Scholarly article on topic 'A Socio-Linguistic Inquiry into Language Change: Alsatian, A Case Study'

A Socio-Linguistic Inquiry into Language Change: Alsatian, A Case Study Academic research paper on "Languages and literature"

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Academic research paper on topic "A Socio-Linguistic Inquiry into Language Change: Alsatian, A Case Study"


Marguerite Hessini The University of Kansas

Abstract: Alternating French and German dominance, and concomitant differing language policies, have determined the state of Alsatian, a German dialect, spoken in Eastern France. Subjected to policies aimed at producing linguistic assimilation and uniformity, Alsatian has survived as a basically unwritten speech and has become a symbol of ethnic identity. Through intensive and prolonged exposure to French, it has incorporated numerous French borrowings which underwent various characteristic phonological and morphological changes. More recently, a general trend toward regionalism in France and an upsurge of protest movements, aiming at defending the rights of minorities, have generated a revival of the dialect.

Language is not an abstract construction of the learned, or cf dictionary-makers, but it is something arising of the work, needs, ties, joys, affections, tastes, of long generations of humanity, and has its bases broad and low, close to the ground.

Walt Whitman

Repeated changes in political status and subsequent changes in official language policies have determined the state of Alsatian, a German dialect spoken in Eastern France. The present study deals with the effects of differing and often opposing language policies, within a context of either German or French dominance. It will attempt to show how the function and scope of Alsatian have been reduced, and how extensive borrowings from French have created a dialect with unique character' istics, which has survived despite its lack of official status and has become a symbol of Alsatian ethnic identity. In my analysis of French borrowings in Alsatian. I will deal primarily with the dialect variety spoken in the city of Strasbourg, of which I am a native.


The province of Alsace covers an area about 200 km long and 40-45 km wide between the Rhine river and the Vosges mountains. In the East It borders on West Germany, In the South on Switzerland. Alsace has about one and a half million Inhabitants, of whom 400,000 live In Strasbourg, the provincial capital.

The following outline captures the main historical events which have affected Alsace over the centuries (Philipps 1975).

58 B.C. - 357 A.D.; Alsace was Roman.

5th century: The Alemanni, Germanic tribes, invaded and settled in Alsace and Northern Switzerland.

870 - 1648: Alsace was incorporated into the Holy Roman Empire. 1648: Alsace became French under Louis XIV (treaties of Westphalia).

1871: Alsace was annexed to the German Empire after the defeat of Napoleon III. 50,000 Alsatians emigrated to France.

1918: End of World War I: Alsace became French after the defeat of Germany.

1920 - 30: Autonimist crisis in Alsace.

1939: Beginning of World War II: Evacuation of 746,000 Alsatians to South-West of France.

1940 - 45.: Alsace was annexed to the Illrd. Reich after the capitulation of France in 1940.

1945: Alsace became French again after the defeat of Germany.


The above historical data illustrate clearly that Alsace has been coveted by both neighbors, the Germans and the French, who either call it German or want it to be French without any local particularism, tfithla a time span of seventy-five years, between 1870 and 1945, Alsace changed political affiliation five times. At every turn in history the province was compelled to change its official language. Moreover, after every political change, there was a population shift: emigration of those elements who refused to live under the new regime, immigration of monolingual elements from the country of the winning power. In all the war» AlMM has always been on the side of the losers, and after the war on the side of the winners. That situation creates a need, either genuinely, felt or Imposed, for disassociatlon with the previous power, which includes a rejection of the language of the prior regime, as language Is Interpreted as corresponding to political identity. And as French and German are

consistently considered as excluding each other, at any political change, the cultural and linguistic acquisitions of the previous regime are either gradually or abruptly destroyed.


There are three components to the language situation. Alsatian, a basically unwritten German dialect, derived from the language spoken by the Alemanni who settled in Alsace in the 5th century, is spoken by almost 80% of the population. French is the.official and prestige language, used exclusively in education, administration, court procedures, and all official proceedings. French is thus the dominant language in Alsace both because of its exclusive use in major areas of public life and because of the cultural values associated with it. This confirms Weinreich's observations that "the greater utility of a language, or the extent to which it is actually used, is an easily measurable factor which serves to establish the dominance of one of two languages," and that "a further point on which one language may be designated as dominant is the bilingual's intellectual or esthetic appreciation of the literary culture which is expressed in that language" (Weinreich 1968:77, 79). German forms the third language component. It is the priority language, which has become the means of written expression of the unstandardized Alsatian dialect. German also allows the speaker access to both French and German worlds. It also helps maintain the contact with the older generation educated before World War I. It is still widely used in church services, mainly within the context of the Lutheran denomination. Furthermore, with the development of the Common Market, German has gained renewed importance in Alsace.

The Alsatian dialect may be characterized as follows. Over the centuries, it has coexisted and maintained itself beside French and German, as an unwritten speech with no official status and without provisions of institutional means for perpetuating it. Within a context of drastic political upheavals and language changes, it has been the only constant element, the only tangible continuum. It has increasingly diverged from standard German through long periods of French dominance, when it lacked direct contact with standard German and other German dialects, and thus did not partake in the evolution of the German language. As a result of deliberate language policies, its function has been increasingly reduced, and it has evolved into various closely related, mutually understandable dialects, a sign of the unstandardized state of Alsatian. Through intensive and prolonged exposure to French, it has Incorporated numerous French borrowings. This latter aspect of the dialect will be dealt with more thoroughly later on in this study.

Alsatian is spoken by four-fifths of the population. Considering that there has been a considerable influx of monolingual French people since WW2, that percentage is quite high. At the same time, there is a trend toward decreasing dialect usage as illustrated by comparing the census of 1946 Indicating 91Z dialect speakers, with that of 1962 indicating * 822 (Maugue 1970:183).

Three main trends are apparent in dialect use. There is, first, the contrast between rural and urban areas. In the former, Alsatian is spoken more widely sad predominantly. In the letter, there is a greater influx

of monolingual French speakers, who rarely attempt to learn the dialect, and a concentration of highly educated Alsatians who choose not to use the dialect for reasons of prestige. The second contrast is between the upper classes and the masses. Among the latter the dialect is predominant, and used consistently in informal situations» in the home, and in everyday life. In contrast, French is often used exclusively by the upper classes and civil servants, as a status symbol. This is a direct consequence of the place reserved officially to French, which is the sole means of instruction on all levels of education, and the only language used in administration, courts, and all instances of public life. The third aspect is that opposing older and younger generation. Alsatians born after 1940 tend to be more thoroughly Frenchified. They often are not fluent in standard German as their elders are, but generally still know the dialect, which they use informally. They face the dilemma of either renouncing their identity by accepting increased assimilation into French, or opting for dialect usage, which, without knowledge of standard German, restricts their means of expression and prevents access to the German-speaking world.

