Austria Language and Handwriting
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The major language of records in Austria is German, often written in the Gothic script. Latin was used extensively, particularly in Catholic records. Regional dialects are common throughout the country, and other languages of importance regionally were Croatian, Czech, Hungarian, Polish, Romanian, Slovak and Slovene.
Reading the Records
- It's easier than you think! You do not have to be fluent in French and German to use these records, as there is only a limited vocabulary used in them. By learning a few key phrases, you will be able to read them adequately. Here are some resources for learning to read German records.
- These video webinars will teach you to read German handwriting:
- Also online interactive slideshow lessons are available to help you learn to read these records:
- Reading German Handwritten Records Lesson 1: Kurrent Letters
- Reading German Handwritten Records Lesson 2: Making Words in Kurrent
- Reading German Handwritten Records Lesson 3: Reading Kurrent Documents. In this lesson, you will explore several types of German genealogical records, including birth, baptismal, marriage, and death records.
- German Script Tutorial
This converter will show you how any phrase or name might look in German script:
- Kurrentschrift Converter (enter German genealogical word, click on "convert", view your word in Kurrentschrift (Gothic handwriting)
Records of the Catholic church will usually be written in Latin:
- Handwriting Guide
- Dictionary of old German Definitions
- German to English Translator
- German- English dictionary
- German Word List
- German Letter Writing Guide
- File:German Gothic Handwriting Guide.pdf
- The Family History Department of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, “Family History Record Profile: Austria,” Word document, private files of the FamilySearch Content Strategy Team, 1987-1999.