I've recently stumbled upon some words that my dictionary can't translate:

  • nitt (nicht)
  • passt scho (passt schon)
  • zwoa (zwei)

Is there an online resource for finding out what such words mean, and from which dialect/language they come? I do realise that the transcription of dialects might not be completely 1:1, but still believe that such a dictionary would make sense.

  • 5
    I even doubt about an "offline" one.
    – user128
    Commented May 26, 2011 at 14:04
  • 6
    Isn't this what German.SE is for? ;-)
    – Jan
    Commented May 26, 2011 at 14:07
  • 2
    @Jan: Indeed, the dialects tag would be a great place for such a reference. I think it would be unnecessary to duplicate the effort, though.
    – Tim
    Commented May 26, 2011 at 14:12
  • absolutely - if there is such a place out there, we don't have to do it ourselves :-)
    – Jan
    Commented May 26, 2011 at 14:15
  • See here for some ideas on "passt schon". Very hard to translate though.
    – F.P
    Commented May 26, 2011 at 14:18

10 Answers 10


I found this site, called German Dialects on the Internet (look at the EDIT part below), which is supposed to help teachers, both from High Schools and Universities to help their students to better understand the dialectal differences among the various German regions and the other German-speaking countries.

I've tried some links, and unfortunately not all seem to work directly clicking from there, but I searched them and listed the working ones and the other ones in the edit below.


Since some were commenting that the links don't work, I'll directly link them here, signalling the ones I found by myself, if you find the missing ones, feel free to add the link:

You can also go to this page, where you'll find a map and a short cataloguing of the main dialects. If you scroll down, there is a link to Dictionary resources, which is not a classic dictionary but better a collection of expressions in German and other dialects ordered by topic; you can find it here.

Hope it was helpful!

  • The UWSP site seems very useful!
    – Tim
    Commented May 26, 2011 at 14:14
  • most links from the "German Dialects on the Internet"-site are dead (404)
    – Hinek
    Commented May 26, 2011 at 14:20
  • 1
    None of them work for me.
    – user128
    Commented May 26, 2011 at 14:29
  • 1
    Also, these sites are so static. A German dialect dictionary should be dynamic and has at least a search engine.
    – user128
    Commented May 26, 2011 at 14:39
  • 1
    @Tim: I added the direct links.
    – Alenanno
    Commented May 26, 2011 at 16:03

I haven't found a single resource yet that would cover all dialects, but there are definitely dictionaries for single dialects or dialect groups.

The University of Augsburg has a very interesting project called "Atlas zur deutschen Alltagssprache", where they conduct surveys concerning everyday matters and how they are called in different places, and then build some awesome maps. Dictionary-wise, there's an index that probably contains all the words from their surveys.

In an answer to another question, Markus Schwalbe has posted a link to a dictionary of Low German (Plattdüütsch).

There's also a Swabian dictionary.


For Swiss dialects, you can use the digital version of the "Schweizerisches Idiotikon".

It's a very interesting project, where the German language in Switzerland from the late middle ages until now is documented.


We started a non-commercial wiki-based project for the dialect of the town of Flörsheim in South Hessian. Special about the site is that it's not just a collection of arbitrary dialect words, but has the intention to build a dictionary in collobarative work which is planned to be put on paper in the near future.

While knowing this is a very local site, the Flörsheim dialect is very closely related to all those in the South Hessian region, for example around the cities of Frankfurt, Darmstadt and Mainz and as such maybe also of use to a broader area, especially since the Frankfurt dialect is something widely recognized over Germany.


Wörterbuch der deutsch-lothringischen Mundarten is a great dictionary for the Lorraine franconian dialects.


I found German Dialects Link Catalogue - Paul Joyce very useful about German dialects.

There is a list of all available references which are related to German and its dialects.


For Southtyrolian Dialect go here: http://oschpele.ritten.org/


This "speaking map" is very entertaining for learning about Bavarian dialects.


Ein Wörterbuch Berlinerisch-Deutsch findet sich hier.

Dazu noch mein berliner Lieblingswitz:

Was schwebt über Berlin und beginnt mit "J"?

Ein Jewitter.

(für nicht Berliner: ein Gewitter)


For starters in the Bavarian language I'd recommend bayrisch-lernen.de.

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