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languages:sorbian_in_germany

Sorbian in Germany

Language designations:

Lower Sorbian:

  • In the language itself: Dolnoserbski
  • ISO 639-3 standard: dsb

Upper Sorbian:

  • In the language itself: Hornjoserbšćina
  • ISO 639-3 standard: hsb

Language vitality according to:

1) UNESCO makes no distinction between Lower and Upper Sorbian. 2) The language vitality of Ethnologue, Endangered Languages and Glottolog reflect Upper Sorbian, not Lower Sorbian.

Linguistic aspects:

  • Classification: Indo-European → Slavic. For more information, see lowe1385 at Glottolog

Language standardization:

Demographics

Language area

Lower Sorbian (dolnoserbska rěc or Wendish) and Upper Sorbian (hornjoserbska rěč) are western Slavonic languages spoken in Lower Lusatia (located in the German state Land of Brandenburg) and Upper Lusatia (located in the German state Free State of Saxony). In central parts of Upper Lusatia there are still villages where Upper Sorbian is the first language and the family language of all generations. In Lower Lusatia the language is rarely passed on to to the next generation.

operating instructions

Various functions are available as part of the map.

mouse/touch operation
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keyboard operation

Keyboard operation becomes available after activating the map using the tab key (the map will show a focus indicator ring).

  • moving using the arrow keys you can move the map
  • overview map using the + button in the bottom right of the map you can expand an overview map
  • zooming in and out using the + and - buttons in the top left of the map or by using the + and - keys you can obtain more or less detail in the map
  • switching themes or maps clicking on the ≡ icon on the right-hand side of the map you can view and select available maps and themes
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It's possible that some of the functions or buttons describe above have been disabled by the page author or the administrator

 

Points of Interest
id symbol latitude longitude description

Speaker number


Language and education legislation:

History of language education:

Sorbian education has varied with changing regimes: 1).

Before 1945:

  • Limited opportunites for Sorbian education

After WWII:

  • Establishment of bilingual programmes from nursery schools to university.
  • Sorbian training college opened in Radibor in 1946 (later moved to Bautzen).
  • Sorbian schools made possible by 1948 law.

After 1950/during DDR:

  • Two types of schools established
    • A-type: Sorbian language as a medium of instruction
    • B-type: Sorbian language as foreign language
      • In 1955, there were 11 A-type schools and 94 B-type schools.
  • In 1962, Sorbian placed in inferior position by DDR-directive: not allowed as medium of instruction for chemistry, mathematics, physics and citizenship education
  • In 1964, Sorbian became voluntary subject
  • Sorbian marked as foreign language in school
    • In 1980s, there were around 7 A-type schools and 80 B-type schools.

In 2020 there are 16 type A schools in Saxony 2) and 7 A-type schools in Brandenburg3) covering primary, secundary and Gymnasium level.

European legislation:

National legislation

  • Sorbian is not an official language in Germany: the only official language in Germany is German5).
  • The Sorbian minority is recognised as one of the four autochthonous national minorities in Germany6).
  • The Sorbian language is recognised as one of the five autochthonous and regional languages in Germany7).

Regional legislation

Within the Free State of Saxony, Sorbian is recognised and protected in:

Within the State of Brandenburg, Sorbian is recognised and protected in:

Educational legislation:

0-3 Years old: preschool education

Saxony: the State provides Sorbian groups with additional financial support for staff and education materials.

Brandenburg: daycare centres are obliged to teach about Sorbian language and culture. They receive financial support from the Foundation for Sorbian People. The Federal State is obliged to support Sorbian education of the group leaders and to provide pedagogical materials.

5-10 or 12 years old: primary education

Saxony: the Sorbian language may be used as a language of instruction, and taught as a subject. Basic knowledge about the history and culture of the Sorbs has to be taught at school 8).

Brandenburg: schools are obliged to inform parents about the possibilities to learn Sorbian. Basic knowledge about the history and culture of the Sorbs has to be taught at schools 9).

12-16/18 years old: secondary education

Saxony: the Sorbian language may be used as a language of instruction, and taught as a subject. Basic knowledge about the history and culture of the Sorbs has to be taught at school 10).

Brandenburg: schools are obliged to inform parents about the possibilities to learn Sorbian. Basic knowledge about the history and culture of the Sorbs has to be taught at schools 11).

Institutional support for education of the language

In the Free state of Saxony:

  • The Regulation of the Saxon State Ministry of Education on the First State Examination for teaching at schools in the Free State of Saxony of 2012 defines the content of Sorbian studies in part 2, section 2.38
  • External evaluation of Sorbian language education is carried out by the Saxon Education Institute.

In the state of Brandenburg:

  • Sorbian/Wendish is classified as a foreign language and the curriculum is based on this.

Education in practice

Especially Lower Sorbian dialects are vanishing due to the learning of the standard language in school.12).


Learning resources and educational institutions

Different methods are available for teaching Sorbian as a first language, and as a foreign language.

Teacher training


Mercator's Regional Dossier

Read more about Sorbian language education in Mercator's Regional Dossier (2016).

1)
Brĕzan, B. and M. Nowak. (2016) Sorbian in Germany, 2nd editionMercator's Regional Dossier
2)
Sächsische Staatskanzlei. (n.d.).Sorbische Schulen in Sachsen Retrieved February 19, 2020, from https://www.schule.sachsen.de/166.htm.
3)
Bildungserver Berlin-Brandenburg. (n.d.). Brandenburgische Schulen mit bilingualem Unterricht Sorbisch/Wendisch. Retrieved February 19, 2020, from https://bildungsserver.berlin-brandenburg.de/unterricht/faecher/bilingualer-unterricht/brandenburgische-schulen-mit-bilingualem-unterricht-sorbischwendisch.
4)
CoE. (2018, January 1). States Parties to the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languagesand their regional or minority languages. Retrieved 19 February, 2020, from https://rm.coe.int/states-parties-to-the-european-charter-for-regional-or-minority-langua/168077098c.
5) , 7)
Adler, A. and R. Beyer. (2018). Languages and language policies in Germany / Sprachen und Sprachenpolitik in Deutschland. National language institutions and national languages. Contributions to the EFNIL Conference 2017 in Mannheim. Budapest: Research Institute for Linguistics, Hungarian Academy of Sciences. Retrieved February 19, 2020, from http://www.efnil.org/documents/conference-publications/mannheim-2017/EFNIL-Mannheim-27-Adler-Beyer.pdf.
6)
Minderheitensekretariat. (n.d.). Wen vertreten wir? Retrieved February 19, 2020, from https://www.minderheitensekretariat.de/wen-vertreten-wir/uebersicht-und-selbstverstaendnis/.
9) , 11)
Sorbian / Wendish Schulverordnung (2000). https://bravors.brandenburg.de/verordnungen/swschulv_2000
12)
Brĕzan, B. and M. Nowak. (2016). The Sorbian Language in Education in Germany, 2nd Edition. Retrieved February 19, 2020, from https://www.mercator-research.eu/fileadmin/mercator/documents/regional_dossiers/sorbian_in_germany_2nd.pdf.
languages/sorbian_in_germany.txt · Last modified: 2020/10/05 11:31 by ydwine

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