.mw-parser-output .hidden-begin{box-sizing:border-box;width:100%;padding:5px;border:none;font-size:95%}.mw-parser-output .hidden-title{font-weight:bold;line-height:1.6;text-align:left}.mw-parser-output .hidden-content{text-align:left}You can help expand this article with text translated from the corresponding article in Russian. (June 2012) Click [show] for important translation instructions. View a machine-translated version of the Russian article. Machine translation, like DeepL or Google Translate, is a useful starting point for translations, but translators must revise errors as necessary and confirm that the translation is accurate, rather than simply copy-pasting machine-translated text into the English Wikipedia. Consider adding a topic to this template: there are already 2,304 articles in the main category, and specifying|topic= will aid in categorization. Do not translate text that appears unreliable or low-quality. If possible, verify the text with references provided in the foreign-language article. You must provide copyright attribution in the edit summary accompanying your translation by providing an interlanguage link to the source of your translation. A model attribution edit summary is Content in this edit is translated from the existing Russian Wikipedia article at [[:ru:Полабский язык]]; see its history for attribution. You should also add the template ((Translated|ru|Полабский язык)) to the talk page. For more guidance, see Wikipedia:Translation.
Slüvensťă rec / Vensťĕ
The first page of Vocabularium Venedicum
Pronunciation/slyˈvɛˑn.stʲɐ rɛt͡s/
Native toGermany
Extinct3 October 1756 (death of Emerentz Schultze)[1]
Revival21st century; ≥5 known L2 speakers[2]
Language codes
ISO 639-3pox
Grey: Former settlement area of the Polabian Slavs. Green: Uninhabited forest areas. Darker shade just indicates higher elevation.

The Polabian language,[a] also known as Drevanian–Polabian language,[b] Drevanian language,[c] and Lüneburg Wendish language,[d] is a West Slavic language that was spoken by the Polabian Slavs (German: Wenden) in present-day northeastern Germany around the Elbe. It was spoken approximately until the rise to power of Prussia in the mid-18th century – when it was superseded by Low German – in the areas of Pomoré (Mecklenburg-West Pomerania), central (Mittelmark) part of Branibor (Brandenburg) and eastern Saxony-Anhalt (Wittenberg originally part of Béla Serbia), as well as in eastern parts of Wendland (Lower Saxony) and Dravänia (Schleswig-Holstein), Ostholstein and Lauenburg). Polabian was also relatively long (until the 16th century) spoken in and around the cities of Bukovéc (Lübeck), Starigard (Oldenburg) and Trava (Hamburg). The very poorly attested Slavic dialects of Rügen seemed to have had more in common with Polabian than with Pomeranian varieties.[5] In the south, it bordered on the Sorbian language area in Lusatia.

By the 18th century, Lechitic Polabian was in some respects markedly different from other Slavic languages, most notably in having a strong German influence. It was close to Pomeranian and Kashubian, and is attested only in a handful of manuscripts, dictionaries and various writings from the 17th and 18th centuries.


About 2800 Polabian words are known; of prose writings, only a few prayers, one wedding song and a few folktales survive. Immediately before the language became extinct, several people started to collect phrases and compile wordlists, and were engaged with folklore of the Polabian Slavs, but only one of them appears to have been a native speaker of Polabian (himself leaving only 13 pages of linguistically relevant material from a 310-page manuscript).[1] The last native speaker of Polabian, a woman, died in 1756, and the last person who spoke limited Polabian died in 1825.[citation needed]

The most important monument of the language is the so-called Vocabularium Venedicum (1679–1719) by Christian Hennig.

The language left many traces to this day in toponymy; for example, Wustrow "Place on the island", Lüchow (Polabian: Ljauchüw), Sagard, Gartow, Krakow etc. It is also a likely origin of the name Berlin, from the Polabian stem berl-/birl- ('swamp').

