Mòcheno language

Native to Italy
Region Fersina Valley
Native speakers
1,900 (1992)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3 mhn
Glottolog moch1255[2]
 Mòcheno communities in Trentino

Mòcheno is an Upper German variety spoken in three towns of the Mocheni Valley (German: Fersental, Italian: Valle del Fersina, Mòcheno: Bersntol), in Trentino, northeastern Italy.

Mòcheno is closely related to Bavarian and is variously classified either as a Southern Bavarian dialect or a separate language of its own. It has also been posited that it may be descended from Lombardic. Mòcheno speakers reportedly partially understand Bavarian, Cimbrian, or Standard German. However, many essential differences in grammar, vocabulary, and pronunciation render it difficult for speakers of standard German to understand.

Geographic distribution

According to the census of 2001, the first in which data on native languages were recorded, Mòcheno was spoken by a majority in the following municipalities (numbers of members of the Mòcheno linguistic group): Fierozzo/Florutz/Vlarotz (423 people, 95.92%), Palù/Palai/Palae (184 people, 95.34%), Frassilongo/Gereut/Garait (340 people, 95.24%, including the village of Roveda/Eichleit/Oachlait). In other municipalities of Trentino 1,329 persons declared themselves members of the Mòcheno linguistic group, a total of 2,276 in Trentino.[3] In the 2011 census, the total number of speakers in the Province decreased to 1,660.[4]


Mòcheno is officially recognised in Trentino by provincial and national law. Starting in the 1990s, various laws and regulations have been passed by the Italian parliament and provincial assembly, that put the Mòcheno language and culture under protection. A cultural institute was founded by decree, whose purpose is to safeguard and educate on the language. School curricula were adapted in order to teach in Mòcheno, and street signs are being changed to be bilingual.


Mòcheno German English

Vatar ingar
en Himbl,
gahailegt kimmp der dai Núm.
Der dai Raich schellt kemmen.[5]

Vater unser
im Himmel,
geheiligt werde Dein Name.
Dein Reich komme.

Our Father
in heaven,
hallowed be Thy name.
Thy kingdom come,


  1. Mòcheno at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin; Bank, Sebastian, eds. (2016). "Mócheno". Glottolog 2.7. Jena: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  3. "Tav. I.5 - Appartenenza alla popolazione di lingua ladina, mochena e cimbra, per comune di area di residenza (Censimento 2001)" (PDF). Annuario Statistico 2006 (in Italian). Autonomous Province of Trento. 2007. Retrieved 2011-05-12.
  4. "Das Vaterunser auf Mòchenisch (Fersentalerisch)" (in Mòcheno). Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. 2006. Retrieved 2011-05-13.

Further reading

Secondary literature

Media related to Mòcheno language at Wikimedia Commons

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