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The Modern German language is characterized by a great number of dialects, which vary in phonological, lexical, morphological and syntactic aspects. The existed literary version of German (Hochdeutsch) allows to overcome communicational problems. These problems connect with the peculiarities of German in different regions.

Bavarian dialect is the most interesting for our research. It is the most distant from the modern literary German language. It is widely known, that the modern dialects of German constitute two large groups: Low German and High German dialects. Bavarian dialect is in the second group of High German dialects. To be exact, it is in her Upper German subgroup. In turn, the Bavarian dialect is divided into Northern Bavarian, Middle Bavarian  and Southern Bavarian dialects. The history of the Bavarian dialects is rooted in the earlier Middle Ages. Researchers of diachronic of German dialects declared that the differences between Old Bavarian and Alemannic dialects has no obvious nature at the level of Old High German cutoff. [1] The number of innovations begins to increase approximately to the XII century. Analysis of literary monuments and information in dictionaries shows the difference between the Eastern High German (Bavarian) and the Western Upper German (Alemannic) dialects [2]. The aim of the article is to study the peculiarities of the Bavarian dialect lexical system.


A comparative historical research method is used in the article. It puts historical variation of the language system at the center of the research question, data collection and data analysis.  On the one hand, using this method requires developing a thorough knowledge of the historical background, i.e. the history of the country. On the other hand, we have to know the historical stages of the language system to make comparisons and conclusions.


The vocabulary of Bavarian dialect is rich. It often has narrow regional nature and has no analogues in the modern literary language of Germany. That is why it needs a special translation. Many Bavarian words should be translated in a descriptive way, with explanation of the meaning. This statement belongs to many layers of the lexical richness of Bavarian dialect, but there is a particular approach to a special layer of vocabulary related to the art of cookery in Bavaria. All lexical material for this article is taken from the authentic book of Bavaria [3].

The vocabulary of Bavarian dialect is very rich. It often has specific regional features and does not have any analogues in the modern literary German language [4]. Therefore, it may be conveyed in the target language sometimes through special translation methods. Some Bavarian words are translated by descriptive translation which is necessary to explicate their meanings. This statement belongs to all linguistic levels of Bavarian dialect particularly to a special vocabulary level which is associated with Bavarian culinary. All lexical vocabulary of this article is based on the authentic book about Bavaria.

  • (bavarian.)  dasWeißwurst = (lit. Germ.) das Würstchen “sausage”. Lexical unitof Bavarian dialect belongs to common Bavarian snack: white sausage. This meal is usually served for breakfast and it is a traditional Bavarian snack.

(bavarian.) Weißwurst ist für alle, die sie mögen, eine leckere Delikatesse. Egal, ob sie geschnitten. Boiled veal sausage is a tasty and favorite delicacy for everyone. It does not matter is it cut into pieces or not [3, c.89].

  • (bavarian.) Schweinsbraten mit Gnedln = (lit. Germ.) eine Portion Schweinebraten mit Klößen. A portion of roast pork with dumplings [3, c.56].

(bavarian.) Gnedln = (lit. Germ.) Klößen «dumplings». These starchy foods containsome flour and eggs. Dumplings are usually added to soup or served with it. It can be served as a main (second) course or as a starch component for dessert.

  • (bavarian) a resche Brezn. = (lit. Germ.) eine knusprige Brezel [3, c.34]. Dried pretzel. This traditional pastry is widely spread in the southern regions of German: Baden-Württemberg and Bavaria. Bavarian bakers produce this starchy food since XIII century. The baking tin is associated with praying arms folded across a person’s chest. «Brezitella» is translated as an “arms”. Bavarian brezel – almost round, “arm” and “body” of bread are made of the same thickness [5].

            You have to know this vocabulary when you stay in Bavaria. You cannot feel comfortable without these words when you visit national Bavarian restaurants.

  • (bavarian.)  AMass und Apfeschoàle, biddschen! = (lit. Germ.)Ich hätte gerne ein Helles Bier und ein Apfelschorle, bitte! Lager beer and apple juice for me, please! [3, c.62]. Lexical unit biddscheen is a Bavarian variant of literary German lexical unit bitte. It can be used in two ways: in the meaning «please» and in the meaning «here you are» (when you are given something).

           Mass denotes a unit of measure (in most cases) for drinks, such as beer or sparkling water. As it is known, every year in Bavaria people celebrate the beer festival in October. In beer gardens, traditionally people drink beer from beer mugs, they are called «Masskrügen» (Masskryugen) [6,7]. If you visit the capital of Bavaria, Munich, never forget that lexical units of Bavarian dialects differ from the literal variant of German.

Bavarians say: «Mai, is des guàd, do kannd I mi nailing», if he likes the dish and it is very tasty. Literally it sounds like, «if I have a bath filled with delicious food, I’ll take a bath there»[8]. You can get jollies (bavar.) «gschmackiger»=( lit. Germ.)«geschmackvoll»  out of Bavarian dishes. We will say bon appétit (bavarian) «an Guàdn» = (lit. Germ.) guten Appetitt or Bavarian food-lovers.


The language system has its own inner laws of being, changing and evaluating. It only partly depends on the outer, extra linguistic influence. Its own inner potentials help the language system to control its own self-development. The language units are related to each other inside their level. The units of different levels are characterized by the reciprocity. The inner level connections between the units and ties between the levels found the basic structure of the language system. These two types of the relations are significant and fateful for the language system [7]. They determine the integrality and the wholeness of the language system. They ensure the functioning of the language and performing its main function – to be a mean of communication.

But when we analyze the linguistic data from a historical point of view we usually find out that there is a constant movement inside it. Cooperation of the levels leads not only to their interaction but also to their confrontation. The upper level may reject the innovation of the lower level when it doesn’t mark its level meanings. These are phonomorphological, phonolexical and other processes.  On the other hand, the upper level can use the innovations of the lower level when there is a need. At the beginning, it is a new supplementary function, but later it may become a marker of the level meaning. In such a case, there are morphonological, lexophonological and other phenomena.

The evolution of the language system depends on two groups of factors: the inner and outer ones. Both groups are considerable and weighty. The system of any language is self-controlled and self-developed. Its structure consists of levels and ties between them. The functions of the levels are interdependent. Nomination of the language units rely on them. Any level may be active or passive in the process of the language change. We have studied the transaction of the phonological and morphological levels [8]. The research shows that the process is morphonological when the morphological level is active. Some assimilations and accommodations can be eliminated or used with a new morphological function. The phonomorphological process takes place when the phonological level is active. If the function of some language units is insignificant – they may be eliminated in the process of unification of the paradigmatic groups. In conclusion of our research of Bavarian dialect on the example of Bavarian food, we would like to mention, that without knowledge of particular lexical units, you will not understand them. If the speaker is a native speaker of literal German, the act of communication will not happen, because mutual understanding is impossible. Historical events promoted the appearance of different kinds of German dialects.

Now in the course of many centuries, people of Germany speak both their dialects and the literal German [9]. If you know German even a little bit, while you stay in Bavaria, people will speak with you Hochdeutsch, but if you like to taste traditional Bavarian food, you have to know special names of dishes, which you cannot translate literally.

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