Host Alsatians do not question their attachment to France nor the priority of French, but stubbornly cling to their dialect which allows them to have a particular identity, independent of political variations. Rather than a political minority, Alsatians thus form a linguistic minority in France, as in the land they have occupied for centuries, they are using a German dialect, whose literary expression, standard German, is not recognized as an official language by the state. "Constitue une nlnorltl linguistique toute population qui, etablie traditionnellement sur le territoire qu'elle occupe, use d'un dialecte, ou d'une langue, autre que la langue ou les langues officielles de l'Etat"2 (He'raud 1963:245).


After every political change, stringent language policies were Implemented in Alsace to insure the pre-eminence of the official language, to institutionalize its dominance, and guarantee its expansion, which In turn was to reduce the scope and function of dialect use. "The language resources of a community may become subject to government manipulation, i.e., to economic and political issues and pressures, leading to differential selection of the language resources and affecting changes in language. . . use" (Blount & Sanches 1977:8). And as stated by Rubin and Jernudd (1972:xii), "language planning is 'deliberate1 language change." The current language situation in Alsace is a case in point.

Language policies in Alsace are based on assumptions regarding the dialect, and on principles deemed of national interest. Although Alsatian is widely used in Alsace, and has a possible means for written expression available through standard German, it is not considered a language by the authorities, and thus has never been assigned any official status. From this it follows that Alsatians needed to be provided with a standard language, that of the sovereign state. While the dialect is tolerated as a local curiosity in times of peace, it becomes a liability in daes of tension between France and Germany, since speaking the dialect is then likely to be equated with being pro-German. Politicizing the language issue, presenting linguistic assimilation to Alsatians as the natural consequence of their being French citizens, has prevented the language

problem from being dealt with objectively as a linguistic problem, and has thwarted attempts by Alsatians to redefine the function of the dialect and further its growth. From the standpoint of the French authorities, one standard language only is both sufficient and desirable, that of the state.

Both French and German principles underlying language policies have aimed at uniforming, and reducing, if not eliminating, local particularism. The characterization of linguistic pressure as defined by Haugen (1952: 274, 279) is relevant to the Alsatian situation: "linguistic pressure is a special type of social pressure which operates to produce linguistic conformity. . .such pressure goes beyond the requirements of mere understanding, involving. . .a requirement of identity and identification." The Jakobin principle of the 1789 French revolution, "the language of a free nation must be one and the same for all," is still in force. Following WWI and WW2, the goals of the French language policies were to achieve assimilation and centralization. The German attitude before WWI was basically that the neglect of French would eliminate French. During WW2, under the Hitler regime, language policies aimed at eliminating everything French, to achieve total assimilation, as illustrated by the then widespread slogans: "Entwelschen, gleichgestalten," and "Hinaus mit dem welschen Plunder.""* Whether under a French or a German regime, the same notion prevails, namely that French and German are mutually exclusive.

Except for the period of the Nazi regime in Alsace, when language policies attempted to eliminate French borrowings in the dialect, such as greetings and names, no language policy has dealt directly with the dialect. The focus has instead been on the implementation and expansion of the official language. Both French and German policies imposed the exclusive use of the official language as a means of instruction on all levels of education, in administration, in judicial procedures, in the military, in all official matters.

After WWI, it is estimated that only 2Z of the population in Alsace was fluent in French, and that 8Z had a limited knowledge of it (Maugue 1970:47). France faced then two major problems in Alsace: a legislative problem—implementing in Alsace legislation established in France between 1871 and 1918 regarding the strict separation of State and Church, the secularization of education, and Increased centralization—and a language problem—instituting French as sole official language in administration and education. The exclusive use of French in courts, government assemblies, and education created a number of problems and led to disenchantment on the part of the local population. Translators were needed for all official deliberations and for record keeping. In order to implement French as sole means of instruction, French teachers were required. This meant a systematic retraining of many Alsatian teachers and assigning monolingual French teachers to Alsatian schools. The latter were offered a 16% salary increment (law of July 22, 1923 cited in Das Elsass IV 1936:421) because of the "hardship" language situation in Alsace. In elementary and pre-school education the direct method was used, which then required the exclusive use of French. German was taught as a foreign language from the fourth grade on. In order not to antagonize Alsatians even more, the French authorities did not Insist on carrying out the legislation

pertaining to secularization. Alsace, therefore, continued (and still continues) to offer religious instruction in public schools under the provisions of the Concordat (1802) and the Falloux law (1850) (Phillipps 1975:356). Under popular pressure additional concessions were made, and German (decret Poincare-Pflater Aug. 30, 1927) taught from the latter half of the second school year (Falch 1973:68).

During WW2, under the Hitler regime, language policies aimed at total eradication of French were carried out and involved forbidding the use of French even when it occurred in French borrowings in the dialect, and instituting a system of fines for Infractions. Thus, in the early 1940s, when Alsatians'were caught using "bonjour" for a greeting, | they were fined three Marks, so the new greeting became "three Marks, my friends" (Bopp 1945:77). While English and other European languages were taught in high school, French was not offered. All French signs in public places (street names, store signs, inscriptions on monuments. . .) were replaced by German ones. (That was carried out so far as changing the labelling of faucets from "froid," "chaud," to "kalt," heiss," and that of salt and peeper shakers from "sel," "poivre," to "Salz," "Pfeffer." People were compelled to change any French-sounding name to a German one. French books were collected and publicly burned, and listening to a French broadcast became a criminal offense.

In reaction to such drastic measures, Alsatian opinion after WW2 was unanimously against anything that reminded it of German presence on its soil. Thus Alsatians were quite willing after the war to accept a total reversal of the language situation, instituting exclusive usage of French in all official matters, and numerous restrictions on the usage of German, such as allowing bilingual newspapers only with the provision ■ that 25% of their conteilt be written in French (titles, advertisements, sport sections, articles aimed at youth, birth and death announcements) (Ordinance of September 13,4 1945, law of March 1, 1951, cited by Falch 1973:71). German was not allowed any priority status within the educational system, and was taught on the secondary level like any other foreign language.

New developments have occurred since WW2 which challenge the validity of these policies. In 1951 the Deixonne law was instituted in France aiming at the protection of the dialects in France and legislating ! their inclusion as an optional subject of study in the curricula of public schools (Falch 1973:67). That law, while pertaining to Occitan, Basque, Catalan, and Breton, does not apply to Alsatian. Under public pressure optional instruction in German was introduced the last two years in elementary schools in 1952 (Falch 1973:69). However, families have to request it formally for their children. In 1963 German instruction (2 hours weekly) became an Integral part of the public school currlculta in the last three elementary grades. Between 1966 and 1967 from 80Z to 901 of parents requested German instruction for their children. A survey aedt in 1967 indicates that 70% to 75% of the students In secondary schools chose German as their first foreign language.

While the priority of French is not questioned, there seems to be an increasing demand for bilingual education, which in turn affects the status of the dialect. I will explore some of the most recent trends In the final part of this study.


