Silly question, but useful I hope:

Suppose you speak, say, Portuguese but you are, say, Brazilian. So you are a non-Portuguese having Portuguese as mother tongue.

How to express that optimally in German using the word Muttersprachler?

  1. Ich bin {Portuguiesisch·portugiesisch} Muttersprachler
  2. Ich bin portuguiesischer Muttersprachler
  3. Ich bin Portugiesischmuttersprachler.

Neither convinces me.

  • (1) In the first sentence, either choice appears to my eyes as a mistake. If you choose capital P, what does exactly mean that juxtaposition of words? If you little p, it's a grammatical mistake.
  • (2) As for the second line, it would imply that I'm from Portugal, wouldn't it? It doesn't even express that I do speak Portuguese.
  • (3) No idea if that concatenation is allowed.

Of course, the best solution is saying Ich komme aus Brasilien – but it should be possible to state this without giving that much information.

  • 1
    Ich bin Muttersprachler des Portugiesischen?
    – Wrzlprmft
    Commented Dec 17, 2013 at 14:06
  • 7
    Keep it simple: "Portugiesisch ist meine Muttersprache"
    – Vogel612
    Commented Dec 17, 2013 at 14:12
  • 3
    Die Frage geht wohl an Schweizer und Österreicher...
    – Em1
    Commented Dec 17, 2013 at 14:13
  • 1
    Wie ist das eigentlich im Englischen? "I'm English" heißt "Ich bin Engländer" but "I'm native English speaker" means that ~'you live in a country where English is spoken as first-language'.
    – Em1
    Commented Dec 17, 2013 at 14:18
  • 1
    @CarstenSchultz I think I've spread the mistake all over the answers :S (which I already edited)
    – c.p.
    Commented Dec 17, 2013 at 20:59

4 Answers 4


IMHO, you do not attach anything.

"Meine Muttersprache ist Deutsch."

"Deutsch ist meine Muttersprache."

Ansonsten kann und sollte man umschreiben:

Diejenigen, die Deutsch als Muttersprache haben, schnitten beim PISA Deutsch-Test vergleichsweise gut ab.

statt Wortungetüme wie "deutschmuttersprachlich" zu schaffen.

  • 1
    Aber wofür existiert denn das Wort Muttersprachler. Es muss doch einen Grund geben. Wie nutzt man es? Muss ich einen Zusammenhang, einen Kontext, eine Sprache erwähnen, und nur dannach Muttersprachler?
    – c.p.
    Commented Dec 17, 2013 at 19:54
  • 2
    @c.p. Zum Beispiel so: "Er spricht aber gut Deutsch!" - "Kein Wunder, er ist Muttersprachler."
    – Ingo
    Commented Dec 17, 2013 at 22:10

You asked how to attach the language, so I would choose the first solution with a hyphen:

Ich bin Portugiesisch-Muttersprachler.

It’s easier to read than the third example and IMHO correct.

A formal way to express your language skills is „Ich spreche Portugiesisch auf Muttersprachler-Niveau.“

  • 1
    I did not down-vote, but I see the reasons: "Muttersprachler" is informal and should be avoided in formal discussions (like job interviews). Therefore, "Portugiesisch ist meine Muttersprache." is the best solution.
    – Black
    Commented Dec 20, 2013 at 11:02
  • @Black Maybe, but c-p asked for a solution involving “Muttersprachler” (“... using the word Muttersprachler ...”), not alternatives.
    – lejonet
    Commented Dec 20, 2013 at 17:13
  • 1
    Well, sometimes the best answer to a "how do I ..." question is "You don't.", of course along with a better alternative.
    – Black
    Commented Dec 21, 2013 at 11:15

@Wrzl and @Vogel have alreade said two good solutions:

"Ich bin Muttersprachler des Portugiesischen"


"Portugiesisch ist meine Muttersprache".

Or, you use:

"Ich spreche Portugiesisch muttersprachlich"


While other acceptable choices have been highlighted, I'd say the best bet is "Ich bin portugiesischer Muttersprache" (literally "I'm of Portuguese native language")

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