Though unorganized, language revitalization for the Polabian language is occurring in small groups. As of 2023, the language has few limited speakers, but is growing due to more resources being accessible to learn the language.


For Polabian the following segments are reconstructable:[6]



Polabian consonant segments
Labial Dental Alveolar Palatal Post-
Plosives p k
b ɡ
Affricates t̪͡s̪ t͡sʲ
d̪͡z̪ d͡zʲ
Fricatives f ʃ x
Nasals m
Laterals l
Trills r
Semi-vowel j

Stress and vowel reduction

Polabian had free and mobile stress, which means its placement could not be predicted based on the shape of the word, and it could shift to other syllables in inflection and derivation, much like in Russian. Four-syllable words with stress on the last syllable had secondary stress on the second one.

Stress was interconnected with vowel reduction. All vowels except /ə/ and /ɐ/ were full vowels and could only occur in stressed syllables, or in the syllable immediately preceding primary stress, unless it was itself preceded by a syllable with secondary stress. Thus for example a four syllable word stressed on the third syllable had full vowels in the second and third syllable; but if this same word had stress on the last syllable, it had full vowels in the second and fourth syllable.

Reduced vowels were very short, so much that the transcribers (who mostly spoke Low German) sometimes omitted them in places where they could be expected, which was probably not caused by the ellipsis of said vowels, but rather by their very short duration. The full vowels were noticeably long and were often marked as such in the texts.[7]

The Lord's Prayer

This section may require cleanup to meet Wikipedia's quality standards. The specific problem is: The Lord’s Prayer should be in Low German, not High German, since it was the former language that was spoken around the Polabians and assimilated them. Please help improve this section if you can. (May 2022) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)

The Lord's Prayer in Polabian and related Lechitic languages, compared to Upper Sorbian, Old Church Slavonic, German and English:[8] Germanic loanwords, which are comparatively rare in the other West Slavic languages, are highlighted in bold.