Subjected to language policies aimed at producing linguistic assimilation, the Alsatian dialect has assumed an increasingly reduced function, being used only in informal, everyday situations. Through lack of standardization, it has become more and more diversified, and evolved into a variety of closely related dialect variants. More recently, it has been undergoing processes of simplification and impoverishment. One of the major characteristics of dialect change affecting Alsatian over the years, is the large number of French borrowings incorporated into the dialect through prolonged contact with French. "Contact breeds imitation and imitation breeds linguistic convergence" (Andre'Martinet in Weinreich 1968:vii). It is significant, of course, that the direction of the borrowings has been from French to Alsatian, and not vice versa. This is consistent with Bloomfield's observation that within the context of intimate borrowing, the lower language borrows predominantly from the upper; "if the lower language survives, it bears the mark of the struggle in the shape of copious borrowings" (Bloomfield 1933:464). Borrowings in Alsatian have not only been facilitated by the dominance of French, but also by the lack of standardization of the dialect. "The realization that one's mother-tongue is not a standardized language applicable in all types of formalized communication (government activities, literature, radio, school, etc.) often makes people indifferent to interference in it" (Weinreich 1968:88).

There seem to be three main domains which caused borrowings in Alsatian. Through historical events such as wars and the spread of the Catholic religion, military terms (ranks, war objects, profanities) and ecclesiastical terms (designation of clergy, saints' names which came to be adopted as given names) were Incorporated into the dialect. A second domain is related to the dominance of French as expressed through deliberate language policies and daily exposure to French. Borrowings here pertain to education (subject matter, educational institutions, personnel, objects used in schools), administration, government agencies, judicial system, greetings, kinship terminology, and health related expressions. Finally there is the domain related to prestige areas of French culture, as perceived by Alsatians. These include etiquette (formulas of politeness), social standing (housing, vehicles, higher ranking professions), cuisine and clothing.

The borrowings in Alsatian occur mostly on the lexical level. Examples:

A: [£oRgmone] 'billfold' from F: [poRtmone] (porte-monnaie)

A: 'umbrella' from F: [paRaplql] (parapluie)

A: [gomifo] 'proper' from F: [komllfo] (comme il faut)

Whether one can speak of phonological borrowings in Alsatian is •questionable. There seems to be no clear-cut voicing contrast in Alsatian. Stops are realized as voiceless lenls stops in initial and medial position, and as voiceless fortis stops in morpheme final position.

In my phonetic transcriptions I chose to represent voiceless lenis stops as devoiced voiced stops [£, g, g] to mark the difference with morpheme final stops [p, t, k] and also to illustrate the contrast with French stops in borrowings (see chart on page 85). Alsatian also has a limited number of initial aspirated bilabial and velar stops in prevocalic position, but extremely few occurrences of an initial dental aspirated stop. The latter is present only in French borrowings where the corresponding French dental stop is unaspirated.

A: [thEs] ■cup* from F: [tas] (tasse)

A: [thomct] tomato1 from F: [tomat] (tomate)

A: 'pair'

A: [kh£Rn] Pit'

It seems then that the incorporation of initial tense

filled the empty dental slot of the stop series in Alsatian, with aspiration occurring on the analogy of existing /ph/ and /kh/. /th/, however, occurs only in a limited number of French borrowings and has not been incorporated in any indigenous word. I would therefore consider the incorporation of /th/ as part of the lexical borrowings in which it occurs, rather than as a separate phenomenon of phonological borrowing.

Borrowings from French are subject to various changes; they adapt to the Alsatian sound system, and fit into Alsatian morphological patterns within Alsatian syntactic structures. This has been found to be true of borrowings in general, as Weinreich states (1968:44): "A word which has been transferred from one language into another is itself subject to the interference of the grammatical, as well as the phonic system of the recipient language."

Alsatian applies phonemic substitution to French borrowings. The empty slots for /u/» /o/» and /ce/ in the Alsatian vowel chart and /z/ and /z/ in the Alsatian consonant chart, are not filled with borrowings from French, but instead Alsatian substitutes a native phoneme for these when they occur in borrowed words, as illustrated below.

Alsatian : French :

u — y C&y5F] 1 candle' [buSi] (bougie)

0 — o Cfeon] 'maid' [bon] (bonne)

* — e 'good bye1 [adjjá] (adieu)

ce — <t> [lof^R ] 'chauffeur1 [ SofCER ] (chauffeur)

a — D [thDs] 'cup' [tas] (tasse)

P & 'father' [papa] (papa)




Inventory of Alsatian and French sounds

ConsonQ nts

^ <5 i <5 <s ? o jtf i. « > 3 CD £

Shops F P o t a k 3

A ph c.) a J.n CO t «-> k* c0 k £1>

TWcafiVes p v s z. 5 i. i i j

A f V <1; ) * C ) 1 x call 1 h f m n r 13

A m n D

Liquids "F » 1 \ PK

A t 1 A

(Slides F j w 1

A j w

(O Word iniKal p®Slho»1 Otnly ■

(a) la* in inih'al nn«dial postfio* , •¿«wie in Tin®! povh'on.

(i) reali&ecl as a P.


"French: Al&a+ian:

i y U e. foe) i y O

e 0 o Cl i a

€. oe? D O C- [0k o

a a \oo a o

Alsatian: French:

k — 9 0 [gaRflje] 'neighborhood' [kaRt je] (quartier)

s —» Z [&lys] 'blouse' [bluz] (blouse)

§ — Ï [fcySH 'candle' [bu2f ] (bougie)

zh nasal vowels are denasalized and lengthened in Alsatian:

a —» t>: [i>:gRe] 'come in' [atRe] (entrez)

0 —» o: 'fireman' [popje] (pompier)

g —* e: [e:§enj0R] 'engineer' [gSenjceR] (ingénieur)

Alsatian incorporates many French words in compounds, forming hybrid terms in which one component is a French borrowing, the other indigenous.

khygletgno*a] 'the bone of a cutlet*

° from F: [kotlet] (cotelette)

and A: [gno*a] 'bone'

There are also instances of pleonasms. Thus the French [v£ lo] (vin chaud), a hot spiced wine usually enjoyed on New Year's Eve becomes:

[hajseR ve:So vin] 'hot 'wine hot' wine'

Contractions of nominal expressions are frequent:

[nongagje] a profanity [no d0 dj0] (nom de Dieu)

[nromsel] 'young lady' [madmwazel ] (mademoiselle)

Loss of morphological boundaries may also occur, creating patterns of agglutination:

[gR+lDjje] 'the 'the priest*

from F: [l+abe] (the priest)

There are also a few instances of partial loan translation:

A: [§Rons^lw:m] (piss+flower) 'dandelion'

F: [pIs3Ii] (piss+in+bed) 'dandelion'

However, in the above example, French ' pdssenlit' has also become a direct borrowing [blsoli], and the loan translation is now perceived as a vulgar expression, whereas the direct borrowing is standard.

