I recently found two translations for the English word "attic", i.e the part of a building, especially of a house, directly under the roof. I found both "Dachboden" and "Speicher". My question is: which one is mostly used in Austria? If "Dachboden" is the most used one as attic, then what does an Austrian think about the word "Speicher"? Where is "Speicher" an attic and where is a "Dachboden" an attic? Is the difference in usage dependent on the different areas? (Let's say South Germany and Austria on one side and the rest of Germany on the other maybe.)
The answer is definitely
The first time I heard the word »Speicher« was when I started to learn programing on a computer (Speicher = storage). Some years later I was a little bit confused when I heard a German say »Ich habe noch eine alte Nähmaschine auf dem Speicher.« (»I have an old sawing machine on my attic«) because I understood »I have an old sawing machine on my computer-storage«.
I never have heard Austrian people use the word »Speicher« in an other meaning then computer storage.
(I was born 1965 in Graz and moved 1997 to Vienna.)
You can find a very detailed answer to this question in the Atlas der deutschen Alltagssprache. According to this source it is Dachboden in Austria. (I am not Austrian, so I hope either Hubert or Ingmar will confirm ;-)).
I also can confirm the usage of Speicher in Upper Bavaria and simply Boden in Saxony. (At least in my childhood, I had almost forgotten that we said so. Nowadays I would rather say Dachboden, I guess.)
As an Austrian I can confirm that both are correct. Dachboden is the widely used one, while Speicher is used more rarely. Speicher (as also translated in IT) also means storage. So in former times this area was also used to store Heu (hay) and other goods. So people — especially farmers and people in rural areas still call it Speicher.