Ötztaler Dialekt: Understanding locals

In 2010 UNESCO recognized Ötztal’s vernacular as Intangible Cultural Heritage. Thankfully the local language is not at risk of vanishing any time soon as Ötztal natives are very passionate about their unique dialect.

The Ötztal dialect can be very difficult to understand even for a native speaker of German, and it’s ractically impossible for a non-native speaker This particular version of German dates back to the 12th century and remained largely unchanged due to the Ötztal’s remote and inaccessible location The Ötztal dialect is considered one of the oldest regional variants of the Lower Bavarian language.

UNESCO recognizes the importance of safeguarding local languages The Ötztal dialect was inscribed on its list of Intangible Cultural Heritages due to its 900-year old tradition and its importance in cultural expression The young people of Ötztal are proud of their vernacular and are keeping it alive Despite the many Anglicisms used on WhatsApp and in text messages, the local dialect is still the language they are most comfortable with, and it also serves as a kind of secret language. Not everybody needs to know what’s going on at all times, right?

For non-locals, the Ötztal dialect sounds like a secret language – impossible to comprehend. Interested? One of the best ways to learn about Ötztal’s culture, and language is to visit the valley and talk with locals! Below is a taste of.