You are here:

German Language/The word "Schulvikar"


I have come across the word "Schulvikar" listed as a witness in several German marriage and death records from the 1830s.  I know that "Schul" is "school" and "Vikar" is "vicar", but what, exactly, is a "Schulvikar"?  I cannot find it in a dictionary.  Is this word still used today?
Thank you.

Hello Ronald,

thank you for your question.
I didn't know from the top of my head what job a Schulvikar had, so I did some research. I don't know if there still are any people in Germany having this position. If so, they are probably working at schools run by the (Catholic) church.
If I get it right, Schulvikare were young priests who taught children in small village schools. They taught them essentials like reading, writing and simple calculations. I suppose the schools were kind of church institutions, and the children of course also learned about the Bible, Christian faith and so forth. This was at the beginning of compulsory education at the beginning of the 1800s. The Schulvikare were also assistants to the village's main pastor and read early masses and assisted in hearing confessions. After a few years they would usually be assigned their own parish, and the next Schulvikar would come to the village.

I hope this helps.

Best wishes

German Language

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts




As a native German speaker working professionally with languages, I can answer questions concerning German grammar, spelling and punctuation. I can also help with understanding and short German-English translations. As I also speak French, I might also be helpful concerning German-French translations. Translation only refers to short texts here.


I am a German native speaker working as a translator for English and French. I am concerned with language issues as grammar and spelling on a daily basis. I am very interested in these kind of topics, as any good translator should be. I also have a very good insight in the differences between English and German (and also French), so I might be able to give helpful explanations why specific things are the way they are in a specific language.

I am a member of the German Translator Association BDÜ.

My translations are published in form of manuals, company and product presentations, and websites, but you won't find my name there, as translators of technical texts are only rarely featured.

I studied translation at the University of Applied Sciences in Cologne (FH Köln), and have been working as a freelance translator for five years now.

Awards and Honors
I haven't received any awards, but receiving awards is really quite rare for translators.

Past/Present Clients
Mostly translation agencies in many different countries.

©2017 All rights reserved.