Sorbian, Upper


A language of Germany

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

13,300 in Germany (Salminen 2007). 20,000–30,000 total Sorbian, one-third in lower Lusatia and two-thirds in upper Lusatia (Salminen 2007). Population total all countries: 13,490. Ethnic population: 45,000.


Sachsen state: East Bautzen (Budysin), and Kamenz; also in Brandenburg state.

Language Status

4 (Educational).


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 programs. TV. 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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