Lowlands-L Anniversary Celebration

The Project

Language lists
Languages A–Z
Language Groups
Audio Files
Language information
Wish list

About Lowlands
Meet Lowlanders!
Project Team
Site map
Offline Resources
The Crypt
Language Tips
Members’ Links
Lowlands Shops
  · Canada
  · Deutschland
  · France
  · 日本 Japan
  · United Kingdom
  · United States
Recommended now!

What's new?

Please click here to leave an anniversary message (in any language you choose). You do not need to be a member of Lowlands-L to do so. In fact, we would be more than thrilled to receive messages from anyone.
Click here to read what others have written so far.

About the story
What’s with this “Wren” thing?
   The oldest extant version of the fable we are presenting here appeared in 1913 in the first volume of a two-volume anthology of Low Saxon folktales (Plattdeutsche Volksmärchen “Low German Folktales”) collected by Wilhelm Wisser (1843–1935). Read more ...



The “Stellar Trinity“ of Cologne in 2005: Virgin, Peasant and Prince, all traditionally played by men. Throughout Germany and in neighboring regions, Ripuarian comes to the fore during carnaval season in Germany’s Rhenish area near the border with Belgium and the Netherlands..

Language information: Ripuarian is a group of Rhinelandic Central Franconian (Frankish) language varieties most of which are used along a fairly short stretch of the Rhine river, primarily on the German side at the German-Belgian-Netherlands border junction.
     The name of this linguistic unit in the contact languages is as follows: Ripuarisch in Dutch, German, Limburgish and Low Saxon, ripouwaryin or ripåryin in Walloon, and francique ripuaire in French. An alternative German name is Nordmittelfränkisch, meaning “North Central Franconian.”
     Many linguists in the Netherlands see Low Franconian (including Dutch and Cleves Franconian), Limburgish and Ripuarian as a larger linguistic unit that they call Maas-Rijnlands, in English “Low Rhenish” (German Maaß-Reinländisch), even though certain features make the Ripuarian varieties Central Franconian and the other varieties Low Franconian.
     Among the Ripuarian dialects there are those of major towns and cities such as Aix-la-Chapelle (Ripuarian Oche, German Aachen, Dutch Aken), Bonn (Ripuarian Bůnn), Cologne (Ripuarian and Limburgish Kölle, German Köln, Dutch Keulen) and Leverkusen (Ripuarian Lävverkuuse). On the Belgian side of the border Ripuarian is used in the cantons of Eupen and St. Vith, and on the Netherlands side of the border in Southern Limburg, such as in Kerkrade (Ripuarian Kirchroa, Limburgish Kèrkrao(j), Kirkrao, German Kirchrath), Bocholtz (Limburgish Bóches) and Vaals (Ripuarian and Limburgish Vols).
     Ripuarian shares with all fellow Franconian varieties several phonological features, such as absence of consonant aspiration (in contrast for instance with Standard German, Low Saxon and most English varieties), also the tendency toward deleting the /n/ in final –en. More specifically within the Franconian group, Ripuarian shares with some nearby Limburgish and Cleves Franconian varieties (such as Limburgish of Vliermaal, Belgium, and Cleves Franconian of Solingen, Germany) the Rhenish feature of velarization of /n/ after short, including shortened, vowels (e.g. singe Kinger, ‘his children’, cf. Low Saxon sien(e) Kinner, Standard German seine Kinder), also found in the name of the Rhine river: Rhing (cf. German Rhein, Luxembourgish Rhäin, Dutch Rijn, Limburgish Rien, Low Saxon Rhien).
Map of Franconian (Frankish) Dialect Groups     As in the case of Low Saxon, Ripuarian and Low Franconian varieties used in Germany are referred to as Platt, for instance Öcher Platt of Aix-la-Chapelle.
     Although primarily spoken on a casual level, Ripuarian has been written for some time. Purely Ripuarian literature and theater are mostly confined to the parachial comedic sphere, however.
     The author of the Cologne Ripuarian version shares the following information:
      “From about 1963 till 1970 I lived at Mechernich in the Northern Eifel area and from about 1976 till 1994 in Cologne. In both areas Ripuarian is spoken. So I acquired a passiv knowledge of this North-Middle Franconian dialect group just by hearing and listening to it during my stay in that area. My son-in-law Axel Kaul who was born and raised in Cologne helped me to translate this fable into Kölsch (Cologne dialect).”
      “Kölsch (Cologne dialect) is spoken in and around the town of Cologne, and it is a variant of the Ripuarian dialect group called Northern Middle Franconian. When I first arrived at that area (coming from Oldenburg) I immediately noticed the seeming predominance of syllables containing a long ‘bright’ (German) ‘A’ like in ‘Ahl, sahte, mache, maht’ and so on and I thought: ‘This dialect is closely related to Dutch’ which in fact it is, but not so closely as I thought it is at that time.”
      “Another typical feature of Kölsch is that it is spoken with a tonal accent, which makes it sound like a very ‘musical up-and-down’ like for example in Swedish and Papiamento and other ‘tonal languages’. We Northern Low Saxon people say the Cologners speak with a special ‘sing-song’ which is very hard for us to learn and to imitate. By the way, all the other variants of the Ripuarian dialect group from the town of Neuss in the north to Blankenheim in the south use this tonal accent. There is another feature in grammar that we should not forget to mention: It is the use of a kind of present continous like: Ich ben am arbeide (I am working) instead of Ich arbeide (I work) and last but not least we should not forget the active use and the popularity of the Cologne dialect during carnival time.”     

Genealogy: Indo-European > Germanic > West (South?) > High > Middle > West > Middle Franconian > Ripuarian

    Click to open the translation: [Cologne]Click here for different versions. >

Author: Reinhard F. Hahn

© 2011, Lowlands-L · ISSN 189-5582 · LCSN 96-4226 · All international rights reserved.
Lowlands-L Online Shops: Canada · Deutschland · France · 日本 · UK · USA
gabhlán gaoithe