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Spoken in Germany[1]
Region Upper Franconia, Lower Franconia, Middle Franconia, northeast Baden-Württemberg, southwest Thuringia
Total speakers unknown[1]
Language family Indo-European
Language codes
ISO 639-1 None
ISO 639-2 gem [Germanic, other]
ISO 639-3 vmf

Main-Franconian (German: Mainfränkisch) is group of Central German dialects being part of the East Franconian group. The name is derived from the river Main which meets the river Rhine near Frankfurt after having crossed the former West Germany from East to West. The dialect is estimated by Ethnologue as 40% intelligible with Standard German.[1]

Main-Franconian dialects are spoken in a large stripe along the river Main. Although part of the general continuum of dialects from Scandinavia to the Alps, there are pretty sharp borders for many Main-Franconian dialects. In the North and Northeast, these follow Salzbogen and Rennsteig in the Thuringian Forest, while others in the East and South coincide with the late medieval borders of the Archdiocese of Bamberg and the Bishopric of Würzburg.

Dialects of the Main-Franconian group are spoken mainly in:

Main-Franconian dialects encompass these major groups:



Simple English

Main-Franconian is group of German dialects that are spoken in the centre of Germany, in the area known as Franconia near the river Main.

In Germany most people call these dialects simply “Fränkisch”. Although they have a lot in common there are many variations from one small region to another.

Historically Franconia (German: “Franken”) was a very large area covering a lot of Germany including parts of the Rhine as far as the Netherlands. Today Franconia is the north part of Bavaria (German: “Bayern”) including what is known as Lower Franconia, Upper Franconia, Mid-Franconia and parts of Upper Bavaria.

Examples of Franconian dialect

Typical for Franconian dialects is the voiceless consonants becoming voiced, i.e “k” pronounced like “g”, “t” like “d”, “p” like “b” and “s” like English “z”. In pubs one often hears on the public address system a request for a member of staff

  • ”bidde dzur dege gommen”
  • (German): bitte zur Theke kommen
  • (English):Please come to the bar.
  • Vo da Dande a Bageed griing” means:
  • (German): “Von der Tante ein Paket kriegen (/bekommen)“
  • (English) “To receive a parcel from one’s auntie“

The pronunciation of vowels may be different from normal German, e.g. Franconia is often described as the place where:

  • ”die Hasen ‘Hoosn’ und die Hosen ‘Huusn’ haasn.”
  • i.e. ‘Hasen‘ (‘hares‘) are called ‘Hoosn‘ (‘Hosen’=’trousers’) and ‘Hoosn’ are called ‘Husen’. (German “Hasen” has an “a” as in British “car”; “Hosen” has an “o” similar to “oa” in “boat”; “Husen”, which does not mean anything, has a “u” like British “oo” in “moon”).

An angry Franconian might say:

  • ”Der Hamml, der gscheerde, der ko wos erlehm, wenna haam kummd!”
  • German: “Der Saukerl kann was erleben, wenn er nach Hause kommt!“
  • English: “The rotten fellow will be in trouble when he gets home!“


“Fränkisch” by Jens Sobisch; Kauderwelsch 186, ASMB 3-89416-474-3


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