Find out about the language spoken in Liechtenstein and how it differs from those of bordering countries.
What’s the language in Liechtenstein? This small country located between Switzerland and the Austrian province of Vorarlberg is one of the smallest in the world. Also, Liechtenstein is one of the richest countries in the world, with a GDP per capita of 180,000USD!
With a population of only 38,000 inhabitants, it’s no wonder that people often ask themselves which language is spoken in Liechtenstein. If you consider its closest neighbors (Switzerland, Austria, and Germany), you will be able to guess it.
The Languages of Liechtenstein
Yes, the language in Liechtenstein is German – at least officially. The country is the smallest of the four countries that have German as an official language. Standard German, or Hochdeutsch, is the official language used in official affairs and the language of the written media.
Like in many places in Germany and Austria, standard German is the official language. However, the day-to-day language in Liechtenstein is Swiss German, one of the most popular Alemannic dialects.
Despite coming from the same family, Standard German and Swiss German are not intelligible. That means that if a Liechtensteiner speaks to a German person in their local dialect, the German won’t understand. In contrast, for example, if a Spanish and a Brazilian speak to each other in their languages, there’s a high degree of understanding between the two people.
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Although Swiss German is the language used in everyday situations and at home, it has no official written version. Standard German is used as the writing language. That said, there are some unofficial ways to write the dialect of Liechtenstein and Switzerland.
Other Languages Spoken in Liechtenstein
While Swiss German is the most dialect in Liechtenstein, there are other Alemannic dialects spoken in the country.
They are Walser German, spoken by over a thousand people, mostly in Triesenberg, and another Alemannic dialect very similar to that spoken in neighboring Vorarlberg, in Austria. Click here to see what Walser German sounds like.
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Foreign Languages Spoken in Liechtenstein
The most popular foreign language spoken in Liechtenstein is English. Well, I bet you didn’t need anyone to tell you that! Being an international language, that’s the foreign language that most locals speak.
Local universities also use English as a tuition language.
Other foreign languages spoken in the country include French, Italian and Turkish. However, these are mostly spoken by foreigners who moved to the country, not by the native population.
Have you ever met anyone from Liechtenstein? In what language did you both communicate?
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