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Sounds of Vienna

Updated Tuesday 4th April 2017

Listen to an Austrian German speaker pronounce some Austrian terms, and find out their meaning.

Listen to some words and phrases connected to the imperial city of Vienna. They are pronounced in Austrian German. Some of them are linked to the history of the Habsburg family or to the geography of Vienna. You can also read the verbatim translation and a short explanation in English of what it means or refers to.

1. Schönbrunn

Schönbrunn Palace in Vienna, Austria Creative commons image Icon Thomas Wolf, www.foto-tw.de [CC BY-SA 3.0 de], via Wikimedia Commons under Creative Commons BY-SA 4.0 license

This is the name of the imperial castle in the west of Vienna, and translates as "the beautiful well".

2. Neugebäude

Schloss Neugebäude in Vienna, Austria Creative commons image Icon By Lepsifoto (Own work) [GFDL or CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons under Creative Commons BY-SA 4.0 license

This translates as "the new building", referring to a renaissance palace in the east of Vienna.

3. Schottenstift

Schottenstift in Vienna, Austria Creative commons image Icon By Photo: Andreas Praefcke (Own work (own photograph)) [GFDL or CC BY 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons under Creative Commons BY 4.0 license

"The Scottish convent", a military barracks in central Vienna that was originally a convent of Irish monks.

4. Heuriger

Creative commons image Icon KF at the English language Wikipedia [GFDL or CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons under Creative Commons BY-SA 4.0 license

"This year's" new wine, and the establishment where you can drink it; usually a pub on the outskirts of Vienna.

5. Gänsehäufel

Creative commons image Icon von Manfred Werner / Tsui (Eigenes Werk) [GFDL oder CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons under Creative Commons BY-SA 4.0 license

"Goose heap", a shallow island in the river Danube originally used for breeding Geese.

6. die schöne Leich

Beethoven's grave at Vienna Central Cemetary Creative commons image Icon Ludwig van Beethoven's grave, Zentralfriedhof (Central Cemetery), Vienna, Austria. Photograph taken May 2005 by en:User:Daderot. Released under GFDL. under Creative Commons BY-SA 4.0 license Beethoven's grave at Vienna Central Cemetary

“The beautiful corpse”, an expression showing how much a good funeral means to the Viennese.

7. Biedermeier

Portrait of Prince Klemens Wenzel von Metternich, German-Austrian diplomat, politician and statesman (1773-1859) Copyright free image Icon Copyright free: Public domain The Concert of Europe ensured by the Austrian chancellor Clemens Wenzel von Metternich enabled a period of peace in which Biedermeier sensibilities developed.

A historical episode in the 1820s and 1830s—characterised by inward looking, apolitical, “cosyness”.

8. Alles Erdreich ist Österreich untertan

AEIOU illumination from the records of King Frederick, dated 1446 Copyright free image Icon Copyright free: Public domain

This translates as “All the world is subject to Austria”, and is one of the interpretations of Emperor Frederic’s symbol AEIOU—see the first letter of each word.

9. Kaisermelange

Copyright free image Icon Copyright free: Public domain

“Emperor’s medley”, a type of coffee typical in Vienna.

10. Österreich – klösterreich

Melk Abbey is a Benedictine abbey above the town of Melk, Lower Austria, Austria Creative commons image Icon By The original uploader was HochauerW at English Wikipedia (Transferred from en.wikipedia to Commons.) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons under Creative Commons BY-SA 4.0 license Melk Abbey is a Benedictine abbey above the town of Melk, Lower Austria

“Austria – rich in monasteries”. A saying in the Counter-Reformation, indicating the new establishment of convents.

11. Kaiserlich und königlich, k.u.k.

Copyright free image Icon Copyright free: Public domain

“Imperial and royal“, or belonging to the dual monarchy of Austria and Hungary.

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