Zipser Germans

The Zipser Germans or Zipsers (German: Zipser, Romanian: Ţipţeri, Hungarian: Cipszer) are a German-speaking (specifically Zipser German-speaking) ethnic group which developed in the Zips region of Upper Hungary—what is now Slovakia—as that region was settled by people from central Germany beginning in the 13th century.[1] Beginning in at least the 18th century, many members of the ethnic group migrated to northern Romania, including to southern Bukovina[2][3] and to Maramuresch and Transylvania.[4]

During and after the Second World War, most Zipsers evacuated or were expelled to Germany. A community of speakers remains in the Zips town of Chmeľnica (Hopgarten) (their distinctive dialect is called "Outzäpsersch", German: "Altzipserisch", literally "Old Zipserish"),[5] and others remain in Romania where they and other German-speaking groups are currently represented by the Democratic Forum of Germans in Romania (DFDR).

See also


  1. Karl Julius Schröer, Die deutschen Mundarten des ungrischen Berglandes (1864)
  2. Oskar Hadbawnik, Die Zipser in der Bukowina (1968) discusses the Zipserfest held in Jakobeny in 1936 to commemorate 150 years since the Zipsers migrated to Jakobeny in 1786.
  3. І. Я. Яцюк, Тернопільський національний педагогічний університет ім. Володимира Гнатюка, Наукові записки. Серія “Філологічна”, УДК 81’282.4:811.112.2(477): Lexikalische Besonderheiten Deutscher Dialekte in Galizien- und der Bukowina: “Die Siedler in den ursprünglichen Bergwerksgemeinden im Südwesten der Bukowina sprachen Zipserisch und zwar Gründlerisch, wie es in der Unterzips gesprochen wurde. Dabei wurde [v] im Anlaut wie [b] ausgesprochen: Werke – berka, weh – be, Schwester – schbesta. Anlautendes [b] wurde zu [p]: Brot – prot, Brücke – prik.”
  4. Jacob Steigerwald, Tracing Romania's heterogeneous German minority (1985), page 8
  5. Somewhat confusingly, literature on the language also uses "Altzipserisch" in two other ways: to refer to the dialect of the Upper Zips as contrasted with "Gründlerisch", and to refer to the original Central German (Gründlerisch) lect of the speakers who migrated to Romania, as contrasted with the Upper-Austrian-influenced lect they now speak. For example, Claus Stephani in Zipser Mära und Kasska (1989) writes that the later settlers "sprachen Oberösterreichisch, die anderen eine Gründler Mundart: Altzipserisch" (spoke Upper Austrian, [while] the others [spoke] a Gründler dialect: Old Zipserish).
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