Ethnologue.com home
Ethnologue > Web version > Country index > Americas > Canada > Plautdietsch

Plautdietsch

A language of Canada

ISO 639-3pdt

Population  80,000 in Canada (Kloss and McConnell 1978). Population total all countries: 402,900.
Region  Ontario, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Alberta, British Columbia. Also in Argentina, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Costa Rica, Germany, Kazakhstan, Mexico, Paraguay, Russian Federation (Europe), United States, Uruguay.
Alternate names   Low German, Mennonite German, Mennoniten Platt
Dialects  50% intelligible with other Low German languages, Standard German, Pennsylvania German [pdc], Hutterite German [geh]. Plautdietsch has some major differences from the European Low German dialects still spoken along the North Sea and the Baltic Ocean because of the various places where the Mennonites have lived during the past 150 years (Epps 1996).
Classification  Indo-European, Germanic, West, Low Saxon-Low Franconian, Low Saxon
Language use  20,000 L2 users. Mainly older adults. 50% also speak Standard German, 95% also speak English.
Language development  Literacy rate in L2: 95%. Bible: 2003.
Comments  SVO; prepositions; genitives after noun heads; question word initial; 5 prefixes; 2 suffixes; non-tonal. Christian.

Also spoken in:

Belize

Language name   Plautdietsch
Population  6,900 in Belize (2006).
Language map  Belize
Alternate names  German, Mennonite German
Language use  110,735 or more in Latin America are fairly monolingual. 15% also speak German; many use English; some use Creole [bzj] or Spanish as L2.
Comments  Christian.
 

Bolivia

Language name   Plautdietsch
Population  28,600 in Bolivia.
Alternate names  German, Mennonite German
Language use  6% also speak Spanish or Standard German.
Comments  Christian.
 

Brazil

Language name   Plautdietsch
Population  5,960 in Brazil (1985 SIL).
Language map  Brazil, reference number 97
Alternate names  Low German, Mennonite German
Language use  110,735 or more in Latin America are fairly monolingual. Also use Portuguese or Standard German.
Comments  Christian.
 

Costa Rica

Language name   Plautdietsch
Population  100 in Costa Rica (Minnich 1974).
Region  Sarapiqui area.
Alternate names  Low German, Mennonite German
Language use  Home. Also use Spanish.
Comments  Christian.
 

Germany

Language name   Plautdietsch
Population  90,000 in Germany (1996 R. Epp).
Comments  Plautdietsch-Freunde is an association in Germany for documentation and promotion of Plautdietsch.
 

Kazakhstan

Language name   Plautdietsch
Population  50,000 in Kazakhstan (1986).
Region  Alma Ata near the China border, beyond Tashkent.
Alternate names  Low German
Language use  50% also speak Russian.
Comments  Christian.
 

Mexico

Language name   Plautdietsch
Population  40,000 in Mexico (1996).
Region  Chihuahua (Cuauhtemoc, Virginias, Buenos Aires, Capulín), Durango (Nuevo Ideal, Canatlán), Campeche (Chávez, Progreso, Yalnon), Zacatecas (La Honda, La Batea).
Language map  Mexico, reference number 15
Alternate names  Low German, Mennonite German
Language use  22% also use Standard German, 5% English, 30% Spanish, 5% Russian.
Language development  Literacy rate in L2: 60%.
Comments  Intensive agriculturalists; cheese production. Christian.
 

Paraguay

Language name   Plautdietsch
Population  38,000 in Paraguay. 19,000 who speak Plautdietsch and Standard German as L1.
Region  Chaco and east: Filadelfia, Menno Colony, Loma Plata, Neuland.
Language map  Paraguay, reference number 14
Alternate names  Low German
Language use  Also use Spanish or German.
Comments  Agriculturalists: dairy, grain, cotton, peanuts. Christian.
 

United States

Language name   Plautdietsch
Population  12,000 in United States (2000).
Region  Hillsboro, Kansas; Reedley, California; and Corn, Oklahoma.
Alternate names  Low German, Mennonite German
Language use  5% also use Standard German, 98% also use English.
Language development  Literacy rate in L2: 95%.
Comments  Christian.