We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

What language is the Passion Play spoken in?

Drummoyne, Australia
Level Contributor
15 posts
24 reviews
Save Topic
What language is the Passion Play spoken in?

Hi

I'm planning to watch the passion play in 2020 but don't speak German. Can anyone tell me what language it is in please?

17 replies to this topic
Mainz, Germany
Level Contributor
10,855 posts
60 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: What language is the Passion Play spoken in?

It is in German. Tradition has it that the citizens of Oberammergau perform the play, not some international actors. A textbook comes out with every play, including an English translation.

Frankfurt, Germany
Level Contributor
5,334 posts
42 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: What language is the Passion Play spoken in?

In German as it is not meant as an international tourist attraction.

Byen
Level Contributor
600 posts
Save Reply
3. Re: What language is the Passion Play spoken in?

Why not aramaic and koine greek?

Frankfurt, Germany
Level Contributor
5,334 posts
42 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: What language is the Passion Play spoken in?

The 17th century villagers of Oberammergau hardly knew anything about Greek or any other biblical language.

Byen
Level Contributor
600 posts
Save Reply
5. Re: What language is the Passion Play spoken in?

They would have needed Mel Gibson :-)

North West England...
4 posts
1 review
Save Reply
6. Re: What language is the Passion Play spoken in?

We saw the play in 2010. Yes, it is in German, but disagree with the poster who said it is not an international event. The audience was truely international, and we had no trouble understanding the performance. You are given a book with the dialogue translation in different languages, including English. It is possible to see it in the theatre, as it is dim inside rather than completely dark. Some people had very small, discreet pen page lights, but we didn't bother too much with the book. The music and singing is so good that I just wanted to watch the performance, as it was clear what the action was most of the time. I would encourage any arts-lover to go, even if you're not particularly religious, as it is an amazing artistic performance. We are planning to go again in 2020.

Champlon, Belgium
Level Contributor
8,488 posts
5 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: What language is the Passion Play spoken in?

Not just German, but Bavarian German which even Germans from the north of the country have difficulty in understanding!

Frankfurt
Destination Expert
for Frankfurt
Level Contributor
6,159 posts
35 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: What language is the Passion Play spoken in?

Just read something about the tickets going on sale in 2018.

Might go this time, as it is certainly a once in a lifetime event.

Mainz, Germany
Level Contributor
10,855 posts
60 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: What language is the Passion Play spoken in?

I don't think Quiltneedle meant that the plays weren't worth it for international travelers. Afaik there are always many Americans coming to see it. But when it was invented they did not have that audience in mind. And since it is a very traditional event it goes without saying that the local language is spoken.

Barcelona, Spain
Destination Expert
for Barcelona, Berlin
Level Contributor
21,621 posts
7 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: What language is the Passion Play spoken in?

Quiltneedle wrote that it was "not meant as an international tourist attraction" and that is absolutely right. That it appeals to an international audience is a different thing. Obviously the story is very well-known, so even if you don't understand Bavarian German you will know what is going on.

The Passion Play is something I've known about since I was a child, when a friend of my mother's went in the early 1960`s (and I still have the black-and-white postcard she sent us), so international visitors are not just a recent phenomenon.. My mother went with a friend in the 1980's and bought the book with the text in English. The friend was particularly interested in the staging side of things rather than the religious aspect, and they both came home very impressed

Reply to: What language is the Passion Play spoken in?
Get notified by e-mail when a reply is posted