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List of what languages are spoken in Austria
List of what languages are spoken in Austria
Content what languages are spoken in austria

Do you know what languages are spoken in Austria?

Tricky question “what language is spoken in Austria?” will not receive a simple answer from people who realize how many complex sociohistorical processes influence any nation’s development. Though the most probable answer you may hear from many people is that among Austria official languages Austrian German is prevalent, truth is more complicated even though it will be mostly correct. Its history is indeed closely connected to Germany’s one and linguistic influence remains to be embodied on the official level.
Austria became the leading state when the German Confederation was created in the 19th century and its way from empire to democratic state that we know it nowadays was often interrelated with Germany’s one. Nowadays this country is among the most developed countries in the world and it is definitely worth visiting. You will fall in love with its beautiful mountainous scenery and picturesque cities, especially its capital Vienna.

Curious What Language Do Austrians Speak?

Tourism does not require substantial linguistic preparations unlike cooperation with clients from this wonderful country. Austrian German, which is used as official language and in such important fields as media and education. People looking for the best online translation services should always specify that they need translation done with Austrian German as target language since there are still some phonological and vocabulary differences from Standard German.
This means that German-speaking people may find themselves in areas where they would not understand anybody and still ask the same question: “do they speak German in Austria?” Some local dialects may indeed be more complicated or even completely incomprehensible for German-speaking people and now we will review why it is so.

List of Official Languages of Austria

Apart from the most widespread language that has official status and serves as lingua franca, one may encounter locals who speak one or all of these significantly represented languages. All these three languages should be considered whether they are treated as official language of Austria or have unofficial native language status.

German

Austrian German can be easily understood by those who learned Standard German and, in this case, those who need the best technical document translation will not have any problems whatsoever. Still hiring a professional with Austrian German linguistic background is preferable since regional dialects make significant influence and some vocabulary differences can be observed in translations. Those who visit rural areas may also come across differences in spoken languages and find out that local accents are different from Austrian official language. 
These differences are enforced by countries' history. It has been the center of influential states since the 16th century. Austria played an important role whether it was home to a worldwide-known monarchy led by the House of Habsburg or center of the Holy Roman Empire as well as the Austrian Empire in the 19th century. Nowadays we know Österreich as the European Union’s member with important achievements. Even though Austrian people speak German, they mostly identify as ethnic Austrian which everyone should remember visiting this country.

Austro-Bavarian

This unofficial native language made a significant influence on official language that is used in media, official communication, and educational sphere. Those who want to learn this Austria native language should understand that many regional dialects can be distinguished from Central Austro-Bavarian to Southern ones. While this is treated as the only unofficial national language, approximately 7 million people speak it in Austria alone. One may find Austro-Bavarian native speakers in Italy, Switzerland, Hungary, and Germany. 
Total number of people who speak different Austro-Bavarian dialects is estimated to be 13 million all over Europe and this widespread is explained by historical processes. Since this umbrella term covers multiple regional dialects, there is no unified orthography. That is why one should still consider Standard German while hiring the best software localization services with Austria as target market since it is impossible to deliver unified product under these circumstances. Austro-Bavarian dialects consider to national identity though and one should never forget that.

Alemannic

Historical processes and Germanic tribes’ spreading resulted in more than 7 million native speakers of Alemannic German dialects’ group spoken in Switzerland, Swabia, France, Italy, Liechtenstein, and, of course, Austria. Even though it is far from being considered Austria official language with approximately 300,000 speakers, those who want to visit Austria or work with locals must consider possibility that they can come across these dialects’ speakers.
Linguists distinguish more than a dozen variants that are quite different based on a region. Each of them has specific phonological, grammatical, and vocabulary differences which makes them quite hard to perceive if a person knows only Standard German. Alemannic is not the only language in Austria but also across the ocean as there are groups that speak these dialects residing in the United States and Venezuela. In any case, knowing written Alemannic peculiarities is essential for effective specific texts’ translation or targeting this specific group of Austrians. 

What Language Do They Speak in Austria Apart from Official?