Nôße Wader,
ta toy giß wa Nebisgáy,
Sjungta woarda Tügí Geima,
Tia Rîk komaj,
Tia Willia ſchinyôt,
kok wa Nebisgáy,
tôk kak no Sime.
Nôßi wißedanneisna Stgeiba doy nâm dâns,
un wittedoy nâm nôße Ggrêch,
kak moy wittedoyime nôßem Grêsmarim.
Ni bringoy nôs ka Warſikónye,
tay löſoáy nôs wit wißókak Chaudak.
Eastern Polabian:
Aita Nos,
tâ toi jis wâ nebesai,
Sjętü wordoj Tüji jaimą,
Tüji Rik komaj,
Tüja wüľa mo są ťüńot,
kok wâ nebesai,
tok no zemi,
nosę wisedanesnę sťaibę doj nam dâns,
a wütâdoj nam nose greche,
kok moi wütâdojeme nosim gresnarem.
Ni bringoj nos wâ Warsükongę,
toi losoj nos wüt wisokag chaudag.
Òjcze nasz,
jaczi jes w niebie,
niech sã swiãcy Twòje miono,
niech przińdze Twòje królestwò,
niech mdze Twòja wòlô
jakno w niebie
tak téż na zemi.
Chleba najégò pòwszednégò dôj nóm dzysô
i òdpùscë nóm naje winë,
jak i më òdpùszcziwóme naszim winowajcóm.
A nie dopùscë na nas pòkùszeniô,
ale nas zbawi òde złégò.
Ojcze nasz,
któryś jest w niebie,
święć się imię Twoje,
przyjdź królestwo Twoje,
bądź wola Twoja
jako w niebie
tak i na ziemi.
Chleba naszego powszedniego daj nam dzisiaj;
i odpuść nam nasze winy,
jako i my odpuszczamy naszym winowajcom;
i nie wódź nas na pokuszenie,
ale nas zbaw ode złego.
Upper Sorbian:
Wótče naš,
kiž sy w njebjesach.
Swjeć so Twoje mjeno.
Přińdź Twoje kralestwo.
Stań so Twoja wola,
kaž na njebju,
tak na zemi.
Wšědny chlěb naš daj nam dźens.
Wodaj nam naše winy,
jako my tež wodawamy swojim winikam.
A njewjedź nas do spytowanja,
ale wumóž nas wot złeho.
Old Slavic (transliteration):
Otĭče našĭ,
Iže jesi na nebesěchŭ.
Da svętitŭ sę imę Tvoje,
da pridetŭ cěsar'ĭstvije Tvoje,
da bǫdetŭ volja Tvoja
jako na nebesi
i na zeml'i.
Chlěbŭ našĭ nasǫštĭnyi daždĭ namŭ dĭnĭsĭ;
i otŭpusti namŭ dlŭgy našę,
jako i my otŭpuštajemŭ dlŭžĭnikomŭ našimŭ;
i ne vŭvedi nasŭ vŭ iskušenije,
nŭ izbavi ny otŭ neprijazni.
Old High German, 8th century:
Fater unsêr,
thu pist in himile,
uuîhi namun dînan,
qhueme rîhhi dîn,
uuerde uuillo diin,
sô in himile
sôsa in erdu.
Prooth unsêr emezzihic kip uns hiutu,
oblâz uns sculdi unsêro,
sô uuir oblâzêm uns sculdîkêm,
enti ni unsih firleiti in khorunka,
ûzzer lôsi unsih fona ubile.
High German, 20th century:
Vater unser,
der Du bist im Himmel,
geheiligt werde Dein Name;
zu uns komme Dein Reich;
Dein Wille geschehe,
wie im Himmel,
also auch auf Erden!
Unser tägliches Brot gib uns heute;
und vergib uns unsere Schuld,
wie auch wir vergeben unsern Schuldigern;
und führe uns nicht in Versuchung,
sondern erlöse uns von dem Übel.
Our Father
who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come,
thy will be done
on earth
as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread, and
forgive us our trespasses (or "debts"; cf. German use of feminine singular Schuld, 'debt, guilt')
as we forgive those who trespass against us (or "our debtors"; German Schuldiger[e]n, however, refers only to perpetrators of wrongdoing, with dative plural of "debtors" instead being Schuld[e]ner[e]n),
and lead us not into temptation
but deliver us from evil (or "the Evil One").


  1. ^
    • Polabian: slüvensťă rec, venskă rec, slüv́onsťĕ, slüvensťĕ, vensťĕ; literally: Slavic language
    • German: Polabische Sprache, Polabisch;
    • Lower Sorbian: połobska rěc, połobšćina;
    • Polish: język połabski;
    • Czech: polabština;
    • Latin: lingua Polabica
  2. ^
    • German: Draväno-Polabische Sprache, Dravänopolabisch;
    • Lower Sorbian: drjewjanopołobska rěc, drjewjanopołobšćina
    • Polish: język drzewiańsko-połabski
    • Latin: lingua Dravaeno-Polabica, lingua Dravaenopolabica
  3. ^
  4. ^ German: Lüneburgisch-Wendische Sprache, Lüneburgischen Wendischen


  1. ^ a b Kapović (2008), p. 109.
  2. ^ "Słownik nowopołabsko-polski".
  3. ^ "Lekhitic languages". britannica.com. Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc. Archived from the original on 9 March 2020. Retrieved 16 February 2023.
  4. ^ Lehr-Spławiński (1934), p. 26.
  5. ^ Lehr-Spławiński, Tadeusz (1922). "Szczątki języka dawnych słowiańskich mieszkańców wyspy Rugii". Slavia Occidentalis (in Polish). II: 114–136.
  6. ^ Cited after Polański (1993), p. 799
  7. ^ Lehr-Spławiński (1929), pp. 102–111.
  8. ^ Polabian version quoted after TITUS project
  9. ^ Praying Together Archived 2013-10-29 at the Wayback Machine


See also