There are no Instances of transfer of French inflections and derivation*! morphemes into Alsatian. This seems to confirm Meillet's theory which stat«* that "the grammatical systems of two languages are impenetrable to each othtf" and Weinreich's assertion that 'the transfer of morphemes which are as strongly bound as inflectional endings in many European languages seems

to be extremely rare" (Weinrelch 1968:31). Grammatically then, the borrowed forms are subjected to the system of Alsatian, both as to syntax and as to the Indispensable inflections. Examples:

Plural formation: vowel fronting (in the case of a back vowel) + unrounding + [-sr]

A: [9 &ly:s] 'a blouse' F: [yn bluz]

(une blouse)

A: [£ Ii:saR] 'blouses' F: [de bluz]

*(des blouses)

Diminutive affixation: [-al ], [-ala] 'small, very small or cute'

A: [a tyly:s] 'a blouse'

[a bli:sal] 'a small blouse'

[a bli:sala] 'a very small (or cute) blouse'

A: [nonga^ijp] a profanity: F: [no dyn pip]

[nonga^i jjal ] 3 degrees of (nom d'une pipe)

[ non^a$ i (¿a I a ] intensity

Verb forms:

Suffixation of infinitive marker [r:Ra]~

A: [Swdsxîrô] 'to choose' F: [SwaziR]


A: [IySr:Ra] 'to judge' F: [ïyïe]


Tense inflection: person/number marker; addition of Alsatian subject/object pronouns:

A: [dy gwDSr:R+S s] 'you choose it'

(2sg-sbj verb+2sg 3sg«obj)

as contrasted with French:

[ty 10 Swasi] (tu le choisis)

(2sg*sbj 3sg-obj verb+2sg)

A: [nw ekskysx:Rd ons] fwe apologize (- we excuse ourselves)'

(lpl-sbj verb+pl lpl-obj)

as contrasted with French:

[nu nuz ekskyzô] (nous nous excusons)

(lpl*sbj lpl-obj verb+lpL)

Compound tense construction: borrowed verbs take indigenous auxiliary:

A: [jjy he! mil T>m^8glr:Rt] 'you have bothered me' (2sg*sbj aux lsg-obj verb"pp)

as contrasted with French:

[ty ma 2:bete] (tu m'as embete)

(2sg-sbj lsg«obj aux verb"pp)

Comparative and superlative constructions: [-or], [-S^e]

A: [§ik] 'elegant'

[Ii g+dR] 'more elegant'

[•Dm°SlkS^a] 'the most elegant'

as contrasted with French:

[5ik] (chic)

[ply Sik] (plus chic)

[10 ply Sik] (le plus chic)

Possessive constructions: borrowed words are Incorporated into the Alsatian syntactic structure which differs widely from the French possessive formation:

A: [m da modem t:Ra btiRabl i ] 'the lady's umbrella' (to the lady her umbrella)

as contrasted with French:

[10 paRaplqi la dam] (the umbrella of the lady)

A: im sysan sin £ll:sal] 'Susan's little blouse' (to»the* Susan her blouse+diminutive) *In Alsatian proper names take the definite article.

as contrasted with French:

[la ptit bluz d0 sysan] (la petite blouse de Suzanne) (the little blouse of Susan)

There are also a number of semantic changes occuring in French borrowings:

extensions, in which the number of things a word may refer to is greater in Alsatian:

A: [g (¡ygik] 'the workshop, the mess'

F: [la butik] 'the shop'

(la boutique)

narrowings, in which words have a more limited range of meaning in Alsatian:

fjlagfoRm] 'the main platform of the medieval

cathedral in Strasbourg (a tourist attraction)'

F: [la platfDRm] 'the platform'

(la plate-forme)

semantic shifts, in which already existing words acquire a new meaning:

A: [gRt>m£o:|] * 'loud noise'

[|RD»n£o:| rmova] 'to make a lot of noise'

F: [fer la kaRSIjol ] »make-the-carambole-play an

(faire la carambole) XVIIIth century marble game1

(this expression has become obsolete in French)


Within the context of a recent general trend toward regionalism in France, there is a new emphasis on traditional Volkskultur. The creation in 1976 of an official "Instituí des arts et traditions populaires d'Alsace" is a case in point. However, the interpretations as to the motivations underlying the creation of that institute and the function it is supposed to assume, vary widely. There seems to be agreement, however, on the notion that total assimilation of Alsace will mean an impoverishment of France, as it excludes diversity without increasing unity. In this spirit, the Holderith reform was instituted in 1972, which set up a limited German program (1/2 hour daily) in the last two grades in elementary school. The method used is unique in that it assumes prior knowledge of Alsatian. In favor of the expansion of dialect usage and bilingualism are also the availability of German and Swiss television broadcasts in standard German and in German dialects, an increasing number of commuters (Alsatians working across the border in Germany, Germans coming to work in Alsace), and an expansion of the German economy into Alsace. Against the maintenance of the dialect is French centralism, which permits only one official language in a rigidly controlled educational system, in the administration, the army, the media; and the emergence of an intensely Frenchified younger generation, who no longer have easy access to the written expression of the dialect.

More recently the language problem has also become a political issue ("Jean" 1977). Protest movements and various organizations aiming at defending the rights of minority languages have sprung up. They reject both the politics of assimilation of the French government and the identification with German nationalism and German culture (see the Appendix). Their common demands aim at official recognition of Alsatian, increased use of the dialect in the professions and the media, bilingual education at all levels of instruction, and inclusion of local history into the curriculum. Such aspirations may not be shared by the whole Alsatian population, and the demands are unlikely to be met by the French government. They are, however, indicative of new factors which seem to be working against foreseeable death of the dialect.

Ideally, Alsace could be an area of transition, a link between French and German cultures, a function which has often been assigned verbally to the province, but has never become a reality. The Alsatian dialect with its Germanic structure and the Incorporation of French borrowings could serve advantageously as a reference in implementing bilingualism. Meanwhile it simply remains a symbol of ethnic identity.

Acknowledgements. Special thanks go to Dr. Akira Y. Yamamoto, Kansas University, for his valuable advice and critical comments on earlier drafts of this paper. 1 also wish to express my appreciation to Dr. David A. Dlnneen, Dr. Kenneth L. Miner, and Dr. W. Keith Perdval, for their many helpful criticisms.

1 am indebted to Dr. Adrien Finck, Université des Sciences Humaines, Strasbourg, Editor of "Nachrichten aus dem Elsass 2," for permission to reproduce Weckman's poem "Speak white" and Perrin's cartoon. 1 am also indebted to Monsieur Schaffner and the Cercle René Schickele for permission to reproduce the cartoon by R. Peuckert and the one by CI. Buret.

1. This article was co-winner of the 1979 Central States Anthropological Society's Student Prize Paper Contest.

2. A linguistic minority is any population group, which traditionally has been living in a given area, and uses a dialect or a language other than the official language or languages of the state.

3. De-Frenchify. Conform! Out with the French trash!


I append here some recent cartoons, statements and poems by Alsatian authors to illustrate some of the new awareness regarding local particularism and dialect usage in particular.

"Wann mr a sproch het, wo nonet vun ordografische Schandarme ewerwacht wurd, soli mr devun profitiere." .

Andre Weckmann 1975 :40

When one owns a language which is not yet controlled by orthographic gendarmes, one should take advantage of it.

