About Bavarian language, dialects and words

Bavarian (in German: Bayerisch pronounced Buyerish) belongs to the Upper German languages spoken in Bavaria the south of Germany. Several German dialects are spoken in Bavaria. In the administrative regions to the north the Franconian dialect is prevalent, in Swabia the local dialect is Swabian, a thread of the Alemannic dialect family. In the Upper Palatinate people speak the Northern Bavarian dialect that can vary regionally. In Upper and Lower Bavaria (Middle) Bavarian is the predominant dialect. 

There are three main dialect groups of Bavarian:

  • Northern Bavarian, also spoken in the Upper Franconian district of Wunsiedel;
  • Central Bavarian (along the rivers Isar and Danube, spoken in Munich (by 20% of the people), Upper Bavaria, Lower Bavaria, southern Upper Palatinate, the Swabian district of Aichach-Friedberg, the northern parts of the State of Salzburg, Upper Austria, Lower Austria, Vienna and the Northern Burgenland)
  • Southern Bavarian (in Tyrol, South Tyrol, Carinthia, Styria, and the southern parts of Salzburg and Burgenland).

Click here for further information about the Bavarian language and dialects in Bavaria.

Brush up on your Bavarian

We want to introduce you to some the most popular and most commonly used Bavarian phrases or words:


"Oachkazlschwoaf "(Squirrel’s tail) »

"Oachkatzl"(Eichhörnchen=squirrel) and "Schwoaf" (Schweif=tail) are words that are used to test whether you qualify as a native speaker of Bavarian/Austrian dialect.

Bavarian word "Abbodegn"

"Abbodegn" »

This Bavarian word is always useful when travelling. It means “pharmacy” or “drugstore”. It is mainly used in Franconia (northern Bavaria), but also used in other parts in Bavaria as well. However, don’t try to use this word outside of Bavaria, as no one else will understand it in Germany. In proper German, it is called “Apotheke”.

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Old town hall