What Languages Are Spoken In Liechtenstein?

Vaduz castle in the capital of Liechtenstein.
Vaduz castle in the capital of Liechtenstein.

Liechtenstein is a principality located between Switzerland and Austria. Its capital is called Vaduz and it has a population of approximately 40,000 people. Standard German is the main language spoken in this region. However, there are other German-related languages spoken here such as Swiss German, Walser, Alemannic, and English. In fact, over time, it has become very easy for linguists and inhabitants to tell where one comes from within Liechtenstein just by listening to them. This is due to the association of certain dialects to a specific location.

Standard German

Standard German, also called German, is the national and official language of Liechtenstein. It is spoken by a majority of its citizens. Standard German is classified as High German, Indo-European, East Middle German and Germanic German. The Standard German used here has a lot of similarities with that spoken Vorarlberg, a province in Austria and Switzerland.

Swiss German

There are approximately 29,000 individuals in the country who speak this language. Like Standard German, it also has a classification. Different classes include High German, Germanic, Upper German and the Indo-European type. Swiss German has spread widely over the past years and its use is still on the rise in Liechtenstein. It is easily adopted by children growing up in this principality. The explanation for this is that they are highly influenced by the Swiss-German media as well as their primary school teachers who mostly speak the language. Some teenagers have further modified this language to a level whereby it is similar to slang by the youth in Zürich, Switzerland.

Walser Language

This language is spoken in Liechtenstein by a minority. The speakers are estimated number around 1,300 and are distributed majorly in Malbun and Triesenberg. This language is classified as High, West, Germanic and Indo-European types.


This is a local German dialect that the speakers of Liechtenstein share with the Austrians in Vorarlberg, the Germans in Baden-Württemberg and some Swiss. The language is used by these people in their day-to-day affairs. It is commonly classified into Highest Alemannic and High Alemannic. The Highest one is spoken in the southern parts of the country whereas the latter is spoken in the other parts alongside Alsatian, Italian, Swiss-German, and Turkish languages.


English is used to a lesser extent. It serves as the main language for giving instructions to higher education students. Consequently, English has thrived a lot in Liechtenstein to become the most popular second language. However, German is mainly used as the primary language of instruction in the educational institutions at the primary and secondary levels.

Future Linguistic Landscape Of Liechtenstein

The most spoken language in Liechtenstein remains Standard German which is highly developed. With the current trends in education, especially of languages, it is possible for minor changes to occur with time. However, the principal languages will most likely remain to be those which are well understood by the German-speaking neighbors in Austria and Switzerland. English may also keep growing in influence as a result of the increase in the number of foreigners who immigrate for work to the country.


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