An advertisement of one of the regional organizations for the promotion of Alsatian (Les Cahiers du Bilinguisme, Land un Sproch, No. 2/3 1978:34):


• 7T



C£RClt R№Micxm-31 mÛËERUN- STPASËOUM-CC? 958-81 D


(in French) Grandpa, why aren't there any more storks in Alsace?*

(in Alsatian) You know, son, when the storks fly over Alsace, they hear French all over the place; then they think they haven't arrived yet, and fly on. (in French) Let's not ruin Alsace, (in German) Bilingualism: our future, (in Alsatian) Teach the children Alsatian!

*Storks nesting on rooftops have been part of the traditional scenery in Alsace. Since W.W.2, their number has considerably decreased, presumably for ecological reasons.

"S esch nix ewer d lieb, nix ewer bliemle un nadiir. . .Es sen lieder zem ewerlawe. Lieder zem sich-bsenne, dass mer noch do sen, elsassischi Elsasser em Elsaas. Un dass unseri sproch noch labt, dee wo doch schun lengscht heen sott sen."

Andre Weckmann 1975 :10

There's nothing greater than love, nothing greater than little flowers and nature. There are songs for survival, songs to make us ponder, that we are still here, Alsatian Alsatians in Alsace. And that our language is still alive, when it was supposed to be gone.

speak white

redd wiss speak white

neger nigger

wiss esch scheen white is beautiful

wiss esch nowel white is noble

wiss ¿sch gschlt white is intelligent

wiss esch franzeesch white is French

franzeesch esch wiss French is white

wiss un chic white and chic

elsasser Alsatian.

elsassisch degaje Alsatian (the dialect)

net on the other hand isn't

zall esch brimitiv it is primitive

viilger vulgar

pfui! shame on you

drum redd wiss therefore speak white

neger nigger

illneger brischneger nigger of the 111 the Brisch

moderneger the Moder (Alsatian rivers)

drum redd wiss therefore speak white

wiss wi z bariss white as in Paris

un dunk dini negersproch and dip your niggertalk

en formol into formaldehyde

un schank se em museum and offer it to the museum

drum redd wiss therefore speak white

neger nigger

dass d wiss wursch to become white

andli at last

wiss un gschlt white and smart

wiss un chic white and chic

wiss wi z bariss white as in Paris

André Weckmann (Fink 1978:134)

"Wir wollen auch nicht in eine museale Vergangenheit zurück emigrieren. Und die Deutschtümelei, an deren giftigen Früchten wir lange zu verdauen hatten, ist uns endgültig zuwider."

Andre Weckmann, Hebelpreisrede, in Mundart und Protest" by Adrien Fink (1977:208).

We don't either want to emigrate back to a museum past. And the Germanomania, whose poisonous fruits took us a long time to digest, is definitely repugnant to us.

--i^t// TO JÀCTCS ? N

pvjj'ij wu/te p'âtw, / r'jfi/s m fmp/f ' Jf'fvt j'fiifua omit ûj'ri mm ( k"7u (ms m/M. un M m/wir ;lïctuxo V y a« ft-j foura jw v/oc^s

M)( L(XU(62AUf t/-V

ß ' newjrw urn /fx /№.

l/JIMM ¿Oil' X SMH MST**

rm/n'M SM? OJCrW:

(j SfCTJo[t. A ■ MTTjt.

1. The Alsatian child is reciting a poem by a popular Alsatian author, in the dialect.

2. (in very marginal vulgar French) What the hell are you babbling about? You don't know how to talk French?

I want you to talk French.

Who the hell sicked those damn kids on me!

This cartoon appeared with an article demanding dialect usage in Kindergarten ("Pour le dialecte à la maternelle," Les Cahiers du Bilinguisme: Land un Sproch, No. 5 1978:15).

Wesse welle mer was mersen gsen, Wesse seile mer wer mer sen! Eerscht no kenne mer bestemme

Was mer welle wäre! ^

Andre Weckmann 1975 :40

We want to know what we were, We need to know who we are! Only then can we decide What we want to become!

Alsace :

"I'll stay single till I die."

Frunze ' Ar=- you living wi your parents?" Germany: "Do yen: want to sleep with ne?"

(Finck 1978 38)


Beyer, Ernest

1959 "L'Alsacian d'hier çt,d'aujourd'hui," Strasbourg: BULLETIN DE LA SOCIETE ACADEMIQUE DU BAS-RHIN.

Bloomfield, Leonard

1933 LANGUAGE. New York: H. Holt & Co.

Bopp, Marie-Joseph


Bount, Ben G. and Mary Sanches, eds.


Das Elsass von 1870-1932.

1936 I. - IV. Band. Colmar: Alsatia.

Falch, Jean ,

1973 CONTRIBUTIONS A L'ETUDE DU STATUT DES LANGUES EN EUROPE. Québec: Presses de l'Université Laval.

Finck, Adrien



Gumperz & Hymes, eds.


Halter, Edvard



Jena: Hermann Costenoble. 1908 DIE MUNDARTEN IN ELSASS. Strassburg: Verlag von Treuttel & Würtz.

Haugen, Einer

1950 "The Analysis of Linguistic Borrowing." LANGUAGE 26: 210-231. 1952 "Problems in Bilingualism." LINGUA 2: 271-290. 1969 THE NORWEGIAN LANGUAGE IN AMERICA. A STUDY IN BILINGUAL BEHANIOR. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.

Heraud, Guy

1963 L'EUROPE DES ETHNIES. Paris Les Presses d'Europe. 1966 PEUPLES ET LANGUES D'EUROPE. Paris: Ed. deNoel.


1977 ELSASS: KOLONIE IN EUROPA. Berlin: Verlag Klaus Wagenbach.

Les Cahiers du Bilinguisme: Land un Sproch

1978 No. 1-5. Strasbourg: Cercle Rene Schickele.


1961 ESQUISSE D'UNE HISTOIRE DE L'IDIOME ALSACIEN. Strasbourg: Revue d'Alsace-Lorraine.

Matzen, Raymond

1973 "Le Domaine Dialectal." In FOLKLORE ET TRADITION EN ALSACE. Colmar-Ingersheim: Ed. SAEP.

Maugué, Pierre.

1970 LE PARTICULARISME ALSACIEN 1918-1967. Paris: Presses de L'Europe.

Philipps, Eugène

1975 LES LUTTES LINGUISTIQUES EN ALSACE JUSQU'EN 1945. Strasbourg: Culture Alsacienne>

1978 LA CRISE D'IDENTITE. Strasbourg: Société de'Edition de la Basse-Alsace.

Roos, Karl


Rubin, J. & Jernudd, R., Eds.

1972 CAN LANGUAGE BE PLANNED? Honolulu: University Press of Hawaii.

Saisons d'Alsace

1974 No. 53. Strasbourg: Istra

Selinker, L.


Stoeckicht, Otj;o



Weckmann, André f

1975a FONSE OU L'EDUCATION ALSACIENNE. Paris: Ed. Pierrre Jean Oswald.


