Sorbian, Upper


A language of Germany

Alternate Names
Haut Sorabe, Hornoserbski, Obersorbisch, Upper Lusatian, Wendish
Hornjoserbski, Hornjoserbšćina

13,300 (Salminen 2007). 20,000–30,000 total Sorbian, one-third in lower Lusatia and two-thirds in upper Lusatia (Salminen 2007). Ethnic population: 45,000.


Brandenburg state; Sachsen state: east Bautzen and Kamenz.

Language Status

4 (Educational). Statutory language of provincial identity in Sachsen (1992, Constitution, Article 6).


Bautzen, Kamenz.

Language Use

Upper Sorbian and Lower Sorbian are 2 standard languages. Authorized in local government and schools. Increasing literature production. Now accepted as a minority language. 40,000–45,000 others have some knowledge of it. Mostly older adults. Most monolinguals are very young (Stephens 1976). Also use Standard German [deu].

Language Development

Taught in primary schools. Newspapers. Radio. TV. Grammar. Bible: 1728–1797.


Latin script [Latn].

Other Comments

Sorbian has lost much of its former public support after the unification of Germany. Many Sorbian schools have been closed (Salminen 2007).

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