I was watching a travel video about Burgenland (Austria), and was taken aback by the interview with this woman, at 2:41 here:


There's also an interview with her brother later on in the video. His T's and D's are also flat-frontal, but at least he trills his R's unlike her.

Her pronunciation sounds extremely Russian or Slavic to me. Is she a Slav? Does she have an accent?

In particular, the R's are 100% Russian or Slavic (frontal and rolled), and the T's and D's are almost 90% Russian, very frontal (close to the teeth and no puffing). This is exactly how Russians talk, with frontal sounds and rolled R's. In German I thought it was more alveolar-ridge for the T's and D's (like English, and with a slight puff), and rear-throat trills for R's.

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    I do not hear anything like a Slavic accent. For me as a German it sounds typical Austrian (although I am aware that there are many different Austrian dialects).
    – Paul Frost
    Mar 7, 2021 at 12:18
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    Have you ever heard an Austrian accent before?
    – Carsten S
    Mar 7, 2021 at 18:49
  • Since you seem to be familiar with the terminology (I am not), you may see here that there German pronunciation has a large variety: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Standard_German_phonology
    – Carsten S
    Mar 7, 2021 at 19:08
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    Calling a specific pronunciation from Burgenland "Russian" seems to demonstrate a certain unawareness of other Slavonic languages being around there in the world, does it? If there is Slavonic influence in the pronunciation, it obviously would come from neighbouring Slavonic-speaking areas, e.g. Slovenia or Croatia (or Slavonic-speaking people in Hungary). - But these people's pronuncation is simply normal local Austrian anyway. Mar 8, 2021 at 12:21

1 Answer 1


As in other countries, there are many different dialects spoken in Austria, depending on the location.

The video is actually about the province of Burgenland, in the East of Austria (about as far from Tyrol as you can get).

Both her and her brother's pronounciation sound about 90 % "High-Austrian" to me, however with a slight flavour which points out they come from the countryside somewhere in Eastern Austria.

Let's review what we know:

  • They are natives of the Burgenland province
  • The last name is German, so probably not of the native Croatian ethnic group
  • They both have a university education, most likely acquired in Vienna
  • They are being interviewed for TV

... they talk exactly as I would expect. (probably when they talk among their family / childhood friends, the dialect would be more pronounced.)

We once had a chancellor (head of government) who never gave up his noticable Burgenland dialect:


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    Jup. She absolutely speaks like an eastern Austrian speaker trying to sound a bit more "standard" than in her native dialect -- a common occurrence when Austrians talk to Germans. Mar 7, 2021 at 8:34
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    Thanks I corrected my post to refer to Burgenland. So is this accent characterized by Slavic-like rolled R's and frontal T's? Since it's in the East, I would assume it's influenced by the neighboring countries of Slovakia and Hungary, which use Slavic mouth positions.
    – gene b.
    Mar 7, 2021 at 14:50
  • @geneb. Please open a separate thread for your follow-up question in your comment above. It is a distinct question and should be addressed in its own thread, so its answer wouldn't get lost in a comment. Mar 7, 2021 at 15:03
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    @geneb. Before you post a new question as jonathan.scholbach suggested, you should verify whether Hungarian, which is not a Slavic language, but from the same family as Finnish, features what you call Slavic mouth positions. Mar 7, 2021 at 17:17

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