Homeland Minister Albert Füracker honors 14 organizations for their efforts to preserve the dialects. Does that still help? Everything is changing, and even language keepers get lost quickly.
People from more than 200 nations live in today’s Bavaria. You can imagine how many languages are spoken here in everyday life. Of course, linguistic diversity has shaped Bavaria since ancient times. The Latin of the Romans, the Italian of the Baroque period, the French of the Napoleonic era and the Silesian of the expellees have all flowed into the local idiom. Hardly any other federal state has so many language varieties.
In the course of increasing modernization, the conviction grew that dialects were an expression of backwardness and an obstacle to education. “That’s what you’re talking about!” Many parents gave such sayings to their children. Native language varieties were no longer considered and their speakers as less well-off. Not even the fact that a luminary like the Swiss Nobel Prize winner Kurt Wüthrich gave his lectures in the local dialect impressed them. In Bavaria, most children go through the strictly standardized language mill of kindergartens and schools and learn that they have to discard any tonal coloring if they want to be successful at school and professionally.
When the consumption of the dialects could no longer be ignored, the Bavarian state government recognized that the dialects had an inherent power of identification. In 2017 she created a Bavarian Dialect Prize, which was awarded again this year. On Monday, Homeland Minister Albert Füracker honored 14 clubs that, according to the Homeland Ministry, have rendered outstanding services to the maintenance of the dialect.
There was no lack of big words. “Dialect is the language of home and an expression of regional identity!” said Füracker at the award ceremony in Nuremberg. He praised the award winners as “great role models in shaping and preserving our homeland and culture”.
Do they really all count as great role models, all those support associations, language custodians and working groups that have been awarded? Doubts are allowed, as a look at the award winner Bund Bavarian Language shows. The association has had its headquarters in the Bavarian Forest municipality of Konzell since 2011 and, with the annual award of the Bavarian language root, advertises the dialect nationwide as well as Konzell, which lists 23 local associations on its homepage. The 24th association, the Bund Bavarian Language, is not mentioned. To put it dialectally, he obviously has Orsch too far down.