Languages with Few Speakers Sorbian Wendish or Lusatian

About the language Sorbian also known as Wendish or Lusatian spoken in Eastern Germany, history and examples.




Hlej! Mocnje twoju slawil swjatu mi sym rolu.

Twoj wobraz tkale sw wse mysle mi a sony,

wene twojich hor a twojich honow horde strony,

a chwalil sobu sym ce z horami a z holu!

Plac towars moj je casto byl, hdyz z dziwjej bolu

sym z harfy wabil zandzenosce cezke stony,

hdyz k njebju wolal sym, su klincale kaz swony

wse truny. Twoj sym z ruku, wutrobu a wolu!


Glej! Z mocu som tos twoju swetu rolu slawil.

Twoj wobraz su wse myslenja a sni me tkali,

wenk modrych gor a golow smojtu zelen w dali,

a chwalil som si celu a si wenkow nawil!

Gaz zajslosc spominach, jo cesto plac me dawil

a martrow sezke stukanja su tsuny grali,

gaz k njebju wolach, tos su woni zabrincali

me ako zwony wse, a wsykno som z nich zjawil!

Look! Strongly have I praised your holy fields.

Your image has woven together all my thoughts and dreams,

the string of blue mountains and vast meadows of proud land,

and I have praised you for these mountains and meadows!

Cries were often my companion, when with a sharp pain

I called with my harp the heavy sighs of the past,

when I shouted to heaven all strings sounded like bells.

I am yours with my hand, heart, and will!

--Jakub Bart-Cisinski, Lusatia

Sorbian, also known by the names of Wendish and Lusatian, is a Slavic language spoken in Lusatia, the southeasternmost part of East Germany, bisected by the River Spree. Although surrounded by German speakers for centuries, the Sorbs have preserved their Slavic speech, and the propagation of the language is strongly encouraged today by the East German government.

Despite its small number of speakers (about 50,000) and the small area in which it is spoken, Sorbian has two distinct dialects. Upper Sorbian, centered in the city of Bautzen to the south (the word upper refers to the level, rather than the location, of the land), resembles Czech. Lower Sorbian, spoken in the vicinity of Cottbus to the north, more closely resembles Polish. The above poem, by the Sorbs' most famous poet, is given in each of the two dialects.

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