Weinriech, Uriel

1966 LANGUAGES IN CONTACT. The Hague: Mouton.

TABLES i Included hurt' are Uui ruiui nys from French uuhich are well incorporated into Alsatian, and which ate classified accordiny to the following domain3i

Clothing.......... 20 Govermnent agencies 29-30 military terms...... 32

29 Greet ings.••• • • • i • 23 Occupât ions .Tools... 33

32 Heal t h...... . ..... 27 fit; 1 i n 1 nn . Names .... . 31

t" xc 1 amat ions 31 Vahldes.Traveling» • 27

E ducat ion..■ 31 Kinship terms.


Alan tlan Kronoh: F ri» no to : Kn*i 1 i :)h : Alsatian: French : French• English!

•lubixfn) uaplAin asplrIna aspirin ôûb&RStns.ï Sbarke eobarquar to sobark

bnakylj 1 HiJCU la at* nia» [btje] billet ticket

| boob'« ] fp<opR j»ropro clean [po.] j tHnnw«J tranvuy street car

[.iJkta.- «.] docteur •loo tor [taaktoe tracteur tractor

ft(n)<JlSer)t>jn| [£<l titat J.t | iiuJ lunation In t Igu-jlion [dftixjlnetl [tfOtlnil] trot1net te scooter

fcisltj fvlal tJ visit« vtait, call ( «*!•«] gar» train station

| gneti i 1 «rêver to pariah (fam.) f^oabon^iaoj jk jpentlnu] i.unpurtlffient train compartment

[f«lp] [fipj «rippo liii'liiunzA ,JchMjö] [ka»j3] CftJBlon truck

^■•ye] | k«Up] en Hip d 1 pht«'ria fit Mjmit] [kAflJonfct] camionnette light truck, van

I 1 Hi Dit t | [t va lid] iiiv'i l ide invalid ¡"■ofllital] ! mob 1 Ht] aobllette light aotorblko

|k iwdibln] | kutnpliani | Cut/ipi Hume ci\ tiipi :iain l>»o) auto car

[V'oU'p] [k-ilikj • û 1 l.|ut>a •i tunmeh-achau [odobye] [otobys] autobus bus

(«ninUtaf sn] ^intdain j nu5dec Hid mod ic i na [ Saaabfi | char h bancs carriage

| nBvc>j)lâi ] • newalï 1 | iiovialgle neuralgia ft'uksl] | takalj taxi tail

j « yna <i fa J } ynin 11 zm] rhumatijma rhouina t lara £•%•] I »««3] vagon carriage, rallroa

^vr'tciJii r:ri.i| i \ [vakoino j Vficcinor to vficcinato [velo («loi vélo bit'd (fnra 1

|\usJ a | varicau varicoae veins


Alsatian) French:

[bUKtbll | psdaplijl

[band»ay] pand»s/|

[baanodRlj poamâtjRl

IV«! [beat]

fblywoj [pljrao]


^ boft^mone [pastmont]

jbnaalej [bRaalt]

[^fnxj/la] [brMtl]

[fc-oé] [bMs]

(YeÎtaniiM [fistans]

¡YeStoig)] [ftato]

friay] [fliy]

ffléntlj [flana]

[fyli«] [fulaiv]

l'fLlols] f*»loSj

jgRDÏBt] (ki^avat ]

[k^tyu ]

[k'pbySo] [kopu&o]

{k anvasj fkanvctj

k a3ne kaSno

Ik '¿«t] (kuvmtya.j

[lylts] fl.Yks]

[modj| [■ad]

[m&lila \ [nultî]

fp «IWlnj peljRin

ado*J [pud*]

French: English:

parapluie tusbrella

pardessus overcoat

passementerie lace, lace-aaking

beret beret

plumeau fosther-duoter> A: f«ath<

blouse blouse

porte-monnaie purse

bracelet bracelet

bretellea suspenders

broche brooch

festonner to festoon

feston festoon

fichu small shawl

flanelle flannel

foulard scarf, foulard

galoches clo^a

cravate neck-tie

costume costume, suit

capuchon hood

canevas canvas

cache-nei knitted scarf

couvertue blanket

luie luiury

nod« fashion

mol le ton thick flannel

pèlerine cape

poudre pooler


Alsatian: French! French: English:

a««»jtt} HWjtt] serviette napkin

[siîdy*] [setyn.] ceIntur« belt, girdle

jaquette Jacket

[ílbysj gibus top-hat

(«íi.J [íllt] gilet vest

(iinjûj Ûij>3} chignon chignon, bun

Sosât] [íostt] chaussette sock

M [»VP J Jupe skirt


Alsatian French French English

[adjej adieu good bye

[50(9)3»«» (bSavaA bonaoi r good evening

fbsiu k] bonjour good morning, good afterno

(»ily) saly] salut 111

op,va : r] JftVK»«] au revoir good bye

(¿ifu) [âUe] entrez! come in!

r«pkhy:se íkskyze eicussx (nol)' eicuse (a«)!

[atonal] [■adaa] ■ndiuiia Hrt,

QiiDmeel] [nadiwaxcl sadenolselle Hiss

(apaJ«] [» ij«] ■onaieur Nr.

fin ens l] [HEKOI] ■eral thank you

[slldsble] [ailt*plej s'il te plaît please (infnwll

[elivable] [sllvupUj s'il voua plaît please formal, plural)

[phanjâ] [piwds] psrdon! pardon ae!


Alsatian French: Krone h : Kn«<i inh:

("Î'JÎ'J [apotl] ap|»<tlt a|»f«*tit*

[befalamo t] [bocfa lomsd bi-eiif h la rao<le silverslde beef

Ijtb.m] [blbwà] biberon Infant feeding bo

[hirdek] [blfttk] bifteck beefsteak

(bfagwl] (bl3kMll biscuit biscuit

[bwnf«vlt] [ponTRit J Domines (de terre 1 frites French fries

[bodil] [buta:J] bouteille bottle

[bï«*)] fbuiij bouchon corfc

[byiœijtaoja«] (F: tySai) *■ 'cork ► A: tsej») to pull' cu I'kacrit«

[desc-.n] fdcisCn] dtîîir^ert dessert

[gDRnt R3j [pannl«] garnir to trim

jW-J [ktum] crème cream

[>y'd 1} [kuto] couteau knife (coll.)

fho«d»v.»«] [¡»«doe.»*»] hors-d'oeuvre hors-d'oeuvre

[k'WaafMiris] [aeflvlaok/ife | service i caf4 ool'fpo set

|kha.obtR] [kanobea] cmnembert Ciun«rabert cheese

[k /¡SRoiJ [ kâsfi^l | caaserole saucepan

[k ofldy:«] [kîfity:*] confiture prenerve, Jen

j^k ombot [kîpat compote st»vi'»'l fruit

i h . ddlt tj (kotltt] cfttelelte cutlet, chop

[iik'Vw] [likœ;ft] liqueur liqueur

i 1 l«0»ftt 1 [ llionad] llinonti'le lemorvide

[ «K»nY] menu nemi

loalit] [jmltt oitiralette ornelut

j phy»>3] [ P7»" j purée pur<ta» mesh

| nontn1$ [H ratice nine id


Alsatian! French: French: English:

laclcdjji«] [saladje] saladier salad-bowl

[senïilo] juetvala] cervelas saveloy (type of anuoage)

