Berlinerisch dialect

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Konsum-Genossenschaft, watercolor by Heinrich Zille, 1924

Berlinerisch or Berlinisch is a dialect of Berlin Brandenburgish German spoken in Berlin and the surrounding metropolitan area. It originates from a Mark Brandenburgish variant. However, several phrases in Berlinisch are typical for and unique to the city, indicating the manifold origins of immigrants, among them the Huguenots from France.


The area of Berlin was one of the first to abandon East Low German as a written language (in the 16th century) and later also as a spoken language. This was the first dialect of Standard German with definite High German roots but a Low German substratum apparently formed. (Berlinerisch may therefore be considered an early Missingsch.) Only recently has this new dialect expanded into the surroundings which until then used East Low German.


Berlinisch grammar contains some notable differences from that of standard German. For instance, the accusative case and dative case are not distinguished. Similarly, conjunctions that are distinguished in standard German are not in Berlinisch. For example, in standard German, wenn (when) is used for conditional, theoretical, or consistent events and wann (when) is used for an events currently occurring or questions. There is no difference between the two in Berlinisch.[1]

Genitive forms are also replaced by prepositional accusative forms, some still with an inserted pronoun. For example dem sein Haus (the his house) rather than the standard sein Haus (his house). Plural forms often add an additional -s, regardless of the standard plural ending.[2]

Words ending in -ken are often written (colloquially) and pronounced as -sken.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Icke, icke bin Berlina, wer mir haut, den hau ich wieda Wölke
  2. ^ Viertel-Dreiviertel-Verbreitungskarte

External links[edit]