Welcome to Vienna, German Speakers. Here is Your German-Viennese Dictionary
As any German speaker will tell you, this wonderfully complex language comes in a variety of flavours.
When one studies this language in school, one is taught “High German” Hochdeutsch or Oberdeutsch, which is actually spoken in large swaths of the German speaking world: like the TV. The reality is that almost everywhere has a specialized dialect and, in fact, some are so specialized that they are barely related to German anymore. One of the more perplexing to decipher, at least to my ears, is the Viennese dialect.
Viennese dialect seems to be spoken with a different palette than the rest of Austria – more laid back, mumble-y and in the back of the throat, and freely mixes verbs and nouns from other languages and slang to the point where it almost seems to be a different language. I’d be curious to know what native German speakers from, say, Hanover, would think of it or would they be able to understand it.
So, to welcome all the European Championship football fans from the German speaking world, I give you Wiener Dialekt im Alltag — a site with “Wienerisch” to German translations — complete with audio.
A German friend might correct one’s “Wienerisch” or Austrian/Bavarian expressions because they are not proper German, while a Viennese friend might say that when one expresses something in a more “proper” German, it sounds “pifkisch”. Pifke, from what I can tell, is sort of like the American word hick or redneck, but with a less regional connotation and more toward “uncultured”.