Barossa German

Barossa German

Barossa German (German: "Barossadeutsch" or "Barossa Deutsch") refers to a dialect of German, which was once common in South Australia. [ [ Atlas of South Australia | Barossa Valley ] ] The prominent South Australian writer, Colin Thiele (1920-2006), whose grandparents were German immigrants, referred to "Barossa Deutsch" as: "that quaintly inbred and hybrid language evolved from a century of linguistic isolation". [ [,20867,20412496-27648,00.html Stephany Steggall, "Teller of tales that teach" ("The Australian", September 15, 2006)] . Access date: June 7, 2007.] It takes its name from the Barossa Valley, where many German people settled during the 19th century. Some words from Barossa German have entered South Australian English. [ [ ABC Radio National, "South Australian Words" ("Lingua Franca", February 28, 2004).] Access date: June 7, 2007.]


The first wave of German settlement in Australia began in 1838. German was first spoken in the Barossa Valley in the 1840s, when German Lutheran settlers from Prussia arrived in the area. [ [ Dave Nutting, 2001, "Bethany — the first settlement in the Barossa Valley"] "German Australia " (website). Access date: June 9, 2007.] .

Use of the German language in Australia declined as a result of World War I. Even though many German Australians enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force and fought against Germany, many others were interned, and immigration by German people was officially banned between 1914 and 1925. In addition, the German language was actively suppressed by the Australian government during the war. For example, many placenames with German origins were changed. Lutheran schools were closed and were re-opened as state schools teaching in English [] .


Because of the origin of most Barossa Germans is in Prussia and Silesia, Barossa German is classifiable as a form of High German (German: "Hochdeutsch)" with some elements of South Australian English vocabulary. It is closer to standard German than the analogous "Pennsylvania Dutch" ("Pennsylvania Deutsch") spoken in the United States.Fact|date=June 2007

Vocabulary and culture

The best-known examples of Barossa German vocabulary are words which have been adopted by South Australian English.

One such local word with German origins is "butcher", the name given to a 200 ml (7 fl.oz.) beer glass, which is believed to be derived from the German "becher", meaning a cup or mug. [ [ ABC Radio National, "Lingua Franca", 28/02/2004, "South Australian Words"] ]

The Barossa is also home to kegel, a variety of nine-pin bowling, which takes place on indoor lanes ("Kegelbahn"), and is based on traditional German games similar to alley skittles. [ [ Skittles, Nine Pins - Online guide ] ] The Barossa town of Tanunda still features the Tanunda Kegel Club, founded in 1858. []


There is some evidence that Barossa German was the first language of some people in South Australia until the late 20th century.Steggall, "Ibid."] For example, Colin Thiele (see above) claimed to have spoken nothing but German until he went to school.

ee also

*German settlement in Australia
*German Australian


*Peter Paul, 1965, "Das Barossa Deutsche" (MA thesis, University of Adelaide)

*Dorothy Jauncey, 2004, "South Australian Words: From Bardi-Grubs to Frog Cakes", Oxford University Press. {ISBN 978-01-9551-770-5)


External links

* [ Dave Nutting, 2001-2007, "German Australia" "German-speakers in Australia from 1788 to the Present"] en icon
** [ "Deutsche Version"] de icon
* [ ABC Radio National, "South Australian Words" ("Lingua Franca", February 28, 2004).]

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