Hunsrik Orthography

The following explains the terms and abbreviations used for this dictionary regarding languages and orthographies, especially the meaning of the (SGO) and (PO) orthography qualifiers:

Portuguese Hunsrik (SGO) Hunsrik (PO) Standard German English
língua Sproch xprooch Sprache language

As of now, there is no generally accepted and official orthography for Hunsrik. However, there seem to exist two main proposals for such an orthography that are in wider use and have gained significant acceptance.

This dictionary website uses (SGO) to denote Hunsrik words written in what could be called "Standard German based orthography", and (PO) for words written in the "Portuguese based orthography". (I kind of invented these denotions and abbreviations myself because I could not find established ones.)

This website shows words written in both orthographies now, based on two dictionaries that together cover both (details see source). It's my opinion that people should be able to easily use and compare the two orthographies in order to come up with an informed opinion about the subject.


Here is more background info:

The first orthography of the two with wider use is heavily influenced by the official orthography of Standard German, as it is in use in Germany, Austria and parts of Switzerland. This is more or less how one would write down words of the Hunsrückisch dialect spoken in the Hunsrück region of Germany (the origin of Hunsrik as spoken in Brasil) if one wanted to show clearly the difference to Standard German and stay close to the actual pronounciation (but without going as far as using something like International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) symbols or even invent new letters and diacritics).

One of the most prominent features of that orthography is the letter sequence sch for a sound that is similar to English sh in words such as show or short. (The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents this sound is ⟨ʃ⟩, as explained here.) Note that not all sh sounds are written as sch: Sometimes also simply s is pronounced in this way, as it is the case in the above example word Sproch.

The second orthography is heavily influenced by Portuguese and the corresponding standard Portuguese orthography as used in Brasil. The basic idea: Practically all people in Brasil, including Hunsrik speakers, already know that orthography with its rules and sound correspondences, but only few of them know about Standard German and its orthography, so why not use a Portuguese-based orthography to write Hunsrik also?

As this article from a German newspaper details this orthography goes back to an initiative started 2004 called Projeto Hunsrik trying to establish Hunsrik as an officially accepted minority language. The Facebook page of that project is here.

In accordance with Portuguese that orthography does not use sch for words with the sound ⟨ʃ⟩ (and for words with s if the letter pronounced is that way), but x which looks rather strange to people acquainted with Standard German orthography but at the same time rather natural to those acquainted with Portuguese orthography.

If you want to go deeper still into the subject there is a linguistic paper written by Mateusz Maselko from the Austrian Academy of Sciences: HUNSRIK XRAYWE. A NEW WAY IN LEXICOGRAPHY OF THE GERMAN LANGUAGE ISLAND IN SOUTHERN BRAZIL