German Schuh and Portuguese loja, and Germanized forms of Portuguese verbs: lembreere, "to remember"; namoreere "to flirt"; respondeere, "to answer" (Portuguese lembrar, namorar, and responder). However, regardless of these borrowings, its grammar and vocabulary are still largely German.

Although Riograndenser Hunsrückisch is the most common German dialect in south Brazil, the use of this language—particularly in the last three to four generations—continues to decrease.

Serra Gaúcha

The Serra Gaúcha (Gaucho Highlands) is the mountainous region in the northeastern portion of Rio Grande do Sul state in southern Brazil. This mountainous region is home to many Brazilians of German and Italian descent. Consequently, the cities in the Serra Gaúcha reflect German and Italian influences through their architecture, gastronomy, and culture.

Several tourist routes run through the most picturesque cities of the Serra Gaúcha, particularly the Rota Romântica, following the tracks of German colonization; the Italian-flavored Caminhos da Colônia; the wine tasting Rota da Uva e o Vinho; and the Região das Hortênsias, landscaped with beautiful hydrangeas ("hortênsias" in Portuguese).

The hot springs in Nova Prata are also one of the regions tourist highlights. The most important cities among the 75 municipalities of the Serra Gaúcha are Caxias do Sul, Bento Gonçalves, Garibaldi, Farroupilha, Gramado, Canela, Veranópolis, Nova Prata, Nova Petrópolis and Carlos Barbosa.

São João do Oeste

São João do Oeste is a municipality in the state of Santa Catarina in the South region of Brazil.

West Central German

West Central German (German: Westmitteldeutsche Dialekte) belongs to the Central, High German dialect family in the German language. Its dialects are thoroughly Franconian and comprise the parts of the Rhinelandic continuum located south of the Benrath line isogloss, including the following sub-families:

Central Franconian (Mittelfränkisch)

Ripuarian (Ripuarisch), spoken in North Rhine-Westphalia (including Kölsch) and German-speaking Belgium and a small edge in the south of the Dutch province of Limbourg.

Moselle Franconian (Moselfränkisch) in Rhineland-Palatinate, Saarland and France (francique mosellan)

Luxembourgish (Lëtzebuergesch, luxembourgeois) in Luxembourg, Belgium and France (francique luxembourgeois)

Riograndenser Hunsrückisch, spoken in Brazil and derived from the Hunsrückisch dialect of Moselle Franconian

Rhine Franconian (Rheinfränkisch, francique rhénan)

Palatinate Franconian (Pfälzisch, francique palatin), spoken in Rhineland-Palatinate

Lorraine Franconian (Lothringisch, francique lorrain) in the French region of Lorraine

Bukovina German (Bukowinadeutsch) in Bukovina (extinct)

Pennsylvania German (Pennsylvaniadeutsch) in historical communities in North America, especially in Pennsylvania.

Hessian (Hessisch) in Hesse and the Rhenish Hesse region of Rhineland-Palatinate

North Hessian (Nordhessisch)

Central Hessian (Mittelhessisch)

East Hessian (Osthessisch)Apart from West Central German on the southern edge and in south-east Franconian dialects are turning to Upper German. This transition area between Central German and Upper German is captured by the dialect families of South Franconian German and East Franconian German, colloquially miscalled Franconian as dialects of this sub-family are spoken all over Franconia.

West Central German was spoken in several settlements throughout America, for example in the Amana Colonies.

White Brazilians

White Brazilians (Portuguese: brasileiros brancos [bɾɐziˈle(j)ɾuz ˈbɾɐ̃kus]) refers to Brazilian citizens of European and Middle Eastern descent. According to the 2010 Census, they totaled 91,051,646 people, and made up 47.73% of the Brazilian population. The main ancestry of White Brazilians is Portuguese, followed by Spanish, Italian, German and other German-speaking nationalities (Austrian, Swiss, Luxembourger and Volga German), Slavic (Polish, Russian, Ukrainian etc.), French, Dutch, Arab, Scandinavian and Baltic (Latvian and Lithuanian). The first two ancestries figure over 30 million people, and the following two around 20 million people. While the fifth and sixth revolve around 9 million people and the last four figure over a million.

The white Brazilian population is spread throughout the national territory, but its highest percentage is found in the three southernmost states, where 79.8% of the population has European or Caucasian phenotype, whereas the Southeast region has the largest absolute numbers.The states with the highest percentage of white citizens are: Santa Catarina (88.96%), Rio Grande do Sul (85.30%), Paraná (79.24%), and São Paulo (73.40%). Other states with significant rates are: Rio de Janeiro (54.50%), Mato Grosso do Sul (51.10%), Espírito Santo (50.45%), Minas Gerais (47.24%) and Goiás (43.60%). São Paulo has the largest population in absolute numbers with 30 million whites.

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