[stRVis] [.-»«.via] service set of dishes

[»OI3] [ao:sJ aauce sauce, gravy

3obly:ft] fia ply: ft J chapelure grated breadcrumbs

ftâbs] jsabon ham

SDmbBnJmJ champagne champagne

SaRjpdRÎi] i&rkutisij charcuterie pork-butcher's meat

liçoj' [«H glgot leg of mutton

i igwe ] [Siko«e] chicorée chicory

togsID] [ïakala] chocolat chocolate

[«/] i«r] jus Juice, gravy

r«h..l [to:] thé tea

(vln)] [vïioj vin chaud hot spiced nine (nine)


Alsatian: French: French: English:

of«':«] [afe:*] affaire business

oai^l(»)aJtm^J aplvajej employé employee

*sy<to:a] aayRÔ:s assura«® Insurance

atgvcj [adlw£] adjoint assistant

Wfe] [rrefe] préfet chief administrator of

a province in Franc*

b«èf»|dyi«J ptafekty:* préfecture administrative district

of a province In France


Alaatlani Franchi French:

[pcitak j.l] protocole

[^«SritJ profit

[bombjej [p3p.)e] pompier

{binoj [by«n] bureau

[demlsjoniiito] |l»«lsJone] démissionner

[deband3iiic(o)j (depantona département

[djrvrdyfn] [dsvâty:«] devanture

[dvanjej fdwsnje] douanier

[ çagtâasj [frardïaa] «srdo-chaase

Lçxefje] [r.wrjeJ greffier

Jçyvfii|J,|smo(i))J ^pjvunsmoJ gouve muaient

Lk és>] [*€»J<»J caissier

[khfflnditsjon] [kjdlsJîJ condition

[k'ondRoli r*J [k5t*olceR| contrôleur

[k'iàndRolURî] fk3tA,ole] contrôler

[<«in| anli*

f«è*»»f :J [mï:«ij mairie

(phi>(9)Bj«:nj prtsjâ] pension

[phoit] f p.-iat] poste

|>Hdi«.J [fDStJ poste

Reby{t)lik] [d.epybllk] r^publlque

[(&««] [«»Ult retraite

[n^glDfintS jO'n| [n.eklaisasjo] réclamation

(RèvoljrtajOînJ ¡RevolysjS] r^vobit Ion

[atywfe»«) [sak«ete>« .lepr^talre

[sj«$lflkho«t] [nestirika] certificat

[alrtgylem] slnkylE.n| firculalro

inndni» iijdimi) pendanre


state etiquette profit fIrpmnn office to resipn

department, province shop-nlndow custom officer game-keeper clerk of the court

pG VP rnn'1 P, t


condition, state of affaira


to check, to verify

toon hall





retl riment







(armed policetmn)


Alsatian-' French: French; English:

[balija] [talks] baleon balcony

[blAftJ [plofi] plafond ceiling

[bstkit] brlqu»tta compressed sleek

[bit,] fbyft] buffet buffet

(iH [diva] dlvnn ccuch

[fi>SIKt] fnssd facade front (of an »dlfice)

[fwlíidí*] rifrl*^rateur (frlgldalre) refrigerator

ffodíl] ffoto-j] fauteuil armchair

[bjn] M housse loose cover (of twd,furniture

£k ajine] [tablne] cabinet (oilmi

fk onsb«] [kanape] canapd sofa

(kh«otj coram ode cheat of drnxurs

[paste:*.] parterre (floor) groundfloor (eit«ntlon)

[? OtM»)l} »«] [pod*3bn] pot de ehsmbre chamber pot

[eálo] [salo] salon drawing-room

[»3kl] socle socle, base

fsomjej (sjinjej sommler bon-mattress

[Swilak] fSt:il5g] chaise longue lounging chair

[te«tps] [ttnas] terrasse terrace

[tdss 1 [vas] »ase vase

faene: *) mAnar* household, housekeeping


A lnutlani French: Кпм) 4li: £iu<U:tlH

'Jfipl) |efftlkl(*)| /1 r 11 r i о irtbrlo

(r*pj»| |M|>l«r pnpnr

Vt а) Ык) 1(b) bnk] lie) toioCu irtur-hi t (the) bacon laureate

[ь«оГ(зя ] | pr >ffc.H*r<.| profi»:wnjiir pro! |'ЧЧОГ

|J«ovla»A 1 [ ргз V i Z i*''' J prowl a»»ur pr1 no 1pu1 of a *lycrfe*

[byldfcj [liyltc] bnllet In roport с и r<i

I bWFI И, I | bvv/m] buvnrd blotting jv»p«r

[d IknJjntu] fdik.'ijonti ] (lici I IHIII'I ll i* diction«ry

(illn»ktfVA] (1 il ecicilf priulpnl (elementary achoolj

(,nvi I)

[d inp^lrt'laj |diftektftb] 'UrtfCtrlCO prlna I pal (female)

fd (ivnrt | [tlavwa«, | (l«VOlr bnrrnwdik, asaigniient

[*tt J (•gr.sar ] ©xnwen ехал

[«ksblltai яэ] клрИк») oxpli'tnnr to oxplnin

rIon»«] j klftso* i*.] claaaeiir Юояо leaf notebook

fri>] [к'О^] rmyon ponaj 1

|кл>] chiller r-Jrifi book

[kho'l.i] [ koUi] col з<*соп»)игу school

[коя1б|:ЯЭ [ ko*Uit| (¿or г 1 «о r to (Sol roct

[if-J | Use] op-ul )i* high-school

f1»9*3] [ 1(®)»з] le^on lssnon

[(■•) Mt| ((H) Hit)] (1*) nut (the) «nth

\тгЛпт | (in к t.r?(kii | ffl/l tiro 1.10 » 1* wnlary school tesohsr

1, f 44T»'% J «t )

j p 11: :l 1!?111fI | [ pi1:lj Dllfl | ix» им tonat Ьол r<l i ng - лс boo I

|p ybia?) |^pV|>ltu(A)] pupl Ire atutlnnt desk

|m bj.Ji | ^'IWtilj rlpttor to repiriit

(riytfl ruler

|( In) itm] (in) ^ynumntlnun (jywnaatloa

|fcjllo] | nfcllo] stylo


Alsatian : Krenchi Knim.'h : i-iiKÎ i nli :