English

This language that undoubtedly became a must in modern world is widespread in Austria as well because educational programs include English as the subject since elementary school. As a result, approximately two-thirds of Austrians speak English rather fluently and you may fail to find somebody to speak to in English only in rural areas. If you are wondering what is the official language of Austria and whether English can have this status due to its widespread use, then answer will be “no, there is no official status for English in Austria”. Even though Austrians demonstrate a very high level of spoken English, it reflects country’s focus on globalization benefits. 

Hungarian

Considerable period in Austria’s history is associated with Hungary as the Austro-Hungarian Empire existed for more than 50 years in both the 19th and the 20th centuries and its existence ceased after World War I. Hungarian cannot be treated as national language as there are just small communities, specifically within Burgenland state. It is estimated that there are approximately several thousand Hungarian-speaking people which does not represent historical ties’ true importance. Though it proves significant national identity that Austrians demonstrate.

Serbian

More than 2% of population contribute to variety of Austria languages as they speak Serbian so that this language is treated as minority one. Growing number of Serbian immigrants was encouraged by various initiatives that emphasized an already existing trend since the 19th century. Some estimates conclude that up to 500,000 Serbians may already reside in this country. Current governmental strategy is focused on more restrictive immigration laws so that “guest workers” phenomenon has lost its significance.

Turkish

Due to various socio-cultural processes throughout country’s history, specifically the Ottoman expansion during the 16th century, Austria became a home for many Turkish-speaking people. But Turkish is not Austria national language. Statistics show that approximately 2.3% or so of the entire population represents this minority group and it is among the largest ones in the country. Government also encourages Turkish workers to come and live there as policies give many benefits for them, especially in construction industry. Considering all major minority groups that exist within target audience is what the best marketing translation service does by default so that even those 2-3% of population are not omitted.

Slovene

Some states, namely Carinthia and Styria, became a home for more than 12,000 Slovenes and their language became the official one of regional importance, in addition to Austria language. Slovene minority group in Austria constitutes approximately 0,3% of the entire population. Official status ensures various special benefits available for these residents. 

Main Languages per Region

Alemannic Speakers

Residents of several states such as Vorarlberg and Reutte District of Tyrol in western Austria make the group that should be considered while looking for the best game localization services. Reason is that neighboring Germany, Liechtenstein, and Switzerland speak the same language and native speakers’ number is worth considering.

Serbian Speakers

While Serbian is not the most widespread language of Austria, it is worth paying attention to as small communities exist in many regions, even in Vienna you may find people of Serbian descent. Regions that are home to the largest Serbian population are Salzburg and Graz.

Turkish Speakers 

Since there is a phenomenon of Turkish migration from various countries into Austria and subsequent communities’ development, this population is the largest minority group in Austria. Turkish people come not only from Turkey but also from the Balkans and the Levant. Turkish groups can be found within Lower Austria, Upper Austria, Tyrol, Vorarlberg, and a big community exists in the capital city, Vienna.

Which Language Should You Speak in Austria?

Visiting a foreign country is always associated with some inconveniences and language barriers. Fortunately, this should not be a major issue in Austria if you checked the list explaining what language does Austria speak. Substantial number of locals who can speak English makes Austria quite a comfortable country to visit for many tourists. German-speaking visitors should not have other problems except getting used to Austrian German accent in the majority of places. They may also come across people speaking Austro-Bavarian and Alemannic and communication will be more complicated in this case.
Still curious what language do people speak in Austria? Since Standard German is an official written language that is used for all official communication and signs, English-speaking tourists may have some difficulties. Though chances of meeting a friendly local who can explain everything are pretty much high as English is widely spoken across the entire country and especially in big cities.

Wrapping up Everything About Language Spoken in Austria

Rich historical heritage contributed to linguistic diversity one will come across in Austria since even though Austrian German and Austro-Bavarian are the most significantly represented lingos, there are more minority groups throughout the country. It is hard to define what language do Austria speak if one wants just one answer, even simple answer “it is German” will not be entirely correct. Austria represents mix of languages and dialects that developed due to various historical, economic, and political factors as well as following current globalization trends with increased importance of the English language. 
These circumstances require professional localization assistance whether your target audience is within Austria or outside it. Abundance of regional peculiarities requires rather specific linguistic background and oftentimes translation to Standard German may not be a sufficient option. Even though the majority of population speak English, this lingo does not have official status which also presupposes professional help to get high-quality translation.
 

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