Intangible Cultural Heritage in Austria

The Ötztal dialect

Applicant: Prof. Dr. Hans Haid, Ötztal-Archiv des Ötztaler Heimatvereins
Province: Tyrol
Domain: Oral Traditions
Year of inclusion: 2010

The Ötztal dialect (Oetz Valley, Tyrol), with its 900 years of unchanged tradition, represents the strongest of all components that make up the Ötztaler population’s local identity.

Using the dialect in private, at work, school or for official matters (council meetings, etc) makes it possible to pass it on to the next generation. Not only adults, but, in particular, children and young people have a strong tendency towards communicating in this dialect. While traditional terms, such as those denominating obsolete agricultural tools can easily disappear, new words are repeatedly included in the dialect’s vocabulary.