1 ^Dhjo n] J pasto* | pasteur lus tor

1btRVDlj [ha*ban»J Enrbaivi

<Jo ftslj | ilDH.ite Dorothea

[k ntJ^3ioin| [kntrrflzm] catdchlsma catiir'liisw

[k^omyn Jontj [kjmynjil] communiant comunlcant

1 h , |k »nynjotnj j k^mvnj^1 communion cumnunion

[k 6>®flWBIDnt| Ik3ri«»ij confirmai*! confirmed

j k'<jnifji>m))laJo:n| kit U««aJ3 conf irisation confirmation

(lobai Hi) aba] <1 * > abbd (the) abbot

llyjll 1>«1 Louis

[lywiiasl] |l.l:«J Louisa

|r*<\jnlStolnj | o/iknlati-) sacristain aaxton

f»jr>llt 1 1 i saint aa lot

rfbn^J ] |sebaatjf] Sebastien

M-"'! Charles

^»m^laj [Mhatlatj Jean Pact 1st»

11d,J ) Jean

I Ipnna J [dlspïa] dispense dispensation (rron (.Kiting

r * f -i lyiLi in] [use in] Eugène

[vlkom] jvlkem] »Il-s ira curate

¡««llS.loJ [fwlltjSj religion re 11 g 1 on


falabontfn] [alabonotmj à la bonheur 1 lu.-klly! all the better!

a ici. of approval

[nifcj far;] enfin at last!

[didaik] [didik] dis donc1 aay!

Irbjtdidoik] [®b,}ïdld5k] eh blan, dis donc! «ici. of surprime

[sa aloi> ] |na al3aJ çà alors! «lolanatlon of surpris*


Alsatian: Franch: FrenchÏ En*li«*h:

[etayflnj [ad 7. vi"] adjudant serfl»»ant-»ajor

|х»П9эмэ: l] [аг*з:»пв1 0 menai eraonril

[( slS) nijgsSi • Fl ,»| J( T ) s'engager to enlist

[b£d»lji>n] [btlnjoj botallIon battalion

[badej] [bata.l] bataille battle

[bajsntt] CbajonftJ b-iïonette b'iyonet

[bPBHr] [baRakl bsraque barrack

[beamlsjonj [piaminj^J permission leave

[bRieD(n)dJeJ [baigad joj brlfl^dier corporal

(bomp] [ьзь] bnmhe bnwh

bontwd t [b3birlej bombarder to bomb

[des»Rdr':fta]] déserter to deeert

[d«Om£ett) trompette trumpet

[ekS3HSr!«»J [f g7.iR.aa 1 exercer to drill

[flksj [flks] fi je Ky«s front! Steady!

çnratlj [^nmd J gamelle HI" on tin

jVnadavu] «tarde k TOUS attention!

[khpbid« n] [kapitin] capit-iin* captain, comn&ndar

[Лак] [каяк] casque h*»lroet

к nboRoil (jcapornl] caporal corporal

[k c»s«n:t] jjcama« ad 1 camarade comrade

[k BBbtifta] [kapej camper to camp

к riRdrs] fkrtRtuS] cartouche cartridge

OV] [keplj képi kepi

[k olonilj [kslsrvsl] colonel colonel

[komjSjgont] [kofflWaJ commandant major

[kh<omtenlJ [kSoipl] compagnie company


Alsatian: French: French: English:

[к £5>8£*1 fkjskrl conscrit recruit

[к a:i»] [k5ie] congé furlough

[■Hide:«] [millU*] militaire military, amy

[>4«(«>| ordre command, order

[p o$fco:l] [patRuj] patrouille patrol

[p D4o:t i pamd» parade

[rteioein i:fttj [»efonmej réformé disabled for military duty

[«<»>poj repos at rest!

[aiRVls] [stRTisJ service duty

[ïa-a|o [Saspo] chassepot war gun used in the

Franco-Prussian war 1870-71


Alsatian: French!

(khinaj] [kanaj]

mt*t] mF"d]

[mt.* jalon]

(nonUÇlb] [nsdynpip



[nond'dje] (n*l>dj«J

[nendsbogjl] [nrfotbugivia )]

[scbselot] [sapselatj

[sob«l«l] [eupnistl]

(eBÇMiflje] [eak*id jo]

[ft t ¿мам*} [itSjnmdj

English: ecu»

m» de Dieu

no« d'un bougre




je t'en merdo




merde alors non d'une pipe

u.tmifatiomn tradf-s wois

AInntInn' Frölich: FretK-h : F.ii/rl Inh!

entrapraneur cnnlrnctor

[f"V><ira3 | peRTk -J""! perruquler wig-mak«r> A: barber

0*» [bnta] Wton conerete

b li>gntS] plnk.n :t pl \cnge vnonrlng of wood

fboli;«■»] | r^Hin] pollr to pollnh

1 [p.ipj»] pnnipli'r flrpman

[äno^iSt] fd« 'fl^t 1 dro^n l n t* retillxr in druga

and cherairnls

\f:f Umjt X J | iflAmJf n] InfIrmlftre rmrnrt (fernala)

[j/fr nja n | ( s^njcv « | llig*>lil<»iir fiiplnonr

:B] | fnkt'*1 :n1 fnc tour mnilmnn

[fOT«ik| [ fabfük] fabrinne fnotory

Iganadfst] [gsonS!Int j f^irnRlnte gnrnga mxchanio or o»n»r

^fandtfaJi] gnnio-OhnnnA

f gimn5!] Ärtr^on vnlter

[hin.,*] [i|K)n] hul.i-ilor balllff

[V inJoni»*| [»* j cnffllonneur tnickdrlvar

[kätomei'oj contreroftttr« foreman, o»»ra»»r

[k '¡andnoli m] [kStnolce.:*] oontrßlenr Controller

k ¿»in»!«.) commlanaira commisalonar

[k Vl<J Ivada :*.] [kyltlvatoein] cultlvateur fnimer

[kVlilTl'U,] (kylfclve] cultlver to t-uUlvnta, to gro»

[mnnii| fnwacK nanaaur miTMiur

[niyinlk] [meknnlk] m^onnl^n« iroelmnlca

[nnSf^n] ( mii^ln] maclii ni mich Ina, angln«

[■»'dj.] mnt.)*» ] nnitlnr trada

| mi-^nlnj*] 1 mwknnln,)« 1 m<irniilnlnn mPchnnlc

[»d »(•] | mito*rt J moriteiir monntnr of mohinary


Alsatiani Fr<*n. h: French! F.njcll.

f ph*d»iaj pnt«5j patron head, boas

«dsi:«pJ [gate] raaer to shave

[ksbDSotsJain] [nepanaeji] reparation repair

[ftepaae] ripsrwr to repair

[afRvpa] [siHYOs] aarreusa barmaid

idenimj [dh«tnje:*j cfwrnlfcre hint*

iyuislitft] f iusnnltstj Journalists Journalist

Jug" Judge

[»Did««) Tcidoi,!H vendeur salesman

[rosdisj j irjdotsJ vandeuao aaleawoamn

kinship Trans

French! French: English:

[pot»] cam father

[at] taut» aunt

[fljotl] fllleul(e) godchild

[g*3pt*] grand-pire grandfather

[gHOB«*] grand1 aire grandmother

[kuti] (kuiiln [mm»

cousin cousins

cousin (mis) cousin (femnle) ■other