Forum Rocket German German Culture and Travel Regional Variations in Lesson 17.7 - Arranging a Time

Regional Variations in Lesson 17.7 - Arranging a Time



In lesson 17.7, we are introduced to regional variations of expressing the time. The lesson states that people in Vienna and most Eastern parts of Austria use "viertel vier" to mean "a quarter past four" and "dreiviertel vier" to mean "a quarter to five".

It is my understanding, however, that people in the southern and eastern regions of Germany use "viertel vier" to mean "a quarter past three" and "dreiviertel vier" to mean "a quarter to four".

I want to make sure that this is, in fact, the case and there was not a mistake in the lesson. I would appreciate hearing your confirmation that this confusing regional difference does exist between the above-mentioned regions of Germany and Austria. It's an important point to know! 


Hallo PaulS108,


Thank you for your question!


There is in fact an error in the lesson - “viertel vier“ means 3:15 or “a quarter past three“ and “dreiviertel vier” means 3:45 or “a quarter to four”. Our apologies for the error. Nevertheless there are quite a few regional differences when talking about time: 

Let's use 3:15 - quarter past three


Northern and Western Germany / Austria:

viertel nach drei” - “quarter past three”


Southern and Eastern Germany / Austria:

viertel vier” -"quarter four"


Upper Austria / Salzburg:

viertel über drei” - “quarter above three”



viertel ab drei” - “quarter from three”


Confusing, right? Imagine people from Düsseldorf, Berlin, Salzburg and Switzerland all trying to arrange a meeting at 3:15 using their regional dialects!


Again our apologies for the error, I will pass this on to the development team. 


Viele Grüße,







Hallo Julia,

Thank you for straightening out the confusion. These regional differences in time are more varied than I thought, but nevertheless consistent and logical as to the meaning of the different constructions. Why not expand on the explanation in lesson 17.7 under the title "Regional Variations" and include all 4 of the variations detailed in your response? It's enlightening and fascinating, and is a great example of how colourful the German language really is!

Mit besten Grüßen,

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