Riograndenser Hunsrickisch. Ich brauche ihr_ hilfe!

Hi everybody!
sorry I do not speak german yet.
I live in Brazil. portuguese is my mother tongue, but I am learning german because I have some relatives in my family that knows how to speak, from their ancestrals.
In fact there were thousands maybe milions of german immigrants that came to south Brazil some centuries ago and around the second war.

Today they still speak some dialects at home, which was preserved from ages past. but mostly they do not know how to write, and they have borrowed some words from portuguese, especially words that didn’t existed before they came like plane, television, etc.

Here are some samples of the German spoken in the brazilian state of Rio grande do sul:

I’d like to see some comments. Danke!

Thank you Cleiton, very interesting. I have to admit that I cannot understand all what they are saying.

The dialect in our region differs from the dialect in the “Hunsrück”, so that I would surely not understand everything of this dialect. And I have no knowledge of Portuguese.

The problem of such small populations in other countries is that the knowledge of the origin language get smaller and smaller. But it is the same for some dialects in German too. I’m not able to speak the dialect in the same way as my aunts are doing. I forgot a lot because most of the time I have to speak Standard German.

Very interesting for me too. I have to admit I didn’t know that Brazil has so much German immigrants. Like Vera, I couldn’t understand all in the movies. If you are interested in learning German you are on the right site. In addition, with the content you can learn more about Germany and its culture. Have fun, and if you need help let us know.

That dialect is quite a challenge! I shall have to listen to it again.

I’m just re-reading “Nous sommes tous nés polyglottes” by Dr Alfred Tomatis (the guy who helped to get Gérard Depardieu to get his act together when he was at risk of staying a juvenile delinquent).
It is a fascinating book with lots of details about our hearing and speech aparatus and how our languages developed according to the environment we lived in. He also said that we can only produce the sounds we can hear and that listening is paramount in language learning - does that ring a bell? He wrote that in his experience immigrants who did not learn the local language and who remained within their community tended to lose their own language, spoken and written, to a certain extent - some more so than others. Could this have been the case with the Hunsrück Germans? (I presume they are not descendants of the most recent German influx, ie post-war and that their language is experiencing the restrictions of a “closed system”.)

When German-speaking immigrants first arrived in Brazil starting at the beginning of the 19th century they did not identify themselves so much as a unified German-Brazilian group. However, as time went on this common regional identity did emerge for many different geo-socio-political reasons. Germans immigrated mainly from nowadays Germany, but also from other countries where German communities were established. From 1824 to 1969, around 250,000 Germans emigrated to Brazil, being the fourth largest immigrant community to settle in the country, after the Portuguese, Italians and Spaniards. About 30% of them arrived between World War I and World War II.

years - germans imigrants
1824-1847 - 8.176
1848-1872 - 19.523
1872-1879 - 14.325
1880-1889 - 18.901
1890-1899 - 17.084
1900-1909 - 13.848
1910-1919 - 25.902
1920-1929 - 75.801
1930-1939 - 27.497
1940-1949 - 6.807
1950-1959 - 16.643
1960-1969 - 5.659

The Brazilian Census of 1940 revealed that German was the second most spoken language in Brazil, with 644,458 speakers. In a total population of nearly 1 million German Brazilians at that time, over half of them still spoke German as their mother tongue. The vast majority of the German speakers were Brazilian born, with a minority born in Germany or in another German-speaking country. The other main languages spoken were Italian with 458,054, Japanese with 192,698 and Spanish with 74,381.

Fonte: Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatística (IBGE) Imigração Alemã

Thank you for this, very interesting. I love learning.

By the way, can somebody from germany tell what are the diferences, and if it can be understood?

Cleiton, I can understood about 70 or 80 percent but it is hard to follow. There are two difficulties. The dialect is difficult for me to understand even if the people comes from Germany. I’m a native speaker of German but I live in another region with another dialect. And second causes the Portuguese influence problems. Such problems are usual if parts of a population live in another country.

You have to decide if you want to learn this dialect. Than you have to have contact with people from this population. Or you decide to learn standard German. Maybe you will not be able to understand any of them what they are saying.

Thanks VeraI.
I was thinking in something about 5% or less, so seems not to be that difficult.

I am already learning standard german for 4 months. I am using your lessons/diary and others everyday and other site for a bit of conjugation (don’t say it to Steve) soon I’ll be able to understand more.

Danke vielmals.

Hi Cleiton, I think it will difficult for you because I’m a native speaker and used to hear different dialects. You’ll need a lot of input!

Steve is not against learning a bit of grammar. He is against to focus on grammar. That is a difference.

In “Veras Corner” is lesson about learning grammar: Login - LingQ

Vera’s got a point! Understand the standard before going for the dialect, unless you want to restrict yourself to Hunsrücker German as spoken in Brazil… Others in the German-speaking world may have difficulty understanding you. I have a good ear for German dialects but am struggling with the videos.
I´m going to give you an example of a standard German sentence as spoken once in southern Germany and once in northern Germany. Other LingQers will be able to give more examples of local variations.
Standard German "Ich habe ein kleines Mädchen " kann sound like “i (pronounced ee) hoab oa kloan Maderl” or “ik hev een (pronounced aayn) lütten deern”. In the “northern” version I have used an official language of north Germany, with its own vocabulary. So you can imagine what it will be like for others to hear archaic German mingled with Portuguese, using a grammar structure perhaps quite removed from German…

I’d not know how it changes even in germany. Now I am scared indeed! hehe
It is very strange change that way. here in Brazil which is almost 3,000 miles north to south, the portuguese seems all the same.

Thanks for answers

I don’t know Hunsrück at all, and listening to people talk in their dialect I was surprised to hear that they call it ‘Plattdeutsch’. To me it’s like a mixture of southern and northern German dialects. No wonder - I looked it up in Wikipedia - it’s right in the middle of Germany (the German-speaking area) and ‘Fränkisch’ dialects cover a large part of Germany and the Netherlands. This article may be of interest, because it also includes written examples of the language (Moselfränkisch):

Interesting also that the language of Luxemburg also